| Believe it or not, one’s choice of sweetener is often controversial. This puts me in an awkward position, in that I have opinions on sweeteners that offend some, just as much as others support me. Oh, conflict!|
As a blogger, it’s typically acceptable to just talk about natural things and act as if all-natural things are perfect for our bodies and that all the synthetic stuff is harmful garbage. As long as I stay true to nature, the blogosphere will stay kind to me. However, I don’t believe this "natural is always better than synthetic" ideology to be a universal truth. It's typically mostly true. Quantity has a lot to do with it, but it's not a consistent always. I personally believe that a cup of sugar (even an organic unrefined sugar) is going to do more harm on my body than 24 drops of liquid sucralose, especially over time. Certainly, the sugar industry would disagree with me, but it’s hard to deny all the growing weight issues, heart issues and blood sugar issues that exist in today’s day and age.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say... I occasionally use synthetic sweeteners. Actually, if I were to be completely unfiltered, hand on a Bible, I’d bet I use a synthetic sweetener at least once a day, through syrups for my coffee (or on my pancakes), some kind of fruit preserve, or the periodic use of reduced sugar ketchup. I’m sure there are others. Oh! My favorite BBQ sauce uses sucralose, too!
One way or another, synthetic sweeteners find their way into my mouth pretty regularly. My primary sweetener (Swerve) is natural, but these other things do exist and I do enjoy them. I’m also happier and healthier than I was when I ate sugar, untethered.
It’s hard to argue with a guy that is healthier and feels better than he did before he adopted a scant daily dose of synthetic sweeteners. I DO feel better! Unless I’m lying, it’s something that can’t be argued against. No one can tell me how I feel, but me!
So there. Take THAT, Capt. Crunch! I win!
All of this is a very long-winded way to say that I could definitely live my life without sugar. I could live my life without any kind of sweetener, at all. I could also live my life using only natural zero to low-glycemic sweeteners, but some of the time it’s simply more fun, more convenient, and more varied to dabble and tinker with the synthetic side of things.
If I wanted a Banana Jell-O, I have to figure out how to make it. Jell-O brand doesn’t make one!
I COULD make a pureed natural banana shmoo and mix it with a hot naturally sweetened gelatin, but this will be higher in carbohydrates and likely have a dull and unpleasant color to it. In order to match the image in my head, I’m essentially required to cross into a synthetic place. I COULD use a banana extract and a natural sweetener, but... see... this already crosses the line. I may not have full-fledged body flopped over it, but I have crossed it.
Why not just use something that gets me all of the way there? Pre-sweetened banana syrup. It’s bright yellow and tastes like the banana gumdrops from my childhood. Ohhh... A memory lane flavor. JOY!
I typically use DaVinci for my various sugar-free syrups, but Monin and Torani both have decent selections, as well. Between the three, there are around 60 to 70 different flavors. Each of those flavors can represent the base for a Jell-O treat, a coffee flavoring, an Italian Soda flavor, an Ice Cream flavor and more. Swap out the banana in the top portion of this recipe for strawberry and you'll get a bright red gelatin treat, mixing strawberry and banana! I’ll put a skosh of syrup in my chia pudding, or a toot in a protein shake. I’ve actually got a little wet bar full of these things and mix and match the flavors with other ingredients, resulting in a mammoth variety of sweet treats!
This is a two-toned gelatin treat made with a flavored syrup to help stretch the flavor of the actual banana I used in the banana bread croutons, added to give some taste and texture to this dessert.
I made it. I enjoyed it. I experienced zero guilt.
Note: You’re about to make a gelatin dessert. Make sure you have a gelatin mold or container that will hold at least 6 cups (1.44L) of liquid. This will make six roughly 7-oz (200g) servings.