Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner and I am planning to make some sugar-free mooncakes with natural sweetener. Here is how I prepared my lotus seed paste with xylitol instead of cane sugar. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that looks and tastes like table sugar. Compared to sugar (sucrose) which has a glycemic index of roughly 65, xylitol has a very low glycemic index of 7 and contains 40% fewer calories than table sugar. Xylitol is not completely absorbed by the body so doesn’t cause a sudden raise in the blood sugar level. For more information on xylitol, please see the references listed at the end of this post.
The filling was made without any sugar. However, it doesn’t mean that it is free of carbohydrates. As mentioned before the carbohydrates in xylitol are only partially digested. Therefore not all carbohydrates in it are counted as “net carbohydrates”. Also, according to Self Nutrition Data (see link below), there are 64.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of dried lotus seeds. So before consuming any diabetic pastry made with this sugar-free lotus seed paste, make sure to include those in the carb counting.
雖說EC用了天然代糖製作蓮蓉餡料，但並不代表餡料一點糖份也沒有！上文已提及木糖醇中的碳水化合物不會完全被消化，因此在轉算糖份時不用把所有碳水化合物也計算在內。此外，根據Self Nutrition Data(連結在末段)，每一百克乾蓮子含碳水化合物64.5克，因此糖尿病人食用無糖蓮蓉餡做的糕點時仍需換算碳水化合物的份量。
Sugar-Free Lotus Seed Paste
Makes about 300 g of paste
100 g dried lotus seeds
60 g xylitol
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
Rinse the lotus seeds then soak for three to four hours until softened. Split each seed and discard the green stem if there is any. The lotus seeds I bought were stem-free but I still found lots of stems attached. So pay attention to every seed as the stems have a bitter taste.
Place rinsed lotus seeds in a pot. Fill pot with enough water to cover the lotus seeds. Bring water to a boil then simmer over medium-low heat until the lotus seeds are very tender, adding more water as needed (mine were cooked with a rice cooker). Drain while reserving the cooking liquid.
With an immersion blender, blender or food processor, pulse softened lotus seeds until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, adding a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid would help. Add liquid only as necessary since too much liquid will make the puree too thin which results in longer drying process.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat. Add in the lotus seed puree and stir with a spatula until combined. Add xylitol and cook with constant stirring until the paste gets thickened. Reduce to low heat and stir in the remaining oil a tablespoonful a time, adding more only after the oil gets absorbed.
Continue cooking and stirring until the paste clumps together and no longer sticks to the side of the wok and the spatula. Remove from heat. Cool completely before use. The paste can be stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for two to three weeks.
Seeds, lotus seeds, dried Nutrition Facts & Calories
What Is Xylitol
Xylitol: Everything You Need to Know (Literally)
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