After struggling to find suitable sweets for her family members with Type 2 diabetes, Australian entrepreneur Rachel Bajada, 35, was inspired to create her own sweet treats.
In 2013, after living in Paris for two and a half years, Ms Bajada returned to Australia and created Noshu, an Australian sweet treats brand with a 100 per cent sugar-free philosophy.
Entrepreneur and Founder of Noshu, Ms Bajada told FEMAIL:
‘I have a lot of diabetic family members. So my grandmother has been a Type 2 diabetic since I can remember and it always saddened me when we’d have family events and celebrations, that there was really nothing that she could eat for celebrations, like cake and things were out of the question.’
Noshu’s flagship product is their tasty ‘guilt free’ doughnut, which is billed as a low carb alternative with only 130 calories per serve and one ingredient that you’ll never guess.
Noshu is an Aussie baked good brand which sells ‘guilt free’ doughnuts (pictured dark chocolate and raspberry doughnut) which are billed as a low carb alternative with no added sugar
‘Each doughnut has less carbs, less sugar and more fibre than a medium apple, making them an ideal diabetic and carb conscious snack’, according to the Noshu website.
So what goes into a guilt-free doughnut?
The doughnuts are made from all natural colours and flavours and one unusual ingredient – pumpkin purée.
Noshu doughnuts (pictured strawberry left, caramel spice centre and banana and coconut right) contain the unusual ingredient of pumpkin purée
The main ingredients are ‘low-starch, grain-free flours and fibres including coconut flour and pumpkin purée’ and virgin organic coconut oil.
They are being billed as suitable for allergy sufferers, as the doughnuts are made without nuts and have no added dairy products or preservatives.
‘There’s a lot of confusion out there about what sugar free does mean,’ Ms Bajada said.
‘To claim sugar free, you either have to have zero naturally occurring or added sugars. Sugar is classified by mono or disaccharide. So that includes everything from honey, to rice malt syrup, to glucose, to cane sugar. And even includes fruit juice concentrate and that kind of thing,’ Rachel said.
The dougnuts are sweetened with a blend of two natural sugar substitutes: Erythritol and Stevia
‘When we say sugar free, we say what percentage our food is. So for example, with our doughnuts, there’s no added sugars, so it means maybe like one or two per cent naturally occurring in things like pumpkin puréee or puréee of coconut,’ she said.
The sweetness comes from two natural sugar substitutes:
‘Noshu donuts are sweetened with a blend of two natural sugar substitutes: Erythritol – a naturally occurring substance in fruit and vegetables which has almost negligible calories and no impact on blood sugar, plus a small amount of the highest quality pure Stevia – a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of an Amazonian herb’.
The doughnuts come in four flavours: strawberry, banana and coconut, caramel spice and dark chocolate and raspberry.
Coffee is a doughnut’s best friend! The doughnuts come in four flavours: strawberry, banana and coconut, caramel spice and dark chocolate and raspberry
The story behind the doughnuts is deeply personal.
Rachel was particularly influenced by a family trip to Malta where she discovered a trend in her family’s health.
‘When I travelled to Malta and met my extended family, I found they were all developing diabetes aswell,’ she said.
‘And so I really decided to be super careful with my diet, because I think I’m probably predisposed if so many of my family members have it. But when I started, you know, really trying to cut sugar out of my diet, I realised there was really, such few options in the market. A lot of the products out there that claim to be sugar free weren’t actually,’ Rachel said.
Determined to fight for her health and that of her family, many of whom has Type 2 diabetes, Rachel set out to create sugar-free alternatives for those suffering from diabetes and other health issues.
Noshu founder Rachel Bajada (pictured) was inspired to start a sugar free baked goods brand after seeing her family members struggle to find sweet treats that were suitable for diabetics
Rachel was ‘surprised by the limited range of available food products made without chemical sweeteners, gluten, additives, and ‘sugars in disguise’ such as agave, honey, glucose, dried fruits and rice malt’, the Noshu website reads.
In response, ‘Rachel decided to create alternatives and completely avoid synthetic sweeteners – and subsequently found that her health issues, including insulin resistance disappeared’.
The philosophy of Noshu is to put health first and ‘all Noshu products are designed with the intention of being suitable for diabetics and vegetarians, they are allergen-friendly’.
‘Noshu is 100 per cent committed to being sugar free. No added sugars are used in our products.’
Noshu says that it’s committed to being 100% sugar free, with ‘no refined sugar, no syrups, agave, honey, fructose, fruit concentrates or chemical/artificial sweeteners’
That means no refined sugar, no syrups, agave, honey, fructose, fruit concentrates or chemical/artificial sweeteners.’
Noshu makes their baked goods sweet using, ‘totally natural, zero GI sugar substitutes which do not raise insulin levels or blood sugar, do not cause digestive upsets and are suitable for everyone from kids to diabetics and the carb-conscious.’
‘The small amounts of sugars in Noshu products are naturally occurring in the ingredients’, they add.
So where can you buy Noshu’s nosh?
‘They’re available nationally. We’re available in every state,’ said Rachel, ‘We also supply IGA, health food stores, cafes, there’s a stockist map on our website.’
Noshu says ‘all Noshu products are designed with the intention of being suitable for diabetics and vegetarians, they are allergen-friendly’
The brand is launching a new product in the third week of April this year. For $8, you’ll be able to pick up a sugar free cake mix with frosting from every Woolworths store in Australia.
‘We’re really excited about that, because cakes are one of those things that are really difficult to make without sugar. It took us 18 months to formulate that and get it working without sugar and without chemical additives,’ Rachel said.
They deliver in the Sydney and Brisbane metro area, starting at $32.63 for a 12 pack of doughnuts.