Sweeteners and Thickeners and Fillers, Oh, My! Not Really All That Paleo and NOT AT ALL NECESSARY!
One of the most common questions I get from blog readers and clients alike is:
"What can I use as a sweetener/thickener now that I'm Paleo and not using real or fake sugar nor flours of any kind?"
My rebuttal is, "WHY do you need a sweetener or thickener?"
I'm often asked how to sweeten homemade sorbet, for example. Why do you need to add any more sugar than that which already naturally occurs in the fruit? If you choose a fruit that is local, seasonally appropriate and picked when ripe, it will be naturally sweet that the mere idea of adding cane syrup (or worse) to it seems offensive and overbearing.
As far as thickeners- readers want to know how to make sure their soups/stews or braised meats aren't thin and watery.
My solution? Learn the art of reduction.
I made a lovely braised beef the other night which I let reduce over a low flame for three hours and then served the next day.
I'd sauteed carrot, celery and shallot with olive oil, after browning the beef and then removing it from pan to set aside.
Then I added red wine and beef broth and a bouquet garnis, put the meat back in and by the end of the cooking, it was SO thick, SO rich and SO infused with a lovely compliment of textures and layers of flavor that if one were to have added a 'thickener', it would've been a paste!
Allow your taste buds to experience and enjoy the simple flavors of all the fresh, real food you can and you'll soon find it needn't be masked with cheesy sauces, dips or glazes!