Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Can Powdered Sugar Be Substituted for Granular Sugar?

Can Powdered Sugar Be Substituted for Granular Sugar?

Absolutely.  But it is not a 1:1 ratio.  I had assumed that powdered sugar would be "more dense" or more concentrated, since the grains are smaller, pulverized, powdered, with "less air" between grains of sugar.  I was completely wrong.  Powdered sugar is "fluffed" with air, and corn starch is added so it won't clump.  The correct ratio is 1.75 to 1... so 1.75 cups of powdered sugar = 1 cup of granular sugar.  I mention all of this not because I eat sugar...  I avoid the stuff like poison.  But I do go through alot of it making sugar water for the hummingbirds who believe they own my yard - about a gallon a week.  Powdered sugar SHOULD NOT be used for hummingbird food.
Taken today, out of my office window, before I went on a 2 hour mountain bike ride, (yeah, it doesn't suck to live here)
Hummingbird food is best made with NO RED DYE - the red dye is toxic, and in there for humans.  Hummingbirds only go to the feeder with a hole in it, not the red one.  The multiple brown and clear feeders around my yard attest to that.  DON'T use red dyed hummingbird sugar crystals.  I actually poured my last red dyed nectar down the drain in Orange County when I found out about it, rather than poison the little creatures.

The correct (and simple) way to make hummingbird food is to mix a 1:4 ratio solution.  1 part sugar for 4 parts water.  I use ordinary tap water - no softened water (the birds don't need to salt), not reverse osmosis (RO) or demineralized (demin) water, neither of which I have since I don't live in a laboratory or a power plant. And I mix 2 pints of very warm water with 1/2 a cup a sugar (remember: 2 cups  =  1 pint, 2 pints = 1 quart, 4 quarts = 1 gallon... only in the US and Myanmar...  everywhere else they're on liters).

I ran out of sugar today, making my last batch.  I was Just About to use the copious amounts of powdered sugar Dr Desert Flower has in the pantry, when I read from reputable sources (here and here) that "that's bad" (as Mr Mackey would say).

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