Many people are well aware that sugar is not one of the healthiest items in the kitchen. However, the risks can go way beyond just a dental cavity or a sugar crash.
Moreover, you cannot use artificial sweeteners since it could add more calories to your meal. Instead of going without sugar, you could use the following natural substitutes for sugar.
Instead of adding a lot of sugar to a bowl to prepare oatmeal cookies, try adding the same amount of applesauce to it. The natural sweetness from a Fuji apple or a Golden Delicious is the perfect ingredient to be added to any food item to make it sweet.
In many countries, the sugar derived from coconuts has become highly famous after the sales of coconut water increased over the years.
You should heat the sap from a coconut palm and evaporate its water contents till it is reduced to granules that can be used.
Not only does coconut sugar have a low glycaemic index, which implies that you will not get a sugar crash after getting a buzz. The sugar derived from coconut is almost endless since sap is produced by the trees in huge quantities.
Coconut sugar may be a little coarse as compared to white sugar but it is good for the health and diabetics can safely consume it when they need some sugar. If you are to use white sugar, baked goods would look brown.
Unsweetened cocoa powder
When you use unsweetened cocoa powder in any treat, you would realize that it has satisfied your sweet tooth without having to add any sugar or artificial sweeteners to it. You could, however, add a dash of vanilla extract if you want to enhance the flavour.
Molasses from sugarcane
The process of sugar production gives out by products, which are called molasses. Even though the production of sugar using sugarcane can harm the environment, not using all the products of sugarcane it can harm the environment even more.
Because of the way people produce sugar, the nutritional benefits of the same are left in the molasses. Consuming blackstrap molasses is probably the only way to gain the nutritional benefits of sugarcane.
This is a product of sugarcane. However, it skips the refinement stage. It, therefore, retains the minerals and vitamins lost while white sugar is processed. When swapping rapadura for the sugar in goods that have been baked, you should remember to keep the one-to-one ratio.
Instead of using white sugar in the next loaf of bread to prepare banana, try using bananas that are extra ripe and eliminating the sugar.As the fruit ripens, it becomes sweeter and there will be no need for any additional sugar.
This is a sweetening agent that has been extracted from a plant called yacón and it tastes a bit like molasses and apples. It is as sweet as honey and can be used to prepare raw fruit smoothies and baked goods.
Unlike most natural sugars, yacón syrup promotes weight loss and good health. It also regulates blood sugar levels in the body and supports good digestion. What’s more, it also aids in the cleansing of the colon and helps feed the good bacteria present in the body.
You could use it to sweeten your coffee or tea. Yacón syrup was first used by the Incas or the natives of Peru. What’s more, it has a rich flavour and colour. The natural oligofructose that is contained in this plant is thought to have many medicinal properties.
It is yet another form of glucose that has been manufactured from corn. You could buy dextrose in the form of a powder or a liquid from your local drugstore. Some athletes have been known to have used dextrose in the past to raise their energy levels.
If you consume other sweet foods prepared with sugar, it could quickly raise your blood sugar levels unlike dextrose. It is, therefore, safe to consume foods prepared with this ingredient.
Monk fruit extract
This sugar or sweetening agent is extracted from a fruit named the monk fruit that grows only in Southeast Asia and China. It has long been used as a sweetener and an herbal remedy in China. What’s more, it does not contain any additional calories than is needed.
As compared to this, white sugar has fifteen calories per teaspoon of serving. The extract of monk fruit is two hundred or three hundred times sweeter than white sugar.
This sugar alcohol is naturally found in pears and melons. It has been seen all over the world as an ideal substitute for sugar by diabetics and those who are overweight.
Even though only six percent of calories are present in erythritol, it has seventy five percent of the sweetness of sugar in it. Erythritol is gentle on the stomach and it is also tooth friendly since it does not cause cavities.
It is mainly sold in the market as a beverage sweetener nowadays. Erythritol is very different from its other sugar alcohol cousins. The other sugar alcohols are not so easily digested before they go from the small intestine to the large intestine.
It has least effect on the blood sugar in the body. Even if you take this sugar alcohol in excess by mistake, it will not have any effect on the blood sugar levels of the body. Moreover, it will not cause any bloating or discomfort.
Both refined white sugar and sucanat start as the product of sugarcane itself, which is high in minerals and vitamins. The process of refinement of the products of sugarcane is what removes all the traces of minerals and vitamins that are necessary for maintaining good health.
The only thing that refined white sugar can do is to sweeten your food. On the other hand, sucanat is not at all refined unlike white sugar. Sucanat smells and looks a little like brown sugar. However, the taste is similar to white sugar.
