Life's Sweet Treats

 
We all love that sweet taste of sugar, but with the various health effects, it’s not always easy to enjoy it. Here’s a bit about some amazing replacements so you don’t have to miss out on life’s sweet treats. By carefully choosing the quality and quantity of sweeteners your consuming, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy alternatives.
 
Replacing sugar is quite easy, but getting the perfect taste and consistency is a little bit more difficult. Sometimes the sweetener adds excess moisture or doesn’t quite strike the tongue just right. Feel free to experiment a bit with these sweeteners to find just the right one for recipe.
 

Natural Sweeteners

Honey – Easily one of the most popular sweeteners on the market especially for people avoiding sugar, honey is made from the nectar of flowers. Lucky for us, bees do the extraction for us then take it back to the hive where we gather it from the honeycomb. Depending on the location and vegetation available, the types of honey differ by region. While lighter honey tends to have less minerals than darker, both have their benefits.
 
Honey is naturally very minimally processed to get out chunks of beeswax and other contaminants. This also makes it pourable. The best choice is “raw” honey, which is hardly filtered and not heated. Most honey on the market is heated to create the more pourable substance. Make sure to read the label carefully to make sure the honey is not heated excessively or over filtered to remove pollen. Also check to make sure it is not contain corn syrup of sugar.
 
The best benefits from honey are derived from locally sourced methods. The reason is because this contains varieties of local pollen, which allows you to build up a resistance to local allergens. Honey should not be given to infants under the age of 1 year old.
 
As honey crystallizes when it is cooled, store at room temperature and place honey in warm water if it does become crystallized.
 
Date Sugar – Made from finely ground dates, this sweetener acts as a perfect replacement for sugar. It is very sweet, but has a little trouble dissolving.
 
Brown Rice Syrup – Made from brown rice, this sweetener is very mild, high in protein, and is great for baking. It is formed from rice that has been boiled for a very long time to extract the syrup.
 
Fruit Juice Sweeteners – Technically, these can be made from just about any type of fruit, but are most commonly made from apples, grapes, & pears. You will most likely find these sweeteners in fruit drinks and sodas. The sugar content is similar to white sugar.
 
Stevia – This is a plant native to Brazil and is actually 30 times sweeter than sugar. For this reason, a little bit goes a long way. Just 2 drops of stevia extract is enough to sweeten one cup. Stevia has a very low glycemic index and can be consumed by people with yeast infections or candida.
 
Barley Malt – A mild sweetener, barley malt comes from sprouted grains of barley that are heated in a kiln and cooked in water. It is known for it’s rich malt flavor. Read the label carefully on this one as it may contain corn syrup or sugar.
 
Fructose – A natural sugar found in fruits and honey, but often fructose is made from corn. Because this product is highly refined, it is best to avoid. Excess fructose in the diet has been shown to raise triglycerides and an increased risk of heart disease.
 
Maple Syrup – Made from extracting the sap of a maple tree and boiling it, this sweetener is best known for it’s pairing with French toast and pancakes. Be careful, as maple syrup is very high in sugar.
 
Sorghum – the extracted juice from the sweet sorghum plant is boiled down to make a syrup that very closely resembles molasses. The sorghum is related to millet and corn.
 
Molasses – a by-product of sugar extraction, this is the liquid residue that is left behind. There are 3 different types of molasses from 3 different periods in the extraction process. Light molasses is from the first extraction and is the lightest and sweetest. Medium molasses is from the second extraction and is a bit darker and less sweet. Blackstrap molasses is from the final extraction and is very dark and only slightly sweet. Unsulphured molasses indicates that no sulphur was used in the extraction process.
 
Sugar Cane Juice – a vegan sweetener, sugar cane juice is made by mechanically extracting evaporated can juice. It is commonly sold in crystallized form such as Sucanat.
 
Highly Refined Sugars

White Sugar – Made from sugar cane, or beets, this sugar is highly refined to remove almost all of the sucrose and in the process most of the nutritional value. For this reason, blood sugar spikes are very common with white sugar.
 
Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is simply white sugar with some molasses added back to give it brown color.
 
Turbinado – A little bit better than white sugar, turbinado just forgoes the last extraction of molasses so only 96% of the sucrose is removed.
 
Corn Syrup – Extremely refined, corn syrup is made by splitting the two common elements of corn. Because of this, it is lacking a full nutritional value and can cause blood sugar spikes.
 
For a plethora of sugar free options, check out Revitalize! Health Spa & Organic Store in Kennewick, Washington!
 
Revitalize! Health Spa & Organic Store
311 W Kennewick Ave
Kennewick, WA 99336
Phone: 509-586-6574
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