Eating healthy, clean and natural has become the mantra for living a longer life in this hectic, instant gratification world that we live in. What we’re all doing is trending towards eating healthier, this by consuming as many pure nutritional foods as possible.
What this movement towards better dieting calls for, is exchanging all of the readily available refined foods, for more pure natural food solutions. What most are wanting is to swap the abundant supplies of refined sugar, and then replace them with natural sweeteners.
The majority of us are all still addicted to the sweet, so rather than cutting it out entirely, the key becomes to replacing the damaging white, brown, or refined sugars, with more nutritional sweet alternatives instead.
Agave is a plant that’s better known for producing tequila, the potent popular Mexican liquor that leaves you under the table. The agave plant also produces a nectar, which is known as Mexican “honey water.”
The sap is extracted from the plant, heated at low temperatures to break down the carbs into sugar. Since the processing is minimal, it has become a favorite among raw food enthusiasts.
It has a flavor that’s similar to honey, and can be used in baking, and other areas where refined sugar is used.
Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup is a natural sweetener that’s produced by hydrolyzing brown rice starch, which then naturally infuses with enzymes.
What the enzymes does is breaks down the starch into sugar. The liquid is reduced by heating it until it becomes a syrupy consistency.
Brown rice syrup isn’t as sweet as honey, but is gluten, fructose, and wheat free. It’s suitable as a refined sugar alternative for vegetarians. Brown rice syrup works well in baking, as a spread, on pancakes, or a beverage sweetener.
Everyone is going cuckoo for anything coconut, this including coconut sugar as it’s one of the most sustainable sugars, this because the coconut palm trees are able to produce more sugar per acre, than cane sugar.
Coconut sugar is derived from heating and then cooling the coconut blossom nectar, which is extracted from the coconut palm.
The cooled nectar turns into a solid brick, and it’s the ground caramel colored granules that are available on the health store shelves.
Coconut sugar has a low Glycemic Index, meaning it releases energy slower, which eliminates the highs and lows which are associated with refined sugar.
Its toffee like taste also contains iron, magnesium, and zinc, and it’s granular form can be used in recipes.
Date sugar is another popular natural sugar substitute favored by raw food enthusiasts. The greatest benefit is that it doesn’t require any processing in it’s production.
It can be made by just dehydrating and then finely grinding the whole dates until it becomes a granular powder. Date sugar has a light sweet flavor with caramel undertones, and can be substituted for brown sugar.
It’s excellent on cereal, fruit, yogurt, along with baked goods. Know that since date sugar is just dried ground dates, what it won’t do is melt into foods like other syrups or sugars will. So expect brown flakes in your baked goods.
Honey for a while has been a popular and favorite natural sugar alternative, as it’s sweeter than sugar, unrefined, and available anywhere in the world. Since honey contains more calories than white sugar, you can get away with using less.
The benefit of honey as a health product is it contains vitamins, minerals, and trace enzymes, along with antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
It’s excellent as a sugar substitute for baking and cooking. There are also a wide range of honey that’s available from around the world, all with their own distinct flavor and uses.
This devilishly sweet amber syrup is derived from the sap of the Canadian Maple tree. It’s distinct flavor is an addictive favorite, as its greatest benefit is that it’s 100% percent naturally derived, containing no additives or artificial colors.
Processing maple syrup requires the extracted tree sap to be boiled, the procedure being minimal. Maple syrup can be used as a substitute when baking, as it contains beneficial minerals such as potassium, sodium, and calcium.
Stevia has recently become a household name as a natural sugar substitute. The primary reason being it’s sweet, yet contains no calories. Stevia is derived from the stevia plant leaves, which are native to the Southern United States, Brazil, and Paraguay.
This sweetener has caught the attention among the natural wellness group, as it’s benefits are many. Stevia can be up to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar, so you can get away with using less.
What it contains are chemical compounds which will interact with your taste bud receptors, which does produce a bitter aftertaste, however.
Natural Fruit Juice
What’s known is that when it comes to sugar alternatives, there’s nothing more natural than the sweetness of pure fruit juice.
What most fruits contain are naturally occurring sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose. The purees can be used to sweeten a variety of foods.
While it’s not recommended that you add apple juice to your coffee as a sweetener, there are a variety of ways to use it’s sweetness into baked goods, as all fruits has their own distinct natural juice flavor.
Just make sure that the juice is 100% percent natural without added sugar. Since there are a variety of different fruit juice tastes, each with their own unique flavor, you can experiment with different recipes until you find the best combination.
Use your creativity as the sweetness of fruit juice can be made into various foods such as candy, all natural with no added sugar.