Cutting the calories? Charlotte Pearson talks to one company which shows why you don’t have to sacrifice the sweets.
January resolutions mean a lot of people are likely to start a diet.
Yet, just because you are counting the calories it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sugar or chocolate.
Sweet Freedom offers those with a sweet tooth a natural alternative and has recently launched Choc Shot – its first liquid chocolate which has only 14 calories per teaspoon.
Ashington businesswoman Deborah Pyner and business partner Tina Michelucci joined forces ten years ago over a shared passion for creating all natural, healthy recipes, following successful careers in restaurants, leisure and food.
The inspiration behind making a natural sweetener came from when they had issues while writing a range of books on the GL (Glycaemic Load) of foods, a more accurate advancement from the GI (Glycemic Index), influenced by the work of Professor Walter Willet, head of nutrition at Harvard University.
“We hit a stumbling block when it came to creating sweet low-GL recipes using only natural and healthy ingredients and so we set out on what was to become a three-year journey to make the world’s first natural sweetener made 100 per cent from fruit – apples, grapes and carob,” Tina explains.
“Finding the perfect balance of taste, sweetness and colour was a long and arduous task, but we finally launched our Sweet Freedom syrups on to the sugar shelves of supermarkets in January 2012.”
Sweet Freedom, which comes in original and dark, is gluten free and, with fewer calories than sugar, it is suitable for dieters, diabetics, and vegans.
“You can use it to sweeten tea, coffee, milkshakes, smoothies, drizzle over porridge, yoghurt, pancakes, spread on toast and replace all sugar in recipes,” Tina smiles.
So what inspired the launch of Choc Shot in September of last year?
“I have always been a chocoholic,” Tina admits, “and had been making a basic hot chocolate sauce by blending Sweet Freedom with cocoa.
“Deborah loves hot chocolate, so we decided to develop the first liquid chocolate aimed at the hot chocolate shelf in supermarkets,” she reveals.
“As well as adding to hot milk to make a silky smooth hot chocolate with no powdery lumps, we were amazed how versatile it was and so started having endless chocolatey ideas.
“All our friends and relatives loved it and we soon thought ‘this is so good everyone will want it in their kitchen at home’.”
It seems they were right as the product has already received rave reviews.
“The response has been amazing so far from both customers and celebrity chefs,” Deborah smiles.
“This month TV Masterchef’s John Torode and Gregg Wallace recommended Choc Shot in their Daily Mail column describing it as ‘brilliant for making drinks or adding to sauces and puddings’ and other fans include Frances Quinn winner of this year’s Great British Bake Off.”
“The best bit is getting so many emails from people saying thank you so much for creating it, how much they love it and what they are using it for,” adds Tina. “Which is actually the most satisfying thing ever and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“Deborah and I are also best friends, get on brilliantly and so working together is more like fun than a job – and we laugh all the time.”
Choc Shot has half the calories and 86 per cent less fat than leading solid chocolate brands without compromising on taste.
“It puts an end to powdery lumps in hot chocolate, and is a delicious, healthy liquid chocolate,” Tina explains.
“Not only does it create a silky-smooth hot chocolate when stirred into hot milk but it’s also incredibly versatile. Our motto is ‘if you love chocolate you’ll know what to do!’”
It just goes to show you, a diet doesn’t have to put an end to enjoying the sweeter things in life.
For more information visit www.sweetfreedom.co.uk
January 8, 2014 Food and Drink