I am a very practical person. If I am going to be successful in something; especially something as huge as eliminating refined sugars from my life, I need some hands on alternatives and guidance in how to use said products. Today I have put together some tips and product suggestions as well as a few recipes for you to try out! So don’t be scared, change is GOOD and these changes will be pain-free… PROMISE!
My first thought when I planned to switch the sweetener in my tea was to reach for my bottle of honey; after-all honey is all natural right?! I was so wrong and here is why. Honey “is considered a refined sugar because 96% of dry matter are simple sugars: fructose, glucose and sucrose.” It also has a higher calorie count than white sugar, so not our best choice!
Using coconut palm sugar
Coconut Palm Sugar is a wonderful choice to replace that white stuff. It can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio and looks like brown sugar. This product can be found in many health food stores and some supermarkets. Try this amazing pancake recipe “Gluten Free Coconut Pancakes and Syrup Recipe.”
The above linked recipe is full of flavor and all natural ingredients. You certainly won’t miss refined sugar in this exceptional breakfast choice!
Using Agave nectar in place of sugar
Agave Syrup is another option which is great in cold drinks and baking since it dissolves easily. It is also even sweeter than traditional white sugar, so you can use less each time. This is ideal for making fresh, all natural “jam” style spreads.
For the easiest strawberry jam follow this recipe: Gluten Free Strawberry Jam Recipe
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, rinsed and halved
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- Combine strawberries and agave in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat so that the mixture continues to boil gently.
- Stir the mixture a few times while cooking to prevent sticking or scorching and mash the berries a few times (a potato masher works well for this or you can use the back of a spoon).
- Continue cooking for 25 minutes or until the berries are broken down and the mixture is very thick.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Mixture will thicken and gel up as it cools.
- Store in a clean jar for up to a week.
These are just two of the options with simple, tasty recipes to get you started. I encourage you to explore and experiment with these any the many other sugar substitutes available on the market today!