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Sugar OH HONEY HONEY

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Try this wild new substitute for refined sugar! So for all you sugar lovers out there, you don’t have to give up your diet to have dessert. All of these are easy to use and are probably in more things you already eat than you realize. Plus, if you use natural sweeteners, you don’t feel as guilty after eating an entire loaf of banana bread in one sitting, which is a reason in and of itself to give these alternative sweeteners a try.

Honey is one of the most popular natural sweeteners, but many people don’t know that choosing raw honey is an even better substitute. Raw honey contains zinc, iron, and other beneficial qualities that promote health while also sweetening your food. It also has many helpful uses besides being a sweetener, so investing in a jar is always worthwhile.

 

Maple syrup is another common healthy substitute for refined sugar. Honey and maple syrup have many of the same uses in cooking, but some people will opt for maple syrup instead of honey because it’s vegan. A key trick for using maple syrup as a healthy sweetener substitute is making sure you get pure maple syrup rather than many kinds that are loaded with extra added sugar.

Dates, yes really! They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing substitute, they’re actually really sweet and tasty. They also have lots of benefits such as reducing blood pressure and promoting heart health. Dates are great healthy sweetener substitute for refined sugar, but they’re just as yummy eaten as a snack. Having a date with a spoonful of peanut butter is a delicious and healthy dessert.

Coconut sugar is another diverse sweetener. Many recipes call for coconut sugar as a replacement for brown sugar, so it’s easy to use for many treats. While regular granulated sugar doesn’t contain any vital nutrients, coconut sugar is made from the coconut palm and maintains many of the key nutrients that the coconut palm has to offer. A great way to use coconut sugar is in warm cookies or gooey                                                                         brownies.

Erythritol – While this name sounds (providing you can pronounce it) scary and exotic, it’s very frequently used and is an FDA-approved sugar alcohol that looks and tastes like sugar. Low in calories, this a great healthy substitute for refined sugars because not only does it reduce your sugar intake, but it also reduces the calorie consumption.

Fruit is a great natural sweetener that many people forget about. This is the prime healthy substitute for refined sugars because it’s just fruit, which means no added sweetener at all. This substitute works best for recipes that already include fruits, but adding pureed bananas or figs in place of sugar works for many baked goods (if you’re okay with a new, fruity taste). A great way to implement this substitute is in dishes such as banana bread. Adding more fruit than the recipe calls for and                                                                    cutting out the sugar will sweeten your food and boost the flavour.

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Paige Brook

Food and Drink Editor 2017/18

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