Natural sugars often contain traces of vitamins and minerals that are stripped away from highly processed table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Below is a list of suitable natural sugar substitutes:
Stevia: Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar and is a plant-based sweetener but has no calories. Native to Paraguay, it’s been used since the 1970s to sweeten soft drinks, candy and other foods. Stevia can be used for cooking and baking since it’s heat stable, plus it blends well with other sweeteners such as honey. The FDA has not yet approved stevia as a food additive, it’s offered as a supplement in health food stores. Stevia plants are widely available at garden centers and can be easy to grow in containers, as well as in the garden. Simply harvest and dry the leaves, then crumble them into a powder.
Brown Rice Syrup: Similar to barley malt syrup, but milder in flavor, rice syrup is made by fermenting cooked brown rice with sprouted barley grain. The enzymes in the sprouted barley convert rice starches into sugar. Rice syrup can be used interchangeably with honey.
Date Sugar: A true fruit sugar, date sugar is nothing more than ground dried dates. The resulting powder contains small amounts of several vitamins and minerals.
Honey:The best known alternative sweeteners. Honey has antibacterial properties – in fact, it outperforms conventional antibiotics when used as a dressing to treat burns, and actually promotes healing. Versatile honey can be used in just about anything. Use one-half as much honey as you would sugar in a recipe.
Maple Syrup: Made by boiling down the sap of maple trees, it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Maple syrup contains several trace minerals and some calcium and iron. It’s great on waffles and pancakes, it’s also wonderful in baked goods.
Molasses: A byproduct of making sugar, molasses contains most of the nutrients that are spun out of cane juice as it’s refined into crystals. Rich in potassium, molasses also contains calcium, as well as some iron, magnesium and trace amounts of several other minerals.
Naturally Milled Sugar: Unlike white sugar which is refined several times and whitened, naturally milled sugars go through a single crystallization process that leaves some of the trace nutrients of the cane juice behind.This is available organically, these full-flavored sugars, such as turbinado, are cream-colored to light brown in color, depending upon the amounts of molasses present.
Valkyrie Gunnr – WAU USA