04 Apr Healthier alternatives to sugar :)
If you have been following me on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, you could see that I am mainly posting very healthy meals. That being said, I still use many ingredients that I would love to replace, specifically when it comes to baking. These alternatives I am searching for will have the same structure as the original “bad” ingredient so I can still follow the recipes. I am a huge enthusiast for healthy cooking and healthy lifestyle and believe that I am already eating many nourishing foods, but when it comes to baking sweet desserts, I am just as “bad” as you probably 🙂 I always use only honey to sweeten my tea and that only happens when I have a cold. So, let’s take a look at just some of the healthier sugar alternatives so we can make baking of desserts healthier 🙂
White sugar versus Stevia
Did you know that Stevia is a white powder, looking a lot like sugar and is not only good for diabetics, but is even a healthy sugar? Yes, it’s true! The leaves of this plant contain molecules which are much sweeter than refined sugar but do not contain sugar. It works as an anti-diabetic, enhances your immune system, protects heart and blood vessels and even benefits digestion. It is a white powder and the only thing that you can’t do with it as with the sugar, would be caramelizing it and making meringues. Other than that, it contains no calories, doesn’t raise blood sugar levels or even cause dental cavities. Amazing right? 🙂
Vegan alternatives to Honey: Blackstrap Molasses and Maple syrup
Blackstrap molasses result when sugar cane is turned into refined sugar. Unlike sugar, it contains many amazing nutrients including Selenium, B vitamins, Calcium, Iron and even Potassium! Not only is it very nutritious, but it also helps with the energy release, helps to strengthen bones and teeth due to Calcium and ladies, helps with easing menstrual cramps. No guilt feelings over this sweet stuff when PMS is on it’s peak 🙂 I have never tried it (this black colour instead of honey, turned me off for some reason) before, but now I honestly can’t wait to try it out 🙂
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that I’ve heard so much about that I didn’t appreciate it’s healing powers. It works amazingly for men’s health (promotes prostate health), is an energy booster, even has anti-cancer properties, supports the heart and offers a better blood sugar control. It contains more 15 times (!) more Calcium than honey and is rich in antioxidants and Zinc. What more is there that keeps you waiting to try this amazing alternative to sugar/honey? 🙂
A quick peak into Honey for anyone who isn’t vegan and enjoys this product 🙂 I believe that everyone who grew up being fed with Honey and lemon when he was sick, it was taken for granted that this amazing antiviral darling will take care of him when most needed 🙂 Honey is rich in Vitamins C, D, E, K and B complex, Beta carotene and several minerals. Furthermore, it helps to heal ulcers due to its antioxidants, is very effective in healing respiratory conditions, acts as an antiseptic and can even aid for anyone with the history of allergies. For me this beauty is even yummier than before! 🙂
Other sugar-free and vegan alternatives
There are of course many other sugar-free and vegan alternatives, such as Agave syrup/sugar, Brown rice syrup, Coconut Blossom nectar/sugar, Date syrup and Rapadura sugar which is basically the extraction from the sugar cane but wasn’t exposed to high temperatures. These are the ones I remember selling in health food stores and since I tried to keep this post relatively short, I decided to describe only the above mentioned alternatives 🙂
Why buy organic and bio products?
When you suggest to people that it is in fact better to buy organic and bio products, then always assume that you just want to rip them of their money and usually leave the store with the though “I’m not using much of sugar anyways.”.
How do I know? I’ve been one of them years ago! I will give you a simple answer: it is almost impossible to find a healthier alternative that are preservative and nasties-free. Unfortunately. If you want to live healthier and have at least the products you use every day in healthier alternative, you will eventually have to pay a higher price. For now at least. 🙂
One of my ultimately favourite organic brands is definitely Biona : they sell a huge range of products, be it gluten-free pasta, sweeteners, tomato sauce, you name it, they have it! 🙂 And they never have any nasties in there, and for me that’s the most important thing. And in my experiences of shopping for healthier foods for the past couple of years, their prices are very reasonable! You can buy their products mainly in the UK, but they are all over Europe, Australia and USA. For all my Frenchies, this website is said that they have Biona’s products, however, I couldn’t find any. However, I do know for a fact that Naturalia is selling organic products so I’m pretty sure you’ll find several good brands over there as I have always been pleased with them 🙂
That is all my dear health lover. I will be expanding my research in healthy-er food alternatives, using this lovely book of Neal’s Yard Remedies and many more knowledgeable references. Stay tuned for many healthy food tips and recipes & follow for more of the lovely tips and photos 🙂 And remember,
“Health requires healthy foods.” – Roger Williams
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Curtis, S., Thomas, P. & Vilinas, D. (2013). Healing foods: Eat your way to a healthier life. London: DK.