This being November sweeps week and all, last Monday's "Dr. Oz Show" breathlessly hyped a new metabolism game-changer: yacon syrup.
I had no idea what the stuff was but I did jump on the dried white mulberries bandwagon and loved them, and yacon syrup sounded pretty interesting. It's made from a Peruvian tuber, looks like molasses, has the consistency of honey and is only 20 calories a tablespoon. His angle on the show was that if people slurped a teaspoon before every meal it would help with weight loss.
I have no idea whether it's some new weight-loss miracle but I was intrigued by the flavor description and the fact that it's one third the calories of honey or agave and that it's a rich source of FOS, or fructo-oligosaccharides, which improve gut flora.
I am all about gut flora lately.
Have you heard about the nasty-sounding yet intriguing experiments on fecal transplants? Turns out the quality of your gut flora may have a lot to do with maintaining a healthy weight. (For those of you turned off by all this "poop talk," you can read more about it HERE.)
Anywhoo ... I bought a bottle of organic yacon syrup because, SCIENCE! And I drizzled a teaspoon of it over my oatmeal this morning.
OMG, you guys! It was way better than I expected. It's intensely sweet and has a molassesy flavor. You really don't need very much and that measly teaspoon was about 7 calories.
Since yacon syrup is a highly concentrated food derived from a tuber, I think it's best to seek out organic yacon syrup. That's just my thinking -- I figure any time you dry or distill any food, you're concentrating everything, including pesticides.
Because of the "Oz Effect," yacon syrup can be really hard to find and a lot of companies online are jacking up their prices, putting out sketchy products and turning the syrup into mysterious supplements.
People -- the whole point of being healthy is eating healthy! Use food, don't use capsules! That's why I bought the yacon syrup -- it's not some questionable supplement.
I was introduced to Essential Living Foods, a small, family-owned company that sells organic superfoods. Their prices are great, they have close ties to the farms that grow their products, they use eco-friendly packaging and they even have an Amazon Watch page on their website where they donate 25 percent of every purchase to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the Amazon and supports indigenous peoples.
I emailed back and forth with the brand communications manager for Essential Living and he said "the phone is ringing off the hook" from stores desperately looking for yacon.
"Oz set off a real firestorm. What he didn't realize is that the organic yacon market was TINY. ... Yacon harvest and processing isn't going through for another few months. We're nervous that a lot of scammers and fakers will be entering the market."
If you look over to the right, you'll see an affiliate ad for Essential Living Foods because I like to support companies that do good (and yes, I get affiliate commissions from any sales).
So, bottom line -- this yacon syrup is yummy! It's also expensive, compared with other sweeteners, but you really only need a little bit and you get a lot more for your buck than just sweetening. If you're interested, the Essential Living Foods yacon syrup is HERE.