These keto citrus cookies-my sister Maureen’s creation-are a treat, as is the following information on Swerve confectioner’s sugar, which is used in the frosting. Here I compare it to Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener.
Lakanto Monkfruit Tastes Better Than Swerve
Personally I prefer the taste of Lakanto Monkfruit sweetner, with erythritol and monkfruit, to Swerve, a blend of erythritol and prebiotic oligosacchariedes; I notice that Swerve leaves an aftertaste, when consumed with coffee, a flavor-enhancer.
Comparing Monkfruit to Swerve
Both are natural sweeteners, containing nothing artificial including no preservatives; they are non-GMO, gluten-free, non-glycemic, and diabetic friendly. They taste and measure like sugar.
These two sweeteners are part erythritol. Lakanto Monkfruit has monkfruit added, which is derived from the fruit called monkfruit (for details see Healthy Date/Apricot Bars). On the other hand, Swerve states its ingredients come from select fruits and starchy root vegetables. In this case, they add oligosaccharides to the erythritol.
How Oligosaccharides In Swerve Are Derived
These oligosaccharides are derived from adding enzymes to starchy root vegetables, thus breaking down the starch and producing this carbohydrate, whose molecules are made up of a relatively small number of monosaccharide units. 1
Common oligosaccharides include the simple, single sugars-monosaccharides-glucose, fructose, and galactose. 1,4 glycosidic bonds bind these together to create disaccharides, such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose. All sugars-known as oligaosaccharides-are formed when two or more monosaccharides are joined together by O-glycosidic bonds. 2
Another term for sugar is saccharide, while the word oligosaccharide, though a broad term, is most commonly used to refer to a carbohydrate polymer whose molecules are composed of a relatively small number of these monosaccharide units-typically between 3-9 units. 3
Makeup of Swerve Quetionable
Swerve does not reveal what type of simple sugar, or monosaccharide, is used to make up its carbohydrate polymers, which are specifically referred to as oligosacchrides here. They also state that they have introduced a small amount of natural citrus flavor, though we don’t know exactly what is meant by “natural flavor”, or more specifically how it is derived in this case. 4
Its oligosaccharides are prebiotic fibers, or types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which cannot be broken down by the human digestive tract; thus, they are considered calorie-free, passing intact through our digestive systems into our colons, where they support the growth of healthy bacteria. Being calories that our bodies cannot assimilate, these oligosaccharides are considered to be calorie-free, not raising blood sugar or insulin levels; they, however, may cause digestive upsets, leading to gas, bloating, and diarrhea, which is especially true when used in high amounts. 5
Swerve Has A Broader Basis Of Culinary Use
In its favor, Swerve boasts that it browns and caramelizes just like sugar. I, however, am not as sold on its flavor as much as that of Lakanto Monkfruit, but large amounts of this latter may cause dryness in baked goods. Nevertheless, I love Monkfruit-over Swerve-added to my hot oats and chia seed parfaits, as well as in baking, when used moderately, with the addition of konjac root powder, or a similar product.
Swerve, however, makes confectioners sugar, a must for frostings, as found in the recipe below. Note: it is easy to make your own confectioners sugar, by grinding Monkfruit in a blender-be sure to cover the machine with a towel, while blending. Granulated Monkfruit, Swerve, and ground Monkfruit confectioners sugar, all measure exactly the same.
These Alternative Sugars Ideal For Keto Diet
My health condition recently called for a decrease in the amount of carbohydrates I was taking in. Thus, I became interested in Dr. Colbert’s keto diet. This greatly reduces carbs, while calling for a concentration of high-quality fats, to achieve keto-zone for effective weight loss (see https://drcolbert.com/).
My personal need, however, is to be sure I eat enough calories in a day, so as not to lose weight, while not consuming high amounts of carbs for those needed calories. Henceforth, I follow the keto diet loosely, not needing to maintain keto-zone that his patients require for losing weight effectively. I have only skimmed the surface of all Colbert’s teachings, receiving his recommendations for 70% of your daily caloric intake, to be derived from healthy fats (see Healthy Date/Apricot Bars).
