The 4 Best Natural Sweeteners to Use As An Alternative to Sugar
If you have a sweet-tooth, you’re not alone! It’s biology – your body actually makes you crave sugar, as it is needed in your diet. However, we’re no longer cavemen and sugar can be found in abundance, so how do you cut your intake? The best way is sweeteners – you’ll still get that sweet kick you’re craving, but with less of the health-based negatives. Today’s blog will introduce you to 4 of the best, to make it simple and easy to cut your sugar intake without letting your sweet tooth completely disappear!
Often suggested as a substitute for sugar, and for good reason! Only 64 calories per tablespoon, raw honey is also packed with good stuff. Minerals like calcium and iron, antioxidants, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin. Together, these ingredients not only fight against free radicals but also promote a healthy gut and digestive system. Try drizzling raw honey over cereals or in tea in place of traditional sugar. You can even use it on cuts and scrapes as an antiseptic!
People often turn their nose up at dates, and while it’s true that many don’t like the taste on its own, the sweetness from dates can be a great addition to many recipes. The best way to use them is to make a paste – there are many great date paste recipes online that you can use. You can even make or buy date molasses! Try using them in place of sugar or corn syrups in baking or other recipes.
Stevia is a very popular low-calorie sweetener that you may have come across before. It’s made from the leaves of a tree found in South America, Stevia rebaudiana (hence the name!). It’s been used for ages, for its inherent sweetness and the fact that it practically has no calories. Since it’s so popular, you can buy stevia in lots of forms – powders, liquids, tablets and even in baking powder blends. The only downside? Some really don’t like the taste of stevia, as it can have a metallic aftertaste.
Canadians rejoice! Maple syrup, unprocessed of course, is a great natural sweetener. Watch out for labels, as some tout ‘maple-flavoured’ syrup, which of course is nowhere near the real thing in terms of healthiness. Maple syrup contains antioxidants, can improve digestive health and can even be great for your skin. The great thing about maple syrup is that it has a low glycemic index – this basically means you won’t get the ‘sugar spike’ and ‘sugar crash’ you get from more processed forms of sugar. You can use maple syrup in place of traditional sugar in pretty much all recipes.