The Monkfruit Diaries

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The Monkfruit Diaries

We are in the process of switching all of our baked goods and desserts from sugar alcohols over to stevia, monkfruit extract, and chicory root inulin.
Although some people doing keto strictly for weight loss can incorporate erythritol (the only sugar alcohol we have used due to its score of zero on the glycemic index) without issues, anyone needing to keep their ketone levels up to address a medical condition should completely avoid it.
Different extracts of stevia have different levels of sweetness and aftertaste, and must usually be combined with another sweetener to balance these tastes. Monkfruit powder extract, which is often cut with sugar alcohols but can also be found in pure form, is an imported Chinese fruit that is 200 times sweeter than sugar.
This makes recipe development a very precise game- just a sprinkle is enough to add an explosion of sweetness. One quarter of a teaspoon of monkfruit powder has the sweetening power of 50 teaspoons of sugar! Although in practice, it may be more or less depending on the other ingredients. Balancing the bitterness of cocoa will require more monkfruit than a vanilla almond cake. Stevia helps round out the taste profile.
Chicory-based inulin powder is another sweetener we are testing, and for this we need to break out the glucose monitor. It is unclear whether this substance can raise blood sugar, and if so, how much. In the absence of millions of dollars to do a controlled study, the best option is to test lots of individuals’ blood sugar before and after ingestion to see what happens. Seeing if ketones drop will also be important.

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