There is always a huge amount of discussion in the media about the food industry’s favourite ingredient, factory refined sugars, which is 99.9% sucrose ie empty calories. The Telegraph published a damning article about this highly addictive substance. It’s making the world fat and contributing to all sorts of life threatening diseases and the more articles like this in the mainstream press the better, as far as I’m concerned.
So, what are the healthier alternatives? The ones when used in moderation can actually benefit our bodies whilst also giving us a sweet fix.
Coconut sugar is a great one to start with. Because it comes in granular form it’s easy to have around the kitchen, but its best asset is that it has a low glycemic index, about half that of regular cane sugar. It also contains a rich supply of minerals and B vitamins without being filtered, processed or bleached.
And then there’s raw honey? Raw honey has not been pasteurised, filtered or heat treated so all the nutrients stay active. It’s great for the skin, use on acne, rashes or burn or use as your weekly face pack!
And lastly, stevia. The stevia plant comes from South America and is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar! You really only need a small amount to experience a sweet taste … it can feel a bit trial and error when you first start to use it, as it is so sweet – so your recipe will need altering. It has zero calories and has no glycemic index so your body won’t experience the highs and lows it does from sugar – it’s safe for diabetics too.
Finally, try to halve the sugar quantity in recipes and you'll notice no detriment to the taste! I have tried this with friends and they have failed to spot the difference. Why not give it a go?
So you see, life can be just as sweet the natural way!