After many years of looking for a sweetener which is natural, tastes similar to sugar, does not change one’s glycymic index, which is a concern for those who are diabetic, on gluten-free diets, as well as those who want low sugar diets, I came across a wonderful product called Lakanto®, a golden, zero-calorie sweetener which is akin to sugar in it’s texture and sweetness.
Luo Han Guo – Where Lakanto gets it’s sweet flavor
The natural sugar consists of adding a high purity extract of the Chinese fruit Luo Han Guo to erythritol, a sugar alcohol made of fermented glucose. It sounds pretty simple, but took the makers of Lakanto, the Japan based company, Saraya Health a number of years in R&D to to arrive at the formula now available. The original attempts were based on licorice root, which met the low calorie and low glycemic index requirements, but failed the taste test.
Ideal for sugar-free chefs, Lakanto® family size. The best value for all your favorite recipes. Enjoy the zero calories, zero glycemic index, one-to-one sugar replacement that looks, smells and tastes delicious with all your favorite dishes, cooked or raw, deserts or drinks.
Most fruits get their sweetness from fructose and glucose or sugar alcohols such as xylitol and maltitol. Luo han is exceptional in that its sweetness originates from a distinct matter called mogrosides. The mogrosides found in this gourd fruit are known to be 300-400 times sweeter than sugar, however they are zero-calorie, making this a great sweetener for diabetics.
The other ingredient Lakanto® is make from is Erythritol, which in this case is made from a non-GMO corn source. Erythritol is made from a fermentation process. This is also a no-calorie, sweet mixture, which when mixed with the Luo Han Guo extract makes a natural sweetener which can be used alone, in your coffee or tea, in baking or cooking. It works great for cookies and cakes and is prepared with the intention to have similar measurements to sugar.
Lakanto is available in a few different size bags as well as sachets which is great for travel, taking out for your iced tea at dinner, as well as for sharing with others, you will want to!
Let Them Eat Chocolate – Lakanto in the Raw
I have been using Lakanto as a sweetener for about 4 years. While in Japan there are many products using Luo Han Guo, I have not found any products using this, until Saraya Health came out with something to write about.
Not long before the writing of this post, Saraya Health introduced OMG Chocolates, and wow did they really do this product right.
To start, OMG Chocolates are handmade, by a master raw food chocolate maker. The cacao used in these gourmet treats is sourced from certified organic and certified Fair Trade farms where the growers are guaranteed a fair living wage. There are many health benefits from a raw, organic product like this in terms of quality. This is a chocolate lover, health nut dream here. Orange chocolate is one of my favorites anyway, so thank you Saraya for this product.
The Lakanto products are great for those who have diabetes, are working with weight loss, want to avoid other sugars, or are struggling with an over growth of candida in the body.
This is great for a desert, a snack on a flight or road trip, even a little energy boost during exercise. People who love chocolate and appreciate healthy living, would love to receive this as a gift. Getting something like a truffle, which tastes amazing, is organic and sugar-free… Well, I can only say…. OMG!
If you are interested in Lakanto or OMG chocolates, you can find more information at the Saraya Health company website.
And last but not least, Donna Gates over at Body Ecology Diet has a new Lakanto Cookbook as well. I am a big fan of the products that come from this company and my health improved by implementing some of the principles in ‘The Body Ecology Diet‘ Book.