As I have mentioned before sugar and I do not get along. I am very sensitive to the white stuff and get cold like symptoms if I have it. So what do I do instead? Well I have a few favorite natural sweeteners I use instead.
1) Dates– They are rich in many vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium as well as many B vitamins. Dates help those suffering from constipation or diarrhea, so they are great for the overall well being of your gut.
2) Stevia– Now baking with Stevia can be quite difficult because it is 300 times sweeter than sugar but doesn’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and the crash that follows. It is also completely natural which is a big bonus.
3) Coconut Sugar– Is made from the sugar blossoms of fresh coconuts in the tropics. It is gaining popularity because of its low glycemic index but it is also high in vitamins and minerals. It also contains 16 out of the 20 amino acids.
4) Raw Honey– Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. I use it in my strep throat remedy and as a cough syrup. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system and helps eliminate allergies.
5) Maple Syrup– We are talking the real maple syrup here. Real maple syrup is a great choice because it settles digestion issues, it is high in manganese which helps with muscle recovery and is filled with important nutrients such as potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.
There you have it, these are my favorite sweeteners but as with anything use all in moderation. Some may be wondering “where is agave?”. Recent studies have shown that some Agave is so refined that it is really no better than using high fructose corn syrup. According to Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt, a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and an associate faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: “[Agave is] almost all fructose, highly processed sugar with great marketing.”