Now, more than ever, it’s become more important for us to be mindful about our sugar intake—especially when cooking or baking for the people you love.
Aside from diabetes, too much sugar in your diet can cause a host of ailments, from tooth decay to heart disease.
That’s why the New Gen Baker consulted our experts at The Maya Kitchen to come up with sugar substitutes that remove this danger from your diet without sacrificing sweetness. So without further ado, here are our top three sugar substitutes, in no particular order:
#1 Raw Honey
Almost nothing can beat the goodness of raw honey, and when we say goodness, we don’t just mean in terms of taste. This superfood is packed with the good stuff, including vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, potassium, zinc, and is loaded with antioxidants.
Honey’s glycemic load or GL, defined by Wikipedia as “a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it,” is much lower than that of white sugar.
Raw honey serves more as a condiment than an ingredient. Why? Because adding heat just burns all the nutrients away. You can drizzle it over your kids’ cereal instead of white sugar to sweeten (looks good presentation-wise too). Try this out on any dish, especially baked goods when they’ve cooled, to make them both sweet and healthy.
#2 Coconut Sugar
Just like raw honey, coconut sugar has a low glycemic index, not to mention chock full of polyphenols, phytonutrients, zinc, antioxidants, and more.
This coarse sugar can be measured like normal sugar for cooking. If it’s too course for you, give it a whirl in your food processor.
Note that you might need to add this to the liquid elements of the dish in order to dissolve it. Think as if you’re using brown sugar to cook or bake with. It also colors your dishes an appetizing brown.
Some of our cooking and baking ideas include using coconut sugar in chocolate or spice-based cakes and cupcakes, flavoring Asian-inspired broths, and even using it for sauces. And because coffee is life for many, we promise it’ll taste better with coconut sugar rather than the unhealthy white variety.
#3 Maple Syrup
No, it’s not just for pancakes.
In fact, maple syrup is more versatile than raw honey and coconut sugar because you can heat it up without burning away what’s essential and its consistency makes it easy to mix with anything, making it an ideal sugar substitute for baking, cooking, and sauces.
It’s so much healthier than white sugar; it’s high in antioxidants and is known to decrease inflammation. It’s also great for the skin, and as some studies suggest, can help prevent cancer. But like everything else, use it in moderation.
Now we understand how difficult it can be to remove cane sugar from your diet, especially if you or your loved ones have a sweet tooth. But with these sugar substitutes, you’ll find that you can have your cake and eat it too.