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Baking substitutions

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 19, 2010 at 8:21 PM

I have a delicious peanut butter cookie recipe that I want to try to convert to paleo. It contains peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. I figure almond butter would be a suitable replacement for the peanut butter and eggs are okay. Where does vanilla extract fall? What can I use for the sugar? Applesauce? a friend said pure maple syrup is okay but I am skeptical.

D738a5b2a67f3c36518a2ac9f32d27af

(821)

on December 23, 2010
at 02:50 AM

Lots of ideas here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/14697/hack-my-cookie-recipe/14700#14700

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on December 20, 2010
at 01:57 AM

My last batch of banana nut bread contained no added sugar - only really, really, "hubby would throw these away" bananas. :-) It was plenty sweet enough.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 20, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Mmmmmmmmmmm Trader Joes Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract, gets added to all kinds of things!

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 19, 2010
at 10:46 PM

That was a typo, I meant no calorie sweeteners. I'm used to using the word "artificial" for that.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on December 19, 2010
at 09:06 PM

In what way is Stevia an artificial sweetener? Maybe I missed somehting about definitions, but isn't a plant extract as natural as the plant itself? And even if not: The leaves are sweet as well and work fine as a sweetener.

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7 Answers

3
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on December 19, 2010
at 11:22 PM

Vanilla extract falls into my food. Regularly.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on December 20, 2010
at 01:08 AM

Mmmmmmmmmmm Trader Joes Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract, gets added to all kinds of things!

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 20, 2010
at 03:39 AM

Is the goal paleo or is it lower carb? Watch out for the artificial sweetners as some are stronger than sugar and some are weaker. I had luck in a recent recipe replacing sugar with 1/4 Truvia (artificial sweetner) and 3/4 vanilla whey protein powder. If you use all Truvia, it will be WAY WAY WAY too sweet! And in place of white flour, I used finely ground almond flour. Texture was different in the cookie but still ok and taste was good.

If I were you, depending on your goals, I'd try to sub out for the sugar and flour but leave the peanut butter and vanilla extract alone. A bit of peanut butter ain't going to kill ya. If you switch out the peanut butter, the taste will be totally different. It will be a whole different cookie. If you are Ok with that, might be worth a shot though. If you go with the honey, IMO, metabolically it's just not that diff from using regular sugar. Sure TECHNICALLY it's paleo, but so what. May as well just use the sugar as normal and make the cookie as normal.

As for maple, I'd think it's borderline. Sure, it comes straight out of the tree but there is a somewhat complicated boiling and processing procedure to making it. HOwever, as far as I know, they don't use any toxic chemicals in the really good stuff and it's a fairly old processing technique, so it's probably not as bad as other things. But again, IMO, metabolically, it's similar to sugar. Might have a bit more nutrients, but I am assuming you realize that no matter how you make these cookes, they are not going to be a powerhouse of nutrition either way. If you take out all the sugar and then replace it with slightly more natural sugar and you take out one nut butter and replace it with a somewhat healthier nut butter, you may end up improving the nutrition a bit, but it's not going to make these cookies into a healthy staple food so IMO, it may not be worth bothering with. Just don't eat a lot of them and you will be fine!

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on December 20, 2010
at 01:15 AM

peanut butter = almond butter

brown sugar/white sugar = I would halve the amount and use honey

vanilla extract = make sure you use a PURE vanilla extract and not cheap flavoring

Or try this recipe:

http://paleozone.posterous.com/almond-butter-cookies

No matter what, expect to make a test batch first.

1
C5b447814db8490d9b529bd87ddf2d60

(198)

on December 19, 2010
at 09:14 PM

I had gone through something similar a while back when working on a paleo banana bread recipe. At first I used about a 1/3rd of a cup of honey. It added sweetness, but the thing I didn't like about the honey was it added it's own flavor that took away from the banana. I thought of using molasses or maple syrup, but those also have their own added flavors. At one point I even considered using raw sugar or sugar cane juice, but on a recommendation from a friend, I tried using dates instead and that was a huge win! Since I'm using a mix of coconut flour and almond meal, the dates also add a nice texture, in addition to the sweetness.

My recipe now calls for a little over a [tightly packed] cup of dates. Instead of chopping them up, I drop them into a blender/magic bullet with my other wet ingredients (coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extra (not vanilla "flavoring"), etc.) and blend it down to a fine paste. Otherwise, the sweetness isn't spread out well enough and you sort of bite into dates, again taking away from the bread.

I should also note that it took me many iterations over a few months to put together something that my paleo friends at the gym love, and my non-paleo friends can enjoy. If you're making this for a holiday party, make a couple test batches first!

Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on December 20, 2010
at 01:57 AM

My last batch of banana nut bread contained no added sugar - only really, really, "hubby would throw these away" bananas. :-) It was plenty sweet enough.

0
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 19, 2010
at 08:48 PM

Stevia is the most natural choice for no calorie sweeteners. Although there are still even health concerns about that. But it is less artificial than Splenda (sucralose) or Equal (aspartame).

The only reason I see to use no calorie sweeteners is if you are worried about calories. If not I would use honey or coconut nectar or coconut crystals.

http://www.coconutsecret.com/products2.html

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on December 19, 2010
at 09:06 PM

In what way is Stevia an artificial sweetener? Maybe I missed somehting about definitions, but isn't a plant extract as natural as the plant itself? And even if not: The leaves are sweet as well and work fine as a sweetener.

8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on December 19, 2010
at 10:46 PM

That was a typo, I meant no calorie sweeteners. I'm used to using the word "artificial" for that.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on December 19, 2010
at 08:29 PM

I would try stevia or erythritol for the sugar. Or xylitol. Maybe a touch of molasses for the brown sugar flavor, I would skip it though. vanilla extract is fine.

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