Everybody asks me: “What’s in the chicory root sweetener?” Last week I paid a visit to the Just Like Sugar factory. I had already done an enormous amount of research comparing hundreds of sweeteners and compiled a chart: “300 Sweeteners, Which is Best?“. For two years I had developed dessert recipes with this unique natural chicory root sweetener that has no effect on blood sugar. I was impressed and wrote about the benefits of Just Like Sugar Table Top in my book. Now I wanted to know more. What’s the real scoop? What are the secret ingredients? How did they manage to make a healthy sweetener? Is it really possible?
Mike met me in the conference room and gave me a complete tour of their factory. It is very large, clean, and under construction. He introduced me to the staff and shared the history of his inventions. Then he showed me the ingredients, the entire product line, and invited me to taste his new creations. He described the projects they’re working on for the future. I was impressed with his health-oriented inventions using natural chicory root and orange peel. He has created a healthy sweetener with no carbs, calories, or blood sugar response, for use in the entire food industry in place of high-sugar products.
Mike explained there are 4 ingredients in Just Like Sugar Table Top Sweetener:
- Chicory root grown on his farms in Brazil is sent to Europe, ground into powdered fiber, and shipped to the USA.
- Organic Orange Peel grown on his farms in Brazil. The thin surface of the orange peel is removed and dissolved in water. It is then sprayed onto a sub-freezing surface to turn it into pure white crystals that are 600 times sweeter than sugar. Surprisingly, the sweetness in pure orange peel is so strong that the brain interprets it as bitter, not sweet.
- Calcium citrate
- Vitamin C
Chicory root is high in dietary fiber called inulin (IN-you-lin) not to be confused with insulin. The inulin molecule contains fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), a carbohydrate that does not metabolize in the human body. This means effectively that although it tastes sweet, it does not affect blood sugar levels and does not cause weight gain. Chicory root fiber is an indigestible cabohydrate, that is calculated as having zero “net carbs” in the body. It is often prescribed as a pre-biotic to promote healthy intestinal flora. And it does not promote tooth cavities because it does not ferment like table sugar. A great bonus!
I was blown away – really truly – by the many creative inventions I tasted. We started with “Fiber-up”, a healthy soft drink in natural fruit flavors. I sampled his hot chocolate made with no sugar. Delicious! He gave me a root beer made from real sasparilla root, and ginger ale from fresh ginger root. My taste buds tingled with the taste of real food. Mike described healthy chewing gum and chocolate chip cookies without sugar. I tried a jelly bean with actual fruit flavors! The lemon taste was palpable, made from real lemons. Everything I ate left my body feeling balanced and happy.
The factory Mike is putting together is most impressive. His products are analyzed backwards and forwards by a team of medical doctors, to be confident that they are excellent quality. Most of all I appreciated his orientation for the betterment of human health. The priority of health is sadly a rare quality in the food industry. I was pleased to see his intention to use all natural whole foods to retain the nutritional qualities and flavor, creating a product line to improve human health worldwide.
Let me say right now that I have no ties with the company Just Like Sugar. I’m looking for the healthiest natural sweetener that gives no rise in blood sugar or insulin response in the body. Just Like Sugar Table Top is used in my cookbook Paleo Desserts. It is the best sweetener I’ve found so far.
Just Like Sugar products are available world wide, especially in the USA, UK and Australia. They are currently in Whole Foods Markets in the USA and will be in the major grocery chains in 2013. If you don’t find them in stock at Whole Foods Markets, ask them to order the Just Like Sugar Table Top in the 1# green bag. This is the sweetener used in my Paleo Desserts cookbook. Buy it online from JustLikeSugarInc.com, Vitacost.com, Netrition.com, Amazon.com, etc. Make sure you ask for the Table Top version in the one-pound green bag for my recipes, not the Baking, because it is measured differently. I love Just Like Sugar and I think you will too.
Note: The sweeteners I recommend are suitable for the vast majority of people, including most people with gluten intolerance, celiac disease and diabetes. However every person’s digestion is unique, therefore they may not be suitable for everyone. A few people suffering from IBS may not tolerate inulin in chicory root fiber. Before starting any new diet, please check with your medical practitioner.