Healthful Yummy Holiday Baking: Discovering a New-to-Me Alternative to Table Sugar

Recently I had the privilege of attending a holiday baking class called “Making the Swap” with Angie Law of Angie’s Option GRM. Angie is a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother. She loves to share tasty food with her family without people getting sick afterwards from harmful ingredients. She has an incredible healing story. Her healing led her to study nutrition and seek out healthful foods. So this class is one of the fruits of her healing journey as she teaches about nutrition. She made these yummy treats I’m showing here without any white sugar or white flour. Can you believe it? They look too pretty to be made without those common white ingredients, don’t they?

The top photo shows her sugar cookies before baking. This photo below features her apple pie recipe.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Great pie-making skills Angie!

This is her scrumptious caramel corn.

These are her meringue cookies. She had some lemon custard to dip these cookies in and then they tasted like lemon meringue pie!

We had a few savory goodies too. Above is Angie’s pepper jelly. It was spicy and good! The white base is a cream cheese to counteract the spice. These crackers below are to pair up with the pepper jelly. So delicious! Again, no white flour is used! We also enjoyed biscuits and gravy. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of those. They were super yum as well.

The buttercream frosting above goes on the sugar cookies below. Yum, yum, yum! If you want to color the frosting, I suggest these natural food dyes here, made from colors found in natural substances.

I saved the best for last…the grand finale! Of course, it has to involve chocolate! These chocolate cookies were so a-MAZ-ing! My favorite treat of the night!

I loved it all, but I was disappointed Angie didn’t have any pumpkin treats. How can you have a holiday baking class without pumpkin pie? I asked about that. Angie somewhat dolefully confessed that she doesn’t like pumpkin pie. Her lovely assistant, Angelica, however, said she has a good recipe for it. Yay! It’s included in the cookbook that Angie and Angelica collaborated on. I have a link for it at the bottom of this post.

So how does Angie make all these beautiful and yummy treats? She swaps out healthful ingredients for the not-so-healthful ones. She uses khorason flour (aka kamut flour) for the white flour, which is heirloom wheat flour. Go here to learn more. For the sweetener, her “secret weapon” is trehalose.

What is trehalose?

Is this some fake sugar like sucralose, aspartame, or saccharine? No! This comes from natural substances such as, and this sounds a little bit gross, so hang in there with me, mushrooms, as well as other edible fungi, lobsters, shrimp, prawn, bread, brewer’s yeast, and insects. At first blush hearing this, I am tempted to say, eww! But I have learned to say, “Interesting! Tell me more!” when I am shocked or disgusted by something people I trust say something.

OK, so here’s the answer to “Tell me more about trehalose.”

It was first isolated from the ergot of rye grain, in 1832. Now, that sounds gross too! Ergot is a fungus, just like mushrooms. At that time it was given the name “a-D-glucopyranosyl a-D-glucopyranoside” according to organic chemistry nomenclature. The common name “trehalose” comes from when it was later isolated from a beetle from the Iraqi desert! Oh my! According to the Weston A. Price foundation:

“The term ‘trehalose’ was coined in later years when the same substance [a-D-glucopyranosyl a-D-glucopyranoside] was identified as a component of the secretions of a beetle in the Iraqi desert. These secretions, known by native peoples to be edible and sweet, were called the ‘trehala manna.’ Some people believe that this is a similar substance to the manna that was gathered and eaten by the Israelites of the Old Testament.” (source: WAPF website)

OK, it still sounds a little gross, but when you think about, honey comes from an insect, and I’m fine with eating that. I guess I’m ok with eating trehalose.

So hey, if you have to or choose to avoid regular white sugar then this healthful sweetener really is like manna from heaven! For decades my dear mother has avoided white sugar because it literally makes her sick. She attended the class with me and enjoyed the samples right along with me with no reactions. So trehalose is manna for her.

The WAPF basically says it’s OK to consume it as long as you don’t lack the enzyme to digest it, trehalase, which is the case for some people. Angie said the sweetener is half as sweet as regular white sugar. She doesn’t have a super sweet tooth (like I do) so she is fine with that. If you want things sweeter she says to supplement with this sweetener, Sweetandhealthyx5, which is trehalose mixed with organic stevia leaf exract and xylitol. I’m not that thrilled about xylitol as last time I consumed it I got sick so I’ll forego it.

Where can you get Angie’s recipes? I’m so glad you asked! Go to Angie’s website here to order her Make the Swap Cookbook! It’s a digital download for $9.97 so you can get it right away! Happy holiday baking! If you make anything from it I’d love to hear what you made in the comments below. I’d love to see photos too!

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