Many of us search for alternative sweeteners to sugar, which we know in excess contributes to premature aging, blood glucose fluctuations, and weight gain.
Refined sugar is so heavily processed that very little nutrients remain in its bleached white crystals. Raw cane sugar, cane juice extract, and Rapidura are less processed versions of sugar, so are slightly better choices than white sugar. Even healthier are sweeteners such as grade B maple syrup, agave nectar, stevia, honey, and yacon syrup, which contain some vitamins and minerals along with their unique sweet flavors. Substituting these in baking is a challenge, but is well worth exploring. Note that honey should be added after cooking as high heat changes its properties and renders it toxic.
Speaking of toxins, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Equal, Sweet & Low, NutraSweet, saccharin and even Splenda are reported to contain known carcinogens (cancer causing substances) as well as neurotoxins. Steer clear of these sweeteners as well as high fructose corn syrup (a cheap byproduct of excess corn production) and maple-flavored syrup, which is in no way equivalent to the real syrup from maple trees. Coconuts and other palms are being processed into sugar crystals these days, and their long-term effects are still unknown. Enjoy these healthier sweeteners in lieu of sugar in moderation as excessive amounts of anything sweet can have negative consequences.
Below is a great pudding recipe void of any refined sugars! Enjoy.
Image Credit: Benedicte Lechrist