Baking for Valentine’s Day but want to avoid overly processed sugars? There are 3 delicious natural sweeteners that I lean on heavily for cooking and baking. I always have them stocked in my kitchen.
I’ve recently discovered coconut sugar. It has a brownish color and a caramel-like taste. It’s great for baking or to sweeten beverages like coffee. I use it as a sweetener for my favorite hot chocolate substitute: Reishi Cacao Mix.
Coconut Sugar is still considered sugar but it is lower on the glycemic index. It contains fiber from inulin making it a gut-friendly option. In the article, Is Coconut Sugar Good for you?, Dr. Axe, explains:
Inulin has the ability to stimulate the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria, the same types commonly found in probiotic supplements. This can help provide an overall boost to the immune system and may even offer help treating many conditions that may affect the intestines.
Coconut sugar is a more gut-friendly alternative to regular sugar.
When I tried real Maple Syrup for the first time I was floored by how much better it tasted. And how different the consistency was.
Growing up we always had Aunt Jemima Syrup in our house. It wasn’t until I became more health-conscious and began reading food labels that I discovered just how processed this stuff is. In fact, I don’t think Aunt Jemima even has real syrup as an ingredient.
Maple syrup is a great natural sweetener alternative that contains many antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals like zinc and manganese. I use it to sweeten pancake and waffle batters as well as clean desserts.
What is raw honey? Straight from the beehive without pasteurizing or altering in any way. As a result, it has way more health benefits than regular processed honey. Don’t be fooled by the honey in bear-shaped containers. If it’s not labeled “raw honey” then it is probably heated or processed.
Raw honey is great for raw desserts or in a cup of warm tea. I wouldn’t use it to bake. It will likely lose many of its health benefits if heated at high temperatures.
Like maple syrup, raw honey also has many health benefits like antioxidants, probiotics properties, enzymes, vitamins and more.
All of these natural sweeteners can be found at Whole Foods or likely a local health food store. Even mainstream food stores carry them now. Healthy living doesn’t mean having to give up all things delicious. I opt for sweets with less processed ingredients so I can indulge without the worry. Keep these stocked in your kitchen for the next time you have a sweet tooth.