Advertisement

Archive for Wednesday, December 3, 1997

FRIDGE KEEPING BATTER OFFERS LONG-TERM BRAN BENEFIT

December 3, 1997

Advertisement

I am trying to boost the fiber in my diet and have heard about a batter for bran muffins that I can store in the refrigerator for several weeks. What does the batter consist of?

For a good source of fiber and B-vitamins, try these refrigerator bran muffins. They are especially nice for older adults who live alone and often don't want to mess with baking for one but still crave fresh, homemade hot bread.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

4 cups All-Bran cereal

2 cups boiling water

1 quart buttermilk or sour milk substitute (To 3

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Oskaloosa.

eal and let stand one minute. Add sugar, oil and buttermilk and mix. Add eggs and dry ingredients. Stir until moistened. Do not overmix. Bake in muffin pan Covered batter will keep up to six weeks in the refrigerator. Just bake a few at a time when you want fresh muffins. You may add a few raisins or fruit pieces just before baking.

Nutritional information per serving: 175 calories, 4 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 4 grams fiber.

How is white granulated sugar made?

The white refined sugar used in the home comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. During the refining process, the natural sugar stored in the cane stalk or beet root is separated from the rest of the plant material.

For sugar cane, this is accomplished by: a) grinding the cane to extract the juice; b) boiling the juice until the syrup thickens and sugar begins to crystallize; c) spinning the crystals in a centrifuge to remove the syrup, producing raw sugar; d) shipping the raw sugar to a refinery where it is washed and filtered to remove remaining nonsugar ingredients and color; and e) crystallizing, drying and packaging the refined sugar.

Beet sugar processing is similar, but it is normally done in one continuous process. The sugar beets are washed, sliced and soaked in hot water to separate the sugar-containing juice from the beet fiber. The sugar-laden juice is purified, filtered, concentrated and dried in a series of steps similar to sugar cane processing.

What makes brown sugar different from white granulated sugar?

Brown sugar consists of sugar crystals contained in a molasses syrup with natural flavor and color components.

Most sugar refiners produce brown sugar by boiling a special syrup -- which contains the necessary flavor and color ingredients -- to a mass of crystals and syrup in a vacuum pan.

This mass is spun in a centrifuge but not washed, so the sugar crystals still retain some of the syrup with its brown-sugar flavor and color. Some refiners make brown sugar in a mixer by adding syrup to a refined white sugar.

Four grades of brown sugar are available for food manufacturing, but only two are available for consumer purchase. Designated as "golden brown" or "light brown" and "dark" or "old-fashioned brown," the intensity of the molasses flavor increases as the color darkens.

Can I substitute dark brown sugar for light brown sugar in a recipe?

Yes. For 1 cup of light brown sugar, substitute 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1/2 cup granulated white sugar.

I know that sugar is needed in baked products, but how much do I really need to add to produce an acceptable product?

Sugar does play an important role in creating an acceptable baked product. It adds sweetness, increases volume, helps tenderize the product and aids in browning. But you can decrease the sugar content in many recipes without affecting the overall characteristics of the product.

As a general rule of thumb for cakes and breads, use the following guide to reduce sugars:

For each cup of flour, use only 1/2 cup sugar for cakes, 1 tablespoon for muffins and quick breads and 1 teaspoon for yeast breads.

Here is an example of a spicy low-sugar dessert that is rich in vitamins and minerals -- thanks to the sweet potatoes! One serving contains 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Try it for an autumn treat.

Spicy Sweet Potato Snack Cake

ubstitute dark brown sugar for light brown sugar in a recipe?

Yes. For 1 cup of light brown sugar, substitute 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1/2 cup granulated white sugar.

I know that sugar is needed in baked products, but how much do I really need to add to produce an acceptable product?

Sugar does play an important role in creating an acceptable baked product. It adds sweetness, increases volume, helps tenderize the product and aids in browning. But you can decrease the sugar content in many recipes without affecting the overall characteristics of the product.

As a general rule of thumb for cakes and breads, use the following guide to reduce sugars:

For each cup of flour, use only 1/2 cup sugar for cakes, 1otal fat, 1 gram saturated fatty acids, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 115 milligrams sodium.

I was told that a snack of crackers can be just as harmful in promoting tooth decay as a fruit drink. Is this true?

Crackers eaten as a between-meal snack can be just as harmful to the teeth as a sugary drink if the teeth are not brushed after eating.

Eating lots of sugary foods does promote tooth decay, but tooth decay is more than just a matter of sugars and how much of them we eat.

Both sugars and starches -- which break down into sugars -- can contribute to tooth decay. Many nutritious foods naturally contain sugar and starches. These foods include milk, fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, rice and pastas. They may also contain added sugar as ingredients. Other foods such as candies and sweets are high in added sugars.

The more these foods -- even a small amount -- are eaten, and the longer they are in the mouth before teeth are brushed, the greater the risk of tooth decay. Eating such foods as frequent between-meal snacks may be more harmful to teeth than eating them at meals when beverages and additional saliva help rinse the teeth.

Fluoridated water, toothpaste and careful dental hygiene are also important for maintaining healthy teeth.

-- Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in home economics and consumer science with K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper. She can be reached at 843-7058.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.