~ Virus? Nope, Sweetener. ~

There are a ton of sugar substitutes on the market these days: Splenda, Stevia, Saccharin, Equal, etc.  Some are more natural than others.  Some have stronger aftertastes than others.  But one thing they all have in common is that…

They all taste like crap.

You could argue that some taste worse than others, but, honestly, they all taste like crap.

Despair not friends! For I have found a sugar substitute that is:

1)      All Natural

2)      Has no aftertaste

3)      Is useable in a 1:1 ratio with sugar, and has the exact same consistency

4)      Is digested in the lower intestine, giving it a good glycemic index rating, which therefore makes it an excellent choice for diabetics

5)      Is actually recommended by dentists as HELPING fight tooth decay!

It’s called Xylitol, and it’s a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in things from Birch Tree Bark to Corn.

You can use it interchangeably with sugar in all but one way:  You cannot bake yeast breads with it…the alcohol aspect of the sugar alcohol kills the yeast….just like it kills the bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay.  So you can’t use it for bread, but you can in darn near everything else.

So I do.

I put it in my iced coffee. I put it on my cinnamon toast.  I put it in my cookies.  I make lemonade with it.  I’ve sweetened spaghetti sauce with it.  I put it on my oatmeal (’cause, really, who wants oatmeal that tastes like oatmeal? No one, that’s who).  I use it liberally, man.

Like, a lot.

In the interests of full disclosure, there is one little detail I ought to mention that might, if one were a pessimist, be taken as a small insignificant drawback.

If the consumer is not accustomed to eating sugar alcohols, it causes, um, shall we say…

intestinal distress.

Of many a variety.

Oh, don’t worry, it doesn’t last forever, and your intestines DO eventually get used to it.  But in the beginning at least, it’s best not to gamble if you feel a little fart coming on.  Run, do not walk, to the nearest bathroom.

Oh STOP!  It’s not gross, it’s just natural, man!

And if you are creative (read: devious), and you want to play a prank on say, an unsuspecting firehouse shift, you could use Xylitol in a batch of cookies you sent in with Your Captain.  Nothing is funnier than a man fighting a fire who suddenly has to GO!

I’m not allowed to do that prank….

…anymore.

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