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Splenda: Truly splendid!

Splenda is the brand name for sucralose -- the newest non-nutritive sweetener to hit the market. Claiming it's the only sugar substitute "made from sugar," that "tastes like sugar," can Splenda help you satisfy those sweet cravings and help you maintain your low-carb lifestyle?
Sugar -- but not sugar
Sucralose is indeed made from sugar. Sugar is converted to sucralose through a multistep manufacturing process that selectively changes three of the hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule. The result is a substance that still tastes like sugar (only much sweeter) that the body does not recognize. Since it can't be metabolized, it does not raise insulin levels -- that's sweet news for those watching their carbs.

One cup of Splenda contains just 96 calories and 24g carbohydrates. A big difference from the 770 calories and 192g carbohydrates in one cup of sugar.

Each 1 teaspoon serving, or one packet, of Splenda contains .9g carbohydrates and 4 calories. US labeling laws allow any products under 5 calories per serving to be labled "zero" or "no calorie."

Splenda in foods
Manufacturers love Splenda's true sugar taste, stability and great safety record. Since approval by the FDA for use in 1998, the use of sucralose has exploded. It can now be found in hundreds of products.

Splenda in recipes
Best of all, you too can use Splenda to create fantastic sweet foods and delicious desserts low in sugar. Splenda can be purchased in either packets (each has the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar) or in the granular form that measures cup for cup of sugar (which is best for baking). Here are three terrific recipes that will show you just how tasty and healthful low-carb cooking with Splenda can be. Enjoy!

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon each lime (or lemon) juice and water
1 tablespoon Splenda Granular (or 1 1/2 packets)
Fresh pepper to taste

Directions:
Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Adjust pepper. Makes five servings.

Variation: Try this fresh and flavorful dressing over mixed greens topped with grilled chicken and toasted pecans.

Per serving (2 tablespoons): 2g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 0g protein; 6g fat; 60 calories

-- Recipe appears in Fantastic Food with Splenda: 160 Great Recipes for Meals Low in Sugar, Carbohydrates, Fat and Calories.

Tips for cooking and baking

Splenda is great at sweetening. However, it does not brown or caramelize -- a touch of brown sugar, molasses or cinnamon can help.

Since it does not thicken -- use a bit of cornstarch or Thicken/Thin no-carb thickener for syrups and sauces.

As sugar helps cakes and muffins rise, a slight increase in leavening will give your recipes the added boost they need. Check baked goods a bit sooner than normal -- from two minutes sooner for cookies to 10 minutes sooner for cakes.

More tips at www.splenda.com.

"Marvel-ous" Lemon Mousse
A delicious marvel of good nutrition.

Ingredients:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup splenda granular
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
8 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
1 egg white, pasteurized
3/4 cup light whipped topping* (like Cool Whip)

Directions:
Place the gelatin in a small saucepan. Add 1/3 cup of the lemon juice and let stand for three minutes. Place on low heat and add remaining 1/3 cup of lemon juice, Splenda, zest and food coloring if desired. Heat for three to four minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Stir occasionally so mixture does not gel.

Puree cottage cheese and yogurt until completely smooth (like sour cream). Whisk puree into the lemon-gelatin mixture. Place mixture in the refrigerator to cool, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps.

Beat the egg white to stiff peaks. Fold into the cooled lemon mixture. Fold in light whipped topping. Refrigerate. Makes six servings.

* Light whipped topping adds 2g carbohydrates but eliminates 4g of fat and helps to smooth the flavor. To further cut carbs, replace it with 3/4 cup whipped heavy cream sweetened with 1 tablespoon Splenda.

Per serving: 11g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 9g protein; 1.5g fat; 90 calories

-- Recipe adapted from Unbelievable Desserts with Splenda: Sweet Treats Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories.

Simple Southwest Salmon
Ingredients:
4 5-ounce salmon filets
2 tablespoons unsweetened pineapple juice
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
3 tablespoons Splenda Granular
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Place salmon in shallow dish. Pour pineapple and lemon juice over salmon, cover, and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Remove salmon from marinade. Pat spice mixture onto filets. Place filets on baking pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Delicious both hot and at room temperature. Serves four.

Variation: Heat up the barbecue and grill the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes per side until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Per serving: 2g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 28g protein; 12g fat; 225 calories

-- Recipe appears in Fantastic Food with Splenda: 160 Great Recipes for Meals Low in Sugar, Carbohydrates, Fat and Calories.

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