From time to time I get that craving for something sweet. As any normal human being would! No one can go through life without enjoying something ooey, gooey and yummy. Eating well doesn’t mean you have to give up what you love. Moderation and modification is the key to keeping a healthy relationship with your sweet tooth. I have put together a list of a few alternatives to refined sugar that you can use for your favorite recipes.
Maple syrup is a very popular sugar substitute among those who try to use less refined sugar. With antioxidants that support the body’s immune system, as well as several beneficial vitamins and minerals, maple syrup is a great sugar substitute in any recipe. Pure maple syrup is very sweet, so you don’t need a lot of it to sweeten your baked goods.
Fruit purees are most commonly used as substitutes in baking. Mashed bananas or pureed peaches can be used in chocolate cakes, spice cakes or muffins. Applesauce works well in muffins, gingerbread, and can replace at least half the fat in cookies.
In addition to offering some antioxidant benefits, honey is higher in iron and calcium than sugar. Honey has the ability to retain water, so recipes made with honey tend to remain moister longer than similar products made with sugar or other sweeteners. Enjoy some in hot tea, or when making a batch of my homemade granola.
The agave plant grows from the southwestern U.S. through the northern part of South America. It’s the same plant used to make tequila :). It’s about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, so you don’t need to use as much when baking or cooking. Agave syrup has a low glycemic index, which makes it slowly absorb into the body without the rapid increase in blood sugar that happens with normal table sugar.
Sorghum is a dark sweet syrup similar in flavor to molasses without the bitterness associated with molasses. Sorghum syrup is a natural sweetener that is a good source of iron, calcium and potassium. In fact, one tablespoon of sorghum supplies all of the average adult’s daily potassium needs.
Coconut Palm Sugar-
A sweetener that has become very popular in the past few years is coconut palm sugar. Palm sugar is one of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners on the market, that looks, tastes, and dissolves almost exactly like sugar. It is described to have a caramel flavor, and comparable to brown and cane sugar.