On expectations and stevia

I made gluten-free, sugar-free cookies this week.

cookies

Ta-da! I used Sarah Wilson’s IQS For Life recipe. She has some great recipes in her books.

I have to say I’ve never been a big stevia fan (actually, from what I’ve read, I don’t think Sarah normally uses it much either), but I thought I’d give this particular recipe a go, mainly because of the gluten-free factor. And, as it turns out, they were very quick and easy to make.

However, they didn’t go down too well here at The Ranch.

Allergy Boy ate one cookie and said, “Lose the stevia.”

The Reflux Kid took one bite and wouldn’t touch them (but he’s like that, so whatever).

AJ and I managed to mow through the batch together over the course of the week, with the aid of piles of unsweetened, whipped cream … primarily to drown out the stevia.

I must say I was curious about our reactions to these cookies, though.

I think it’s about expectations.

We are used to equating the way something looks with the way it’s going to taste. 

My theory is that we go about our lives looking for familiar foods (foods from our past), and for foods that are different (future experiences).

When something looks like one thing, but tastes like something else … it puts us in a spin.

The same goes for our behaviours and our friendships. We get used to the way our relationships are, and when someone behaves differently than we’re used to, it ‘jolts’ us out of the little story we’ve constructed in our heads about that person.

In real life, this might be confusing or even irritating, but it’s a trick writers of fiction use liberally: the element of surprise. It keeps people interested, because it treats the reader as a thinking being. Not as someone who is half asleep.

So I’ll be making this cookie recipe again, but I’ll probably stick to a middle-of-the-road sweetener like rice syrup … or even a bit of sugar. So as not to confuse the cookie-lovers in the house.

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