This is one natural sweetener that is derived from the mesquite tree ground pods. It is rich in minerals and vitamins and has a mellow flavour. In other words, it tastes like caramel. If you love sweets, then you could simply add mesquite to your foods while cooking.
The tree from which lucuma sugar is obtained grows in Peru. Lucuma fruit may be hard to find. However, you can always purchase lucuma powder from your local drugstore.
You should not heat lucuma sugar if you want to retain its antioxidants and nutrients. However, if you want, you could always use it as a substitute for sugar in foods. It contains lots of iron, calcium, fibre, and beta carotene.
Maqui berry, which is found in Chile is not only considered a super food but is also rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, polyphenols, etc. is one of the oldest natural sweeteners on earth. The powder obtained from the berry is not only sweet but also fruity.
This sugar is low in glycaemic content and is one of the best natural substitutes for white sugar. It is derived from the momordica fruit. The sugar made from this fruit is three hundred times sweeter than refined white sugar and much healthier than it.
What’s more, it is also low in calories and does not increase blood sugar. The granules of sugar derived from the momordica plant have molecules that are like insulin. Moreover, they help to remove glucose from the bloodstream.
Jaggery is used in curing problems such as indigestion, cough, and constipation. It is rich in minerals and vitamins. It can be used in powder, solid or liquid forms. You could easily sweeten other foods too when you use jaggery.
Balsamic glaze is available at local drugstores and grocery shops. It is rich in enzymes and also in natural antioxidants, which destroy the free radicals in the body.
What’s more, it tastes great and is definitely better than white sugar. However, along with a bit of sweetness it also brings a naturally tangy taste.
Real fruit jam
Pears, stone fruit, berries, etc. are great replacements for white sugar and can be used in cooking safely.
You could even purchase commercially available real fruit jam but just make sure it has no added pectin or sugar. You could even prepare your own real fruit jam at home by following some very simple recipes.
Molasses from sorghum
The molasses from the sorghum plant are natural substitutes for white sugar. However, these molasses are much better than the molasses derived from sugarcane. It has the same aroma, texture, and colour as sugarcane molasses.
What’s more, it contains nutrients that are important for good health such as manganese, minerals, calcium, iron, potassium, and B vitamins, though slightly lower in content as compared to the molasses from sugarcane. It contains no cholesterol and it is also low in sodium.
This sugar is derived from the berries of an African plant named Thaumatococcus Daniellii. It comprises three important proteins that are found in some plants.
The taste of thaumatin differs from that of sugar. The taste of the sugar derived from this plant is not only sweet but it also lasts long.
Sugars from sugar beet
Sugar beet is also known to contain some natural sugars. Simply add some sugar by deriving it from beetroot or sugar beet to your smoothies, food, etc.
This is, however, not the best sugar since these days, there are genetically modified beetroots in the market and you would need to select the vegetables you buy very carefully.
However, it is the best substitute for white sugar when you carefully choose your beetroots from the market.
Molasses from pomegranate
The juice of the pomegranate fruit is boiled till molasses are produced from it. The result is a maroon, dark brown or purplish liquid with a tangy and yet a sweet taste. It has always been used in the Middle East to prepare many dishes.
The molasses from pomegranate are used only in gourmet dishes in the United States of America today. However, it is slowly gaining steam as a natural substitute for sugar all over the world.
It is a sugar alcohol that is derived from manna. It is pretty much similar to xylitol and the other sugar alcohols. It is a substance that has to be used with baking soda since its pH levels are imbalanced without it.
It is commonly used in candies that give you a fresh breath. It is used by diabetics, who would like to satisfy their sweet tooth or their desire for sweets.
This is different from coconut sugar since the sap from coconut need not be heated much in order to derive it. Its glycaemic index is low and is high in minerals and vitamins. It also has insoluble fibres that are good for the health and contains a lot of amino acids.
These features of this sugar prevent a sugar spike in the person consuming it. You could use it to prepare pancakes or waffles. You could even use it in your coffee or tea.
Prunes or dried plums
Dried plums have a low glycaemic index of 29. This is relatively low as compared to the glycaemic index of the sugar derived from dates.
They are also a rich source of soluble fibres, potassium, Vitamin K, and antioxidants, which are very important for maintaining good health.
The powder from the maca plant is said to be one of the best natural sweeteners and sugar substitutes since it has a sweet taste and also a flavour that is earthy and distinctive from the other sugars.
This is a product of stevia and is ideal for diabetics to consume. You could even consume it in case you would like to lose some weight. It tastes not only surprisingly sweet but it is also one of the best natural sweeteners or sugar substitutes.