It’s no secret; we all know that too much sugar is bad for us. It used to be that refined sugar was just found in cupcakes or candy, but today almost every food has hidden sugars added. What many people may not know is that consuming too much of these added sugars could lead to serious health issues. We need healthy sugar alternatives.
I’m here today to share some with you that you can use while baking, making smoothies, your favorite cooking recipes, or just when your sweet tooth calls. Below I have a list of my favorite sugar alternatives that can be used in any of your own recipes!
Dates are a great alternative to sugar because they are SOOO naturally sweet. I compare them to the taste and sweetness of caramel, but without the bad effects or refined, white sugar! Dates are known to reduce blood pressure and promote heart health. All of the sugars in dates are naturally occurring fruit sugars and they can be added to any dish to replace white sugar. I use them in my smoothies for a little extra sweetness.
This may sound kind of weird but trust me - it works! I use applesauce when baking things like cakes and brownies instead of sugar, just cut up your whole apple (skin and core included) and blend it. Apples are a superfood in my book – they have been considered the “golden” fruit by many cultures for many centuries. Remember the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” You can add apples to your diet in many ways, using them in your baking can be one now too!
Natural Maple Syrup
Who doesn’t love a great maple syrup drizzle on top of their morning oats or protein pancakes? Natural maple syrup is a great sugar alternative. Maple syrup has numerous antioxidants and helps to fight inflammatory diseases. Just make sure it’s natural; we don’t want that Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup, which is all high fructose corn syrup. Maple syrup is sweet enough on it’s own, you just need a little drizzle.
Perhaps one of the easiest and most common sugar alternatives is honey! Look for unpasteurized raw honey, which is an excellent source of vitamins, enzymes, minerals, amino acids and energy. Honey helps to regulate blood sugar and is said to help reduce risk of cancer and heart disease. So, by all means, drizzle that honey atop your morning smoothie bowl!
Raw Coconut Nectar
This one is definitely one of my favorites! Coconut nectar has SO many health benefits, including the fact that it contains all essential amino acids. I use this in my baking as well to replace the unhealthy cane sugars.
Molasses is a sugar alternative that has a pretty distinct taste and may not be for everyone but I really enjoy it in my smoothies-especially when I make a chocolate smoothie to give it that rich flavor. It contains vital vitamins and minerals and has the lowest sugar content of all sugar cane products.
If you are making dressings or sauces, blending up any sweet fruit as the base is a delicious option. Raw fruit is always an excellent option for added sweetness especially if you do not heat it up above 118 degrees. Raw produce maintains all of its natural nutrients (and there are thousands) when consumed without heating it. Bananas are also incredibly sweet – you can peel and freeze your ripe bananas and then blend them in your blender for a delicious “ice cream” type desert
Short and Sweet Sugar Alternatives
So there you have it! My favorite refined sugar alternatives. Perfect for baking, cooking, smoothies, oats, and more! You can replace the call for white sugar with your favorite option. Please be aware that “organic” sugar cane is still refined sugar and difficult for your body to process. You don’t have to give up your sweet tooth if you want to be healthy. Just make a few substitutions and you’ll start to crave sugar less and whole foods that are naturally sweet more! Here at GetRealGetRaw we believe in the healing powers of raw foods, the more you add to your diet, the healthier and happier your body will be!
For more information on how to substitute different sweeteners and other health related topics - a great resource we have come across is Dr. Axe’s Food Is Medicine page.
Check it out now: https://draxe.com/natural-sweeteners