Sugar sugar

As a kid I used to LOVE lollies.  Licorice all sorts, gummy worms, coke bottles, pebbles, jelly beans, jet planes, milk bottles, red frogs, I wasn’t fussy.  Give me anything with a whopping sugar content, and I was a happy camper.

Milo wasn’t just a hot drink for me; it was a seasoning.  It went on cereal, icecream (so GOOD) into my mouth by the spoonful – when I did actually make a hot Milo to drink; it consisted of 1cup of milk, 6 tablespoons of Milo and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Yeesh.

These days sugar isn’t such a great mate of mine.  I try and avoid the refined stuff as it makes me feel like ARSE.  I pay the price if I go overboard; stomach issues, huge energy slumps to the point of feeling as if I’m walking through concrete, and skin breakouts.  All pretty normal reactions to a white sugar overload.  I am totally a sweet tooth – give me the sweeties over savoury ANY DAY… I just try and keep it closer to nature.  In cooking and just for general sweetening I use honey, agave, maple syrup, medjool dates, fruit juice and molasses.  I eat ridiculous amounts of dried fruit.  It seems to work for me; my energy stays pretty stable, and it’s a lot more interesting flavour wise to chop and change rather than just dip into the sugar bowl.  In most recipes, I will try and replace refined sugars; especially now I’m cooking for Misty – at least he doesn’t know lollies exist yet.  I am so going to pay the price when that day comes.

Sticky but not so sugary Onion Jam:

1kg onion (brown or red doesn’t matter)

2T honey dissolved in 4T of hot water (maple syrup or agave also work well)

1t oil of choice (olive or coconut are my usual suspects)

1t sea salt (or more to taste if you are a salt freak like me)

3T balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper


Peel onions, slice thinly into little ‘rainbows’ (that’s what they look like) or whatever takes your fancy, it’s pretty fool-proof.  Chuck into a large pot with the honey dissolved in water and the oil.

Get the heat as LOW as possible and cook for around 1 hour, keeping an eye on it and stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent sticking and burning.  The onion will release all it’s water and sort of stew itself in that. The longer the onion cooks and reduces, the sweeter and jammier it becomes.  It is a little time consuming, but definitly worth the effort as the end product is the onion’s natural flavour and sweetness – not just full of added sugar.  When the onion has cooked down enough, add in the vinegar and allow to reduce again for around 20 minutes.  Finish with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt – taste and adjust seasonings.

Once cool, spoon into jars and store in the fridge.  The sky is the limit for this recipe – added herbs, spices, different vinegars – red wine is also a really nice addition (add in 2T and omit 1T of the vinegar).  I kinda like it as is – keeping condiments simple is good so whatever you are eating them with is the star.  This is awesome on  grilled cheese sandwiches, with a barbequed sausage (apparently), on burgers (meat or veg varieties) and just as general food crack (makes food wicked knickers good).

Made with red onions and a dash of shiraz

About Lou

I'm a stay at home Mum, recipe book addict who can't stick to a recipe to save my life.

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