Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Best Healthy Alternatives for Sweeteners when Cooking ~ Guest Post by Bridget

You don't have to swear off sweets when you are making the transition to a healthy lifestyle. You simply need to make a few adjustments. Instead of eating an entire slice of double-layer cheesecake, you can serve yourself a small sliver or enjoy a couple of those cheesecake "bites" that you can buy in the store. Instead of making your desserts and sweet treats with refined white sugars, you can choose natural, healthy sweeteners instead.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few healthy alternatives for sweeteners you can choose when cooking, as well as information about how to make the substitution:


Not only is honey all-natural, but it also provides plenty of nutrients, such as antioxidants and B vitamins. You can find different varieties and flavors or honey, or you can use just plain-ol' classic honey. When you cook with honey, you won't need as much. For every cup of sugar that the recipe calls for, use only 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of honey. Since honey has a different consistency than sugar, it can also alter the texture of your recipe. You should reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup and increase the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon.


Stevia is an herb that naturally has no calories. It's nature's solution to "diet" products! The sweet leaf is several hundred times more sweet than sugar, so you won't need nearly as much of it to sweeten your dish. Use only 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia for every 1 cup of sugar. You may want to experiment with amounts as Stevia leaves a strong aftertaste that some may not like.

Maple Syrup

This natural sweetener is tapped from the sap of maple trees. You can use it for much more than just topping your waffles in the morning. When baking with it, use about 1/4 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar. You should also then reduce the liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons and increase the baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon.

Brown Rice Syrup

Made from fermented brown rice, brown rice syrup is lower on the glycemic index than white sugar and has more nutrients. You can use brown rice syrup in your cooking by replacing 1 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of brown rice syrup.

Blackstrap Molasses

This byproduct of sugarcane processing is loaded with nutrients, such as iron, magnesium and vitamin B6, and is a healthy alternative to white sugar. Use 1-1/4 cup of molasses for every cup of sugar in the recipe. You should also cut the liquid in your recipe by 1/3 cup and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
There are many other options for healthy sweeteners, depending on what you're cooking and what your preferences are. Many use agave syrup, though there has recently been some controversy over whether or not agave is any different nutritionally than high-fructose corn syrup. Other options include:
• Xylitol
• Unsweetened applesauce
• Vanilla
• Dates (or date sugar)
• Fruit
Experiment with your recipes until you find the right substitutions (or combination) at the right measurements.
What healthy alternatives for sweeteners do you use in your cooking? Share them in the comments!

About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching San Diego culinary arts. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Image source: Google search engine
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. I found the article interesting and hence am publishing the same.

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  1. Wow - this list is amazing vimi - will sure a helpful post

  2. Hello vimitha.. This is very interesting and informative post

  3. Very informative, nowadays am taking my tea without sugar, for me stevia is an excellent alternative.

  4. Very useful and informative post.

  5. wow... wonderful post... very useful...

  6. Very useful and informative post!

  7. Nice post:) I would add date syrup and barley/ rice malt to this list also. I have heard that cooking with honey can be harmful to health, though- when raised above a certain temperature (like high temperatures used in baking~ there are substances in it that change and become toxic. Xylitol is one of my favourites, and unlike sugar it actually protects your teeth!

  8. Very useful n informative...lov to molasses

  9. Hi Vimitha, excellent posting and information. Thanks for sharing.

    Best Regards.

  10. Very informative post, vimitha. Happy to follow you. Do visit my space as well.


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