Natural Sweeteners

Hey there, happy Thursday!

I know a few of you showed interest in trying to get your sugar eating back on track so I wanted to talk about some natural alternatives.

I am VERY against the fake stuff like splenda, sweet and low and any other fad sweetener. I will share with you why in a later post.

Now I am not telling you to use these sweeteners everyday, while they may be natural sweeteners they are less processed than white sugar but should still be used in moderation.

Agave Nectar
agave
is a liquid sweetener made from the juice of an agave cactus. The syrup naturally contains iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It is 1.4 times sweeter than white sugar but is much less disturbing to the blood sugar levels. Side note when baking with agave you should turn your oven 25 degrees lower.

Birch Sugar
birch
aka xylitol, it is derived from tree fiber or corncobs and occurs naturally in many fruits and mushrooms. This is low on the gylcemic index so people with diabetes or hypoglycemia can use it.

Brown Rice Syrup
brown rice
this is made of brown rice that has been ground, cooked converting starches into maltose. It is said to taste like butterscotch. When cooking with brown rice syrup you should replace each cup of white sugar with 1/4 cup of brown rice syrup and reduce the amounts of other liquids. There is glucose in this so it is not recommended for diabetics.

Honey– is one of the oldest natural sweeteners and can be sweeter than sugar. (quite possible one of my favorite alternatives)

Maple Syrup– made from boiled down tree sap. The maple syrup to get is the 100% pure maple. Not the Aunt Jemima, although I will be the first to admit that I like the fake version better than the real one!

Molasses– is actually pretty nutritious for you, the most nutritious being blackstrap molasses. It is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Out of the list above I have baked with agave, honey, maple syrup and molasses and have found that they all gave the baked good the same if not better flavor then white sugar. If you are someone who likes to drink tea and adds sweetener I would suggest trying honey or agave next time. If you make oatmeal and like to sweeten it I would definitely recommend adding, honey, agave or molasses.

I am eager to try the birch sugar and brown rice sugar.

Have you replace white sugar with any of the natural sweeteners mentioned above?

Have you cooked with or tried birch sugar or brown sugar? What did you think?

Out of the list above which sweetener is your favorite and what do you use it with?

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