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Essential Ingredient: Sugar

Essential Ingredient: Sugar

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Learn how different sugars enhance desserts, entrées, breads, and accompaniments.

Sugar is indispensable to cooking. It often performs more than one role in a given recipe. Consider the function of sugar in a meringue cookie: It stabilizes beaten egg whites so they maintain their volume during baking, creates the cookie's characteristic crunch, and then causes the cookie to dissolve deliciously on the tongue.

Sugar plays multiple roles in baking. At the simplest level, it imparts sweetness. Beyond that, it helps create a light, tender crumb: When creamed with butter for a cake batter, sugar's hard crystal surfaces create pockets that trap air and expand during cooking, yielding a fluffy, tender final product.

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It also attracts and holds moisture, so cakes, cookies, and quick breads stay fresher longer. Sugar inhibits the development of gluten (tough, elastic proteins) to keep cakes and quick breads tender, as opposed to chewier biscuits or yeast breads that typically don't include much (if any) sugar. It helps with browning, creating golden crusts on coffeecakes and cookies, and crystallizing on brownies, pound cakes, and cookies to form crunchy, crackled tops.

Sugar can be heated to go through a series of chemical reactions in a process called caramelization, and what starts as one-note sweet, white granulated sugar becomes nutty, amber-hued caramel-the basis of many dessert sauces or the syrupy topping for flan or créme caramel. When combined with liquid ingredients, sugar lowers the freezing point-so ice cream and sorbet stay velvety smooth and creamy and don't form solid ice.

Sugar can also be key in dishes other than desserts because it balances bitter and sour tastes. For example, coffee is too bitter sans sugar for many people. Because of its balancing effects, sugar is often added to tart salad dressings and tomato-based sauces (such as barbecue sauce) to soften the acidity. It's sprinkled over vegetables as they sauté, or meat as it's browned, to add rich color and deepen the flavor.

Sugar not only enhances but also plays a critical role in many of our tastiest, most successful recipes.

Quick Tip: Measuring Sugar

• For the greatest accuracy when measuring granulated, superfine, powdered, or turbinado sugar, we recommend treating it as you do flour: Lightly spoon the sugar into a dry measuring cup, and level off the excess with the flat side of a knife.

• Brown sugar's moist texture requires that it be measured differently from other sugars. Because it can trap air, you need to firmly pack it into measuring cups or spoons when doling it out; the sugar should hold the shape of the cup or spoon when it's turned out.

Make Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar Replacement With Two Ingredients

If you're on a sugar-free or reduced sugar diet, you know how difficult it can be to find the right sugar substitute for each recipe. Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner's sugar, is among the most challenging ingredients to replace because the sugar-free options are either granulated or brown sugar. That's why you'll have to get crafty in the kitchen and make your own replacement.

Fortunately, it’s easy, fast, and cheap to create your own sugar-free powdered sugar at home. It takes just a few minutes. You'll need just two ingredients and a mixer or food processor.

1 How to Make Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

Not only does air-frying this Italian classic save on time, but it also cuts down on dishes! Just bread the eggplant and let the air fryer do the work.

2 How to Make Air Fryer Pizza Dogs

These next-level hot dogs garnished with classic pizza toppings are made in the air fryer from start to finish — the perfect kid-friendly meal! You can easily customize the toppings to suit your eaters.

3 How to Make Air Fryer Cannoli

The air fryer provides a perfect shortcut to homemade cannoli. In this impressive MyRecipes air-fryer dessert, prepared pie dough is used to create the crunchy, buttery richness you’d expect from a deep-fried cannoli shell.

4 How to Make Air-Fried Jalapeño Poppers

With MyRecipes air-fryer jalapeño poppers, you can enjoy everything you love about crispy pepper poppers without all of the not-so-lovable mess that comes with deep-frying.

5 How to Make Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

MyRecipes brings the flavor with these guilt-free air-fried jumbo shrimp. Coconut and panko team up to create an amazingly crispy coating. Tip: Use finely shredded coconut to guarantee better crust adhesion.