I have learned to love my homemade ghee-see recipe at Vichy Carrots-in my hot cereal, and I lavish grass-fed Kerry butter on keto bisquits made with almond flour-my next entry. Likewise, I fill a tablespoon-size impression in my homemade, sprouted three-bean dip, with organic olive oil, the king of all oils-a quick and easy way to consume my needed fat. (See recipe for Sprouted Three Bean Dip.) This last I eat with just eleven organic bean chips, as recommended for a serving, counting all my carbohydrates carefully.
Applying This Lesson To Life
I can have a moderate amount of carbs, just not the quantity I was previously eating to maintain calories for my weight. I have learned it is all about balance!
We notice that there is always a tension of some sort in watching our diets, as well as in maintaining other life experiences. This characteristic in our existence demands that we be alert, so as not to be caught off-guard in matters of physical and mental health.
Our inward wisdom will naturally resolve these apparent problems, when we quiet ourselves and subject our instinct to react with feelings to rather settle in calm! We always ask God for help to access our inner voice.
In this way, we don’t eat compulsively, tasting nothing, or of equal importance, we don’t eat at all, because of emotions.
In regard, to living with this inward stability, we must avoid high-frenzied reactions to the inevitable fiery darts, which cause hypertension. Neither, do we give an opening for inertia, brought on by over-stimulation, producing the need to stop the world and get off.
All this can be done, when in rest-believing-we seek composure in both eating and living. We always achieve this symmetry, when we ask God for his needed help.
Keto Citrus Cookies Yields: about 18 cookies. Total prep time: 1 1/4 hr / active prep time: 45 min/ baking time: 30 min . Note: frosting is enough for four cookie recipes; may quadruple cookie recipe, or better yet, may freeze leftover frosting in separate containers, for future single batches. Cookies also freeze well!
Zest of 1 orange & 1 lemon (Organic is important here for flavor and quality, as skin of citrus fruits readily absorb pesticides.)
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c Lankanto Monkfruit alternative sweetener (This is available most reasonably at Costco.)
1 lg egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c almond flour (Costco’s almond flour is much cheaper than any other available-$12.99 for a 3-lb bag.)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp konjac root powder, or a similar product of your choice (This softens baked goods and is available on-line.)
1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan, pink, or Real Salt is essential for optimum health; a fine grind Himalayan salt is available at Costco for $4.95 for 5 lbs.)
Frosting This is enough for four recipes; it freezes well, making subsequent batches of these cookies quick and easy. Be sure to divide into four equal parts, freezing three parts in individual containers. Note: it is also possible to refreeze frosting once, if you prefer lightly frosted cookies and do not use all the frosting.
1 stick of butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pkg of Swerve alternative confectioners sugar (To make your own confectioners sugar, grind the better-tasting Monkfruit in a blender-be sure to cover blender with a towel. Note: Swerve, granulated Monkfruit, and ground Monkfruit all measure exactly the same. Use 12 oz of ground Monkfruit, in place of the Swerve in this recipe, or enough to bring frosting to desired consistency.)
1/3 c blended juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Be sure butter and cream cheese are softened, before starting recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Zest two lemons and two oranges, if making frosting at the same time as baking cookies. If using leftover frosting, therefore baking cookies separately, just zest one of each fruit. Set aside zest, see photo above. Note: this frosting recipe makes enough for four batches-18 cookies each.
If making frosting, juice all fruit together in a bowl; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix butter and Monkfruit. Beat in: egg, vanilla, and the zest of one lemon and one orange.
- Stir together baking soda, konjac root, and salt into almond flour, using a separate dish-better yet, shake well in a quart-size sealed storage bag. Mix almond flour mixture into butter mixture; do not over-beat. See above photo.
Using a teaspoon, form 18 balls on two parchment-lined cookie sheets, several inches apart from each other; see photo.
- Bake pans separately in hot oven for 15-16 minutes, or until golden brown. Do not over-bake, as these will cook more on pan while cooling; see bottom photo. Meanwhile, make frosting.
Mix frosting by creaming together softened butter and room-temperature cream cheese; add confectioner’s sugar; then, beat in 1/3 c blended fruit juices. Finally mix in remaining zest, vanilla and salt. Divide frosting evenly in four small containers, freezing three of these for quick future batches of cookies. Note: if you like lightly frosted cookies, you will have leftover frosting; may refreeze this one time.
- When cookies are done, be sure to cool on pan; then, place on wax paper to frost (see photo at top of recipe).
- Enjoy these great, “legal” cookies!