In our family’s quest for Less is More in the way of processed foods and such, I’ve been experimenting with different sweeteners to replace the use of the good ‘ol white stuff! And I’m not talking about substitutions such as applesauce or prune puree in baked goods, I’m just comparing the true sweetener products. I have never been a fan of artificial sweeteners for both the taste and proposed health risks. Lately I’ve really disliked anything I’ve tried with Splenda in it, although so many swear by it.
But, I have come to truly love Sugar In The Raw, Hawaiian Turbinado Sugar. It has a wonderful taste, brown crystal color, and dissolves nicely into drinks, baked goods and oatmeal. Please don’t confuse it with brown sugar, which is just a refined white sugar, with molasses syrup added back in for color and taste-how crazy is that? I also love the fact that it comes from Maui, where we honeymooned! Check out their website, they even have a coupon on the website to try it out!
I also recently purchased Trader Joe’s Organic Agave Nectar after reading about its’ significant benefits over other sweeteners. Foremost, it is a “low-glycemic” index natural sweetener, which means it will not over stimulate the production of insulin. A very good thing in a nation of ever-increasing obesity and increased preponderance of diabetes and other related health problems.
Agave Nectar is produced from the agave plant and is much less refined than table sugar. Unlike fructose sweeteners that are produced chemically, Agave Nectar contains no sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid or other harmful toxins. It is perfect for a low-calorie diet, because it is sweeter than table sugar, thus, much less is needed in your recipes. In recipes, you can use about 25% less of this nectar than you would use of table sugar, so ¾ cup of agave nectar should equal 1 cup of table sugar.
My final experiment will be to try Stevia. I say, why use white sugar that has been effectively bleached & over-refined or use products with the evil HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), when you have these wonderful natural alternatives? Yes, I know you could opt for no sweeteners, but for me, that’s just not gonna happen anytime soon!