6 How to Make Air-Fried Pies

These air-fried mini apple pies from MyRecipes are warm, sweet, and comforting. The crust is flaky and savory, while the inside is sweet, juicy, and packed with fruity goodness.

7 How to Make Air Fried Churros

Crispy, light, and sweet, these MyRecipes air-fried churros are just as tasty as the deep-fried version. The dough is perfectly tender and tastes like a lightly sweetened breadstick, while the cinnamon sugar adds the perfect crunchy texture and sweetness.

8 How to Make Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Homemade mozzarella sticks from My Recipes offer all of the crispy-coated, cheesy goodness you want without the deep-fried mess on your stovetop. We like to call that a "win-win."

9 Essential Ingredients Every Baker Needs

Build your baking pantry with the nine essential ingredients you'll use for everyday baking recipes. Get ideas for adding next-level baking ingredients, too.

Truth: The vast list ofꂺking ingredients you can keep in your cupboard, fridge, and freezer is limited only by the space available. But if you&aposre new to baking or you&aposre setting up your first kitchen, you&aposll be glad to know you can narrow the list to just nine essentials you need to keep on hand for everyday baking such as cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, and pancakes. Everything after that is icing on the cake, so to speak.

You&aposll see that the following list is broken out by category, such as flour, leavening, sugar, salt, etc. These are the essential building blocks of your baking pantry. Each category is then divided into basic needs and next-level ingredients. Of course, one baker&aposs next-level ingredient could be another&aposs basic need. As you gain more baking experience, you&aposll start to refine what&aposs essential for you.

1. Flour

Basic flour

All-purpose flour is aptly named because it&aposs your baking jack-of-all-trades that can turn out everything from cookies to pancakes to muffins. Made from a blend of hi-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat, its light and fluffy texture comes from being milled to remove all of the wheat germ and bran.

All-purpose flour is also available gluten-free from sources like Bob&aposs Red Mill and King Arthur Flour.

Next-level flours

Add specialty flours to your basic pantry depending on what kind of baking you like to do. It&aposs often smarter to buy small quantities from bulk bins to avoid having to store unused products that can spoil.ਏor best results, use the kind of flour specified in your recipe until you get a feel for how it behaves.

  • Whole wheat flour retains the wheat germ, and is often used to replace a portion of all-purpose flour in a recipe to boost the nutritional profile.
  • Whole grain flour also retains the entire kernel of grains such as wheat, oats, rye, millet, quinoa, barley, or a combination of grains.
  • Bread flour contains more protein, and therefore more gluten, and is ideal for baking chewy yeast breads.
  • Cake flour is lower in protein and gluten than all-purpose flour, and is chemically treated and finely ground to produce cakes with a lighter texture.
  • Pastry flour is a medium-protein flour that&aposs ideal for tender pie crusts.
  • Self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already mixed in. Here&aposs how to make your own self-rising flour.
  • Alternative non-wheat flours are milled from other grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Cornmeal is for cornbread, crunchy waffles, pancakes, etc.
  • Cornstarch is finely ground corn flour used for thickening sauces and pie fillings.

How to Store Flours

Store flour in airtight, moisture-proof containers on a cool, dark shelf or in the fridge. Whole wheat flour and whole grain flours spoilꃺster than all-purpose flour because they contain more of the wheat grain components. Store these flours in the fridge or freezer to extend shelf life. Alternative flours often contain more plant oils as well, so they should be stored in the fridge or freezer after opening, or follow manufacturers&apos recommendations for safe storage.

How to make a Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe

Let's chat all things sugar scrubs, shall we? I love them. They make my skin feel soooooo fabulously soft and smooth. But because I often have skin sensitivities to store-bought products, I find it easier, cheaper, and safer to make my own.

But before we go on. I have super exciting news! I have a brand new digital book sharing 20 amazing scrub recipes with you! I am also doing a really deep dive into ingredients, substitutions, and frequently asked questions so you will be armed with all the information you need to create scrubs on your own! Go HERE to purchase.

