Last week one of my tips for Sugar Free September was to Clear Out Your Pantry so in the spirit of practicing what I preach last night I cleared out my own pantry and fridge. Some of the items I wasn’t surprised at the sugar content but there were other items that I was either shocked to see them in my pantry to begin with and others I was surprised to see that the sugar content was over 5%. Below are some of my findings
In the pantry
White sugar used to make kombucha and if visitors want it with tea or coffee
Raw Honey from the local farmers market
A jar of Rice Malt Syrup bought after reading Sarah Wilson’s book I Quit Sugar
A bag of Glucose Powder (aka Dextrose Monohydrate) bought after reading David Gillespie’s book Sweet Poison. I used it to make pancakes once and didn’t like it hence why it’s nearly full. This is a common ingredient in many body builder / sports supplements because its 99% carbohydrates, however it’s still 49% sugar.
Homemade Cinnamon Granola: because I added molasses sugar to this batch. The overall sugar content may be under 5% but I didn’t bother checking because by the time I uploaded this post I had already polished the remaining granola off for breakfast with strawberries, coconut milk and cacao nibs (yum). We don’t buy breakfast cereals however if you do make sure you check the ingredient list because most cereals contain quite a bit of sugar.
Liquid stevia bought and left by friends when house sitting
Dried fruit: dates, sultanas and prunes
Green and Black’s organic and Lindt dark chocolate: the 90% cocoa block contained a modest 6.7% sugar however the passion fruit one contained a whopping 46.7% sugar (yikes) and the Easter bunny (yep left from Easter 2014) contained 35%.
Freedom Foods Smudge Cocoa Spread which is chocca block full of vegetable oil, sugar and preservatives. I’m a bit ashamed to have this in my pantry; it was bought in a moment of weakness when shopping late at night and I may have (ok ok I did) eaten this straight from the jar with a punnet of strawberries.
Canned beetroot: I seriously can’t recall the last time I bought canned beetroot so this must have been sitting in my pantry for ages. This contains over 10% sugar.
Condensed milk which is 56% sugar and not surprisingly a couple of months out of date
Edit 1/9/14: Since I posted Pantry Confessions, I have since realised that my organic Worcestershire sauce contains apple juice concentrate and molasses and that the balsamic vinegar is 15% sugar (from grapes). So they too have been put out of site.
And in the fridge and freezer
Sugar free BBQ and Tomato sauce: technically these are probably ok because they are only 5.1% and 4.3% sugar and are sweetened with tomato paste, carrot juice concentrate (5-6%) and stevia (0.1%). If you really want a convenient sauce during September that you don’t have to make yourself then these would be a good alternative. Did you know that most brands of BBQ sauce typically contain more sugar then chocolate topping?
Carob syrup: this is 100% organic carob and water and doesn’t contain any added sugar however carob is very sweet (the nutritional panel indicated 52% sugar) so this is also going to the back of the fridge for the month of September.
Into the bin went the Fat free French salad dressing with over 16% sugar. I make my own salad dressings so this has been hiding in my fridge for quite some time (expiry date March 2013 – yuck). Be careful about fat free products as food manufacturers often increase the sugar content to replace the flavour lost from cutting out fat.
Black bean stir fry sauce (13.5% sugar) and Sambel Oeleck chilli paste (16% sugar). Another reminder to triple check the ingredient list and nutritional labels of marinades, sauce and curry pastes.
Homemade chocolate caramel slice made with a gluten free base and some of the above pantry finds (tut tut). I will freeze this so that if hubby is desperate for a sickly sweet snack then he can raid the freezer instead of bringing home another block of chocolate.
And luckily our freezer (well both freezers) are too fully stocked with meat, frozen berries, vegetables and containers of homemade stock and soup that there isn’t much room for anything with sugar.
I hope that I have inspired you to clear out your pantry, fridge and freezer. Imagine how much extra room you’ll have for real food.