I get asked all the time about what sweetener I use. My main preference is xylitol. I love it for baking. Check the bottom of the main blog page for the section marked Products I Love for a link to buy the xylitol I use (this is an affiliate link).

But to be transparent, I must explain the dangers of xylitol. First, it is DEADLY to pets. Even a tiny, tiny amount can cause serious complications. You only have a very small window to get your pet to vet care- roughly about 30 minutes (depending on the size of the pet and the amount ingested). 

So- if it is deadly to pets, why do I use it? Let me explain. Xylitol will drop the blood sugar levels super fast in animals. It does not do this in humans. Their metabolism is very different than ours. So, it is safe for human consumption. 

A secondary precaution: Some people are sensitive to xylitol (not everyone, so don't be scared of it). It can cause tummy distress from gas to bloating to diarrhea. Usually this happens to folks who use a whole lot at once, or have never used it. I always suggest to start out with a little but and add a little more each day to build up a tolerance. Like anything new you eat, you do not want to shock your system. Lots of veggies that you are not used to eating can cause the same tummy issues. 
I have found that if I cook it- baked goods, sauces, etc, I am fine. If I put it in raw (smoothies and such), I can sometimes experience a bit of gas and bloating. Every body is different, so go slow if you are new to it.  

Now- the good things. In addition to being compliant to FMD, it does not cause tooth decay. 

It does not spike blood sugar like cane sugar or corn syrup can. 

It measures just like sugar, so transforming recipes to FMD or other healthy recipes is easy on this part. 

It is sweet like sugar. 

How to use:
Xylitol usually comes in a bag, as large granules. When I use it in a recipe, I like to try to dissolve it in the liquid in the recipe first. Or I will whiz it up in a blender to make a fine powder. This will help it dissolve easily. I have found that if you are baking something that isn't in the oven long (like cookies) you want to make sure it is dissolved first, or it won't have enough time to melt during cooking. 

It does dissolve like sugar, but you do not want to heat it too long (depending on the recipe) as it will crystallize. It is tricky to use for hard tack candy and such but for normal baking of cookies, quick breads, muffins, pancakes it works and tastes great.

For FMD, make sure you choose a xylitol made from hardwood or birch. You do not want it made from corn since corn is not part of that plan. If the bag doesn't specify that it is made from hardwood, it is from corn, so look for another brand.

Check the bottom of the blog page for the section marked Products I Love for a link to buy the xylitol I use (this is an affiliate link).

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