Virginia has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.
I'm trying to reduce my sugar intake, so I tried out these sugar-free mixes and recipes. And now I'm here to share my experience with you! Here's what I'll go over:
- Review of Sans Sucre Mixes
- Recipe for Homemade No-Sugar Banana Bread (Optionally Fat-Free)
Review of Sans Sucre Cake Mixes
Whether you are trying to cook for a diabetic, eat healthier meals, or are just trying to cut down on sugar, you may find it hard to make good desserts that satisfy a sweet tooth. One brand, Sans Sucre, has developed several mixes that can help. Made with Stevia, these mixes offer low-fat versions of favorite treats like:
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie
- Milk Chocolate Brownie
- Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
- Classic Blonde Brownie
While dieting and trying to reduce my sugar intake, I decided to try these out. While these are definitely not as good as regular baking treats, I do think these can satisfy that craving I get for something sweet, especially when the rest of the family is indulging. However, these do need a bit of dressing up from the regular mix to make them look and taste like something that doesn't seem second-rate.
I'm including my review of the different mixes as well as ideas for how to make them seem like a real dessert. I'm also including my own recipe for banana bread that has no fat or sugar.
Review in Photos
The Mixes I Tried
Brownies and Blondies
Both the Sans Sucre Fudge Chocolate and Blonde Brownies baked up about the same and had a similar texture. I had the feeling that you could probably put a tablespoon of unsweetened chocolate into the Sans Sucre Blonde Brownie mix and turn it into the Fudge Brownies.
They don't cut very well, and the brownie tends to stick to the knife. That is the same problem I've had with the Pillsbury sugar-free mixes. What I have done is to make these into muffins, and that seems to work better.
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake
This cake was a bit lighter and rose higher. The rich taste makes this feel more like you are eating a dessert then many of the packaged sugar-free cookies and other desserts I've tried. Because you bake it yourself, it really does have a better homemade taste.
Pros and Cons
- Good Taste: The Sans Sucre mixes taste sweet but not overpoweringly so. The taste is very rich so that a small piece is very filling. The chocolate brownies almost taste like a chocolate mousse, and I know the company also makes a Mousse Mix.
- Sweet and Filling: The mix is made with stevia, and people who don't like artificial sweeteners may not like the taste. But if you are used to them like I am, you probably will find it plenty sweet for you. I did not notice any aftertaste.
- Dense: The only thing I did not like was the fact that it is very dense and tends to stick to your mouth, kind of like peanut butter. That is actually not a bad thing, because it made me take smaller bites and the brownie lasted longer.
- Quick and Easy: The Sans Sucre and Pillsbury no sugar mixes are very quick and easy to make. You only need to add water, eggs, and sometimes oil, and then bake them for about 25 minutes.
- Useful for Guests: I think I will always keep one of these in my cupboard so that I'm always prepared for a guest who can't eat a regular dessert. I could pop it in the oven at the last minute, and it would be ready when we are finished with our meal.
Alone on a plate, these desserts look a bit bare. However, if you dress them up a little and put them on a nice plate, you can have a very elegant end of the meal that makes you feel like you are getting something you shouldn't have. To make my brownies taste and look better, I've used different combinations of the following:
- Smuckers No Sugar Caramel Sauce
- Hersheys No Sugar Fudge Sauce
- Whipped cream that uses stevia
- No-sugar ice cream
- Chopped apples, sliced strawberries, blueberries or other fruit.
Fat and Calories
The 2 tablespoons of fat you add to the mix means they are not fat-free, but they are low in fat. I've tried making the mix with applesauce in place of the oil, and it turned out pretty well, although it didn't rise as much.
Although the box says it is not a low-calorie dessert, the 1/7 of a pan serving is a pretty big piece for just 130 calories. In fact, I'd probably cut the brownies into about 10 to 12 pieces for serving, so each one would probably be only 100 calories.
Recipe for Homemade No-Sugar Banana Bread (Optionally Fat-Free)
Another dessert I've enjoyed is my own recipe for banana bread, which I've modified so it has no added sugar or fat. I was very surprised the first time I made it because no one in my family guessed that I'd changed the recipe.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
2 (8-inch) loaves or 32 slices
- 4 bananas, mashed (or 1 to 1 1/2 cups any fruit)
- 2 eggs or egg substitute
- 1/4 cup oil (or 1/4 cup applesauce for fat-free)
- 1/2 to 1 cup no calorie sweetener for baking (Stevia or equal work well), optional
- 1/2 cup milk (I sometimes add another banana instead)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Mash bananas and mix in bowl until well blended. Add eggs and oil (or applesauce), milk and vanilla. Mix until blended.
- Add sugar substitute, flour, soda, and salt. Mix until just blended and most throughout. Don't over mix. Note: I often make it without the sugar substitute and it is less sweet but tastes very good.
- Pour batter into two 8" loaf pans. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Banana bread is done when top springs back when gently touched.
Making the Bread Fat-Free
I tried it again and replaced the oil with applesauce in this banana bread recipe. The results were not quite as good since the bread fell flat after it came out of the oven. However, I still had to take pictures fast because my family ate up all the loaves in one day! I loved the taste myself, even though it had a dense texture. It definitely did fill up my need for sweets.
If you don't like bananas, you can use the same recipe to make other kinds of baked goods. Just replace the bananas with 1 cup of applesauce and one of the following:
- Blueberry bread (1 cup blueberries)
- Strawberry bread (2 cups sliced strawberries)
- Pumpkin bread (1 cup mashed canned pumpkin)
- Apple bread (1 cup chopped apples)
- Zucchini bread (2 cups of grated Zucchini)
You can also add:
- 1/2 cup of nuts (pecans or walnuts would work best)
- 1/2 cup of no-sugar chocolate chips
Of course, all of these taste great just as a snack or even for breakfast, but you can turn them into a dessert by serving them sliced with some of the toppings I suggested above. Have fun, save calories, and enjoy!
naturalife on April 12, 2013:
Great hub. I like the sugar-free banana bread. Will surely try it out.