Natural Sweetners

Natural Sweetners

Natural and Healthy Sweeteners

For our survival, we must kick the sugar habit. But that doesn’t mean the transition can’t taste delicious. The following low glycemic sweeteners can easily substitute sugar in your favorite baking recipes or smoothies.

1. Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is a ‘calorie free’ sweetener which has been commonly used as an herbal remedy in Chinese medicine. It is widely available in powdered form and is significantly sweeter in taste than sugar. Additionally, it does not have a bitter after-taste like some other sugar substitutes.

2. Coconut Palm Sugar

Substitute this low-glycemic sweetener for sugar and you’ll be hard-pressed to notice the difference. With about half the sugars of cane sugar, coconut sugar is also an excellent source of minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc) and B vitamins. It’s also an incredibly sustainable product, which makes it an excellent choice just on its environmental impact.

3. Lucuma

The dried lucuma fruit (also called “eggfruit”) is naturally sweet but low on the glycemic index and can be used in place of cane sugar. It also contains a wide range of nutrients including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B3, beta carotene, and fiber, as well as a bioavailable plant protein. It’s flavor is similar to maple syrup or toffee. There are some excellent recipes using lucuma, so make sure to check out our instagram and facebook pages for delicious favorites!

4. Stevia

The stevia leaf is intensely naturally sweet—more than 300 times sweeter than sugar! But this botanical contains zero sugars. Dried as a powder or found in a liquid extract form, a little goes a very long way. You can use to sweeten coffee, tea, smoothies, etc. When baking, you will need to re-work your recipes that call for sugar to account for the small volume of stevia used. It can have a slightly bitter after taste especially if you use too much. Some stevia brands contain a mixture of stevia and sugar, so make sure you read the label carefully to ensure you are purchasing pure stevia.

5. Yacon

A South American tuber, the fresh yacon root tastes more like an apple. When pressed into a syrup, it has a sweet almost maple-like flavor. The yacon is loaded with fructooligosaccharides—indigestible sugars that actually help bring balance to your intestinal flora. It’s a great sweetener in desserts and smoothies. You can also find dried yacon slices, which make a healthy and delicious low-sugar snack.

While these sugar substitutes are a healthier alternative, they should always be used in moderation. Remember, eating a lot of sweet tasting foods leads to craving more sweets.

 

 

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