Friday, May 2, 2008

Week # 6

My husband has a desire to prepare for the future by putting together some supplies that might help our family in the face of a disaster, be it a natural disaster of some sort, economic, or something else.
I hope to be able to elaborate on this in the future, and possibly post our adventures in this journey, but for the sake of keeping this Home-keeper post short, I will tell you what I learned last night when I was looking to order sugar.

What's What?
Now, everyone knows that if you are going to have a survival kit the most important thing you wouldn't want to be without is SUGAR, right?
(Please tell me you read my sarcasm! ;-P)

This post isn't actually about sugars, but rather a little trivia I learned about Sugar cane in particular.
We have been buying SUCANAT in bulk form from Whole Foods market.
I bought it to try on our oatmeal, and it has become a hit in our home for this purpose!
All I knew about SUCANAT, is that the label professes it to be dehydrated cane juice; it is light brown and somewhat clumpy granules, and has a taste similar to brown sugar.
All I've used it for to date is dressing up a boring bowl of cooked oats, but I am interested to find out how it does as a refined sugar substitute.

Last night when I determined to order some Sucanat, I quickly became confused when offered the choice of that or dried CANE JUICE.
Isn't dried cane juice the same thing as dehydrated cane juice? Not only that, but there is also TURBINADO which is also from the juice of the sugar cane!

Here's the trivia I learned in brief summery:

SUCANAT (pronounced soo-ka-not) is the first sugar coming from the sugar cane as soon as the juice is dehydrated - basically cane sugar in it's purest form. Because it hasn't been refined yet, it retains the molasses within, and has a stronger flavor, and higher moisture content.

TURBINADO (or "RAW SUGAR") is cane sugar refined once (I believe). It is lighter in color than Sucanat, a bit more mellow in flavor, and still retains some molasses, but not much.
When I've seen it in the stores, it has a granulated texture that doesn't clump, but is much larger crystals than traditional white sugar.

DRIED CANE JUICE (or cane sugar) is the most refined of these three, and has little or no molasses in it, and is mostly sucrose.
I read that while it's more expensive than traditional refined white sugar, some people prefer the taste.

Last night I decided to buy Sucanat because I am already familiar with the taste, and have one (small, but much loved) use for it.
I was also encouraged by the fact that it is a sugar that's still in it's original state.
I'm not saying whether one sugar is "healthier" than another, I just want to stay away from the refined as much as possible, and I think this choice will serve my purpose well.

milk and cookies
The next thing to research and experiment with is Sucanat's substitution for white sugar in recipe's we like to use.
If push comes to shove, we'll use the good ol' fashioned poison, er - stuff!
Sometimes when you want a good cookie, there's no point gaining in health what you lose in taste! ;-P

Here are some sites I found useful:

Natural Sweeteners

Guide to Natural Sweeteners

And of course the informative Wise Geek site.
To use it, just type in "What is ..." and fill in the blank with something like "turbinado".


2homeschool said...

Man you and I really are trouping along the same path. My hubby just got home from buying a big sack of brown rice to put in buckets with dry ice to seal.

When we get the 'tax refund' we are talking about getting a grain mill.


Momma Bug said...

When I come home in the Summer I'm getting bread making lessons.
I can't believe you beat me to that one!
I beat you on the rice - I ordered 100 lbs last night, and 200 lbs of wheat, and 50 lbs of salt, and pop corn (duh!). I have a longer list, but that's what I ordered through the Whole Foods store here because that's all that was on my list that they carry.

Maybe we can swap ideas - I'll look forward to further dialogue on this subject with you!

The Diane Story said...

I actually very interested in the sugar thing...not being refined...but right now I need to sleep, so I'll visit those sites later!

2homeschool said...

ohhhh, my husband is going to be jealous... He so wants to do just that very thing. We can't afford it at the moment. I can tell you though, we have gone through 25 pounds of oats and flour in less then a month... What your ordering might not last as long as you might think.

Momma Bug said...

I imagine you are right, Heather, but I have to start somewhere.
I'm glad to know what others are using and consuming so I can gauge off that.

Keep me posted!

Suzanne said...

Oh, my goodness--loose my internet connection for just under two days and look at all I missed!

Love your blog, dear one. Would love to order bulk dry goods too, but no room to store it in our kitchen, and you haven't seen our basement;)

About scheduling: when mine were little, I only had a "routine". School took place between breakfast and lunch. Clocks and time were irrelevant. When we got done with one thing, we went on to the next.

You'll find your groove- hang in there:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sweetie,

It's been awhile since you blogged this and you've probably increased your knowledge since then, but I wanted to let you know that you substitute Sucanat one for one for sugar. No fancy math or anything. I buy organic Sucanat from Azure 50# at a time. The other storage sweeteners I buy are raw honey, agave, maple syrup and stevia. I also have some powdered sugar for comfort foods on special occasions. I can't wait to bake bread with you when you move up here. Which grain mill did you get?

Loving and missing you . . . .
Mrs. King