Sugar Scrub Recipe Ingredients | Why it is important to know what's in your scrub

The wonderful thing about homemade sugar scrubs is that you have the ability to control your own ingredients. Unfortunately, many companies, even companies who claim that their products are natural, clean, or organic, often don't fully disclose everything in their products.

For example, if you ever see the word "parfum" or "fragrance" on an ingredient list, that can represent any number of ingredients that may or may not be good for your body. Most companies who use good things to scent their products disclose it, like essential oils. But most companies can use this label as a way to put whatever ingredients they want into their products without disclosing it. Because it is labeled as a fragrance, it is considered proprietary information and the FDA does not require disclosure.

Now I understand the need for companies to be able to keep their recipe a bit "top secret" but I personally feel that it can also be used as a loophole to put whatever ingredients they want into the product without having to fully disclose it.

What this means is, you never ever fully know what you are putting on your body when you buy sugar scrubs from most stores.

Since the skin is the largest organ of your body, it is important to take good care of it and know what you are putting in and on your body.

Also, parfumes and fragrances almost always give me a headache. They are also responsible for a lot of bad skin reactions that you may have from products.

THIS is why I make my own sugar scrubs! Because I want to control my ingredients to prevent bad reactions.

Save Money with a Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipe

Yup. This is another reason I make my own sugar scrubs. It saves me SO MUCH MONEY! At any store, I would easily pay $10 or more for a sugar scrub, but I can make it at home for pennies with ingredients I already have at home. I love saving money in any way I can but I never like to do it at the expense of my time. Fortunately, make your own sugar scrub only takes about 5 minutes, and since I always have the ingredients on hand to make this, I never ever have to leave my home! This saves me time, and money, and I am a HUGE fan of saving both of those things.

What is a Sugar Scrub for?

Sugar scrubs are perfect for exfoliating dead skin off of your body. Sugar scrubs are my BFF for my knees, elbows, and feet. I also love to use them on my tummy, back, arms, legs, and lips. And when you make your own sugar scrub, you can customize your ingredients so that you are able to exfoliate and moisturize in one step! Woot woot!

Sugar Scrub Recipe with Essential Oils

As I mentioned above, "parfum" and "fragrances" are often unknown ingredients, and a huge benefit of making your own sugar scrub is knowing exactly what goes into it! That is why I always use Young Living Essential Oils for my Sugar Scrub Recipes. I didn't always use them, because I didn't always know better. But now I make no other choice except YL essential oils. They are the only company that I trust for their oil purity and I know that I will get quality oil every single time. Plus with no hidden ingredients, I know exactly what is going into my DIY recipes.

You can learn more about Essential Oils or how to buy essential oils HERE.

DIY Sugar Scrub with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is my go-to base for all of my sugar scrub recipes. I love it because it is thick and creamy which works well for a sugar scrub. But before I go any further, you need to understand that there are two types of coconut oil.

Regular coconut oil is thick and reminds me of the consistency of shortening, but it also melts easily in your warm hands so the consistency isn't hard or rough at all. The downside of using regular coconut oil is that your scrub if left in a cool place, can get very hard. Moving it to a warm location or simply holding it in your hands for a few seconds should warm it up enough to use for your scrub.

Fractionated coconut oil comes in liquid form. While I used to prefer making scrubs with regular fractionated coconut oil, I now prefer using fractionated coconut oil. I find it easier to use, and my scrub stays softer. You can easily exchange regular coconut oil for fractionated coconut oil in this recipe below and still get wonderful results. I typically use about 25%-50% the amount of fractionated coconut oil as I would regular coconut oil for the best consistency.

No matter which one you choose, coconut oil is easily accessible, inexpensive, smells great, and moisturizes your skin too! When you use coconut oil in your sugar scrub, your skin will be exfoliated and moisturized at the same time.

DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe Tips and Tricks

Today I am going to share a basic DIY Sugar Scrub recipe with you. This recipe is one of my favorites, but it is also super customizable too! A few things to note:

  • Coconut Oil will get hard in cooler temps and liquid in warm temps. If you keep this in a cool place, don't worry, scoop a little bit out of your jar with a spoon, and just by holding it in your hands for a few seconds it will warm right up and be easy to use.
  • Melting the coconut oil prior to mixing it with sugar will make this recipe come together really easily but is not required. If you melt your oil, you can use a spoon to mix everything together. If you do not melt it, grab your electric hand mixer and let it mix everything together for you.
  • You can easily exchange regular coconut oil for fractionated coconut oil in this recipe below and still get wonderful results. I typically use about 25%-50% the amount of fractionated coconut oil as I would regular coconut oil for the best consistency.
  • This basic sugar scrub recipe calls for equal portions of coconut oil and sugar, but you can adjust this as desired. Use less coconut oil for a drier scrub, and more coconut oil for a thicker, more moisturizing scrub.
  • Granulated Sugar is perfect to use for a DIY Body Scrub. This also works well for your lips. But if you are looking for a sugar scrub for your face, you will need to use a finer sugar than this, like superfine sugar or brown sugar. Granulated sugar is too rough for your face.
  • Brown sugar is a great alternative to granulated sugar and in fact, I will share a Brown Sugar Scrub Recipe with you down below too.
  • Food coloring is ALWAYS optional. You do not need food coloring in a sugar scrub to make it work. Some people love how it looks, but quite a few people do have reactions to food coloring. If you want to add color to your scrub, I recommend using a Natural Food Dye like this one HERE. However, you can also use liquid food coloring as well.
  • Please oh please oh please. Use high-quality essential oils. Most essential oils you buy in the store say flammable and not for topical use. These essential oils are not pure and they are truly not meant for your skin. I only trust Young Living Essential Oils and you can read all about why and learn how to get your hands on them HERE.
  • You will want a container to put your sugar scrub in that seals. I will link to some jars with lids below, but I also love using 4oz mason jelly jars! You can use what you have on hand, or buy something extra special if you prefer. The options with containers for scrubs are truly endless.
  • Share the love! I love making sugar scrubs for myself, but I also find so much joy in giving these away! Add a ribbon or a bow and sugar scrubs make the perfect gift for your best friend, your mom, your daughter, your niece, your neighbor or your kids' teachers. Seriously, spread this love around my friends!

Raspberry Jam Buns With Crème Fraîche Frosting

You have probably seen this dish before it’s been shared and pinned and posted to death because it’s both (a) the cover girl for the cookbook, and (b) just so dang attractive. I make it at least once every summer when the eggplants at the farmers market are too perfect to ignore, and it works just as well with larger globe eggplants as tiny fairy tales and skinny Japanese eggplants. You can do this in the oven or on a smaller sheet pan on the grill, and it nails the hot/cold and creamy/fresh combination. —Kendra Vaculin, staff writer

8 Sugar Scrub Recipe Variations

While this Lemon Sugar Scrub is fantastically uplifting and refreshing, you may like to change up your recipe to suit your mood or the different seasons. Mix it up with the following recipe variations that still use simple pantry ingredients. These beauty DIY essential oils recipe are all-time favorites!

  • Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub: 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup jojoba oil, 10 drops vitamin E oil and 7-8 drops of vanilla essential oil.
  • Gentle Oatmeal Facial Scrub: 1/2 cup rolled oats (ground up in coffee grinder or blender), 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 7-10 drops lavender, chamomile or helichrysum essential oil.
  • Himalayan Salt Scrub: (Only use if you don&rsquot have sensitive skin!) 1 cup Himalayan Salt finely ground, 1 /2 cup sweet almond oil, 10-15 drops grapefruit essential oil.
  • Lemon Honey Sugar Scrub: Same recipe as the main recipe above but only use 1/4 cup Jojoba oil and add in 1/4 cup organic honey.
  • Sleep Tight Lavender Sugar Scrub: If you like to shower at night, make a relaxing and calming Lavender scrub. Same ingredients as in the main recipe, but substitute Lavender essential oil instead of Lemon.
  • Coffee Body Scrub: Great for toning your body and tightening skin all over, especially legs, thighs and torso. Combine 1/2 cup finely ground coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup Jojoba oil and 7-8 drops of coffee essential oil for that extra punch.
  • Green Tea Sugar Scrub: Add extra antioxidants to your skin care body scrub and make it a green tea scrub! Recipe here from Living Chic on the Cheap.

An Easy Sugar Scrub

Maintaining healthy skin can be as simple or as laborious as you make it. The most important thing to remember is to treat your skin with kindness. Only use simple ingredients.

This sugar scrub is one of the easiest beauty recipes I’ve ever made. It only has 3 ingredients. But every single ingredient has a specific task.

The best thing about this sugar scrub is how your skin will feel afterwards! It is so gentle on sensitive skin. It removes the dead skin while also calming it and nourishing it at the same time.

The entire recipe is at the bottom of the post. You can scroll down to check it out. But first I’m going to answer some common questions about sugar scrubs and lavender.

Where to Source Your Ingredients for your Homemade Facial Scrub Recipes

Many of the ingredients included in the following recipes are found right in your kitchen, some of them however, may be ones you will need to purchase.

I want to be sure you are getting top quality ingredients for your skin care, and I get asked all the time, so I thought I would take a moment to tell you about some of the ingredients I use.

Essential Oils – for the best essential oils, I shop at Rocky Mountain Oils. You can read why I choose them here.

Carrier Oils – I recommend buying organic (if available), cold-pressed, and unrefined oils for skincare recipes. Look for oils in dark glass packaging with pump or dropper dispensers. If you want to shop on Amazon, I like the brand Leven Rose.

Sugar – I try to avoid white sugar, as it is bleached and most often made from GMO sugar beets, so instead I opt for raw cane sugar.

You can’t always find raw cane sugar in a fine enough consistency, so I usually grind mine in a coffee grinder.

Clay – Look for high quality cosmetic clays. I have an article all about cosmetic clays with product recommendations, you can see here.

Aloe Vera Gel – I like this one from Amara Beauty on Amazon.

Honey – Manuka honey is the best honey for a facial scrub, but it can be costly. Look for raw honey that is locally produced if you can. If you have to buy online, I recommend Bee Harmony.


I hope you enjoyed these homemade facial scrub recipes. Let us know in the comments if you like them! And leave any questions you may have in the comments below, we will gladly answer.

About Andrea

Andrea has been blogging about organic and natural skincare for over 5 years and has been practicing her own natural lifestyle for over 20 years. She is a mother of three with a passion for helping people make the switch to non-toxic skincare. If you are looking for organic beauty products - Check out our favorite shops

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Yeast is a one-celled plant available in dried form, an instant blend, and live cakes. In yeasted bread, yeast multiplies and grows by using available sugars and water. At the same time, it gives off carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol through a process called fermentation. As long as air is available, the yeast multiplies.

In bread recipes where the bread rises for a second time, you are told to "punch down" the dough. This breaks up small clusters or colonies of yeast cells so they can get in contact with more air and food. This is why the second rise is usually shorter than the first rise.

  • Whenever possible, try to use live yeast cakes. Many bakers believe that it results in a better flavor. The downside is that cake yeast spoils very quickly, so it's best when used within a day of buying it. You can also freeze cake yeast.
  • For most bakers, active dry yeast would be the second choice. It tends to produce a better flavor than instant yeast.
  • Instant-rise yeast has been genetically modified and is packaged with its own food supply. It becomes active instantly when it is rehydrated with liquid. This type of yeast is very convenient, but the rise is so fast that it doesn't allow much flavor to develop during fermentation.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling and cutting
  • Sanding sugar and other decorations (optional)
  • Confectioners' Sugar Glaze

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well to combine. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour and mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Space cookies 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, 7 to 12 minutes (depending on size of cookies). Cool completely on baking sheets.

Watch the video: Κλασική μαρέγκα. Ώρα για φαγητό με την Αργυρώ. 20042021 (July 2022).


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