We believe food should give our bodies more of the good stuff, but we still like to mindfully enjoy something sweet every now and then. The next time you have a sweet tooth, skip the processed sugars and use one of these six smart sweeteners instead.
#1 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup
Many maple syrups you’ll find in the grocery store are full of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial caramel coloring, which is why it’s important to read your labels and look for 100% pure organic maple syrup. What is ‘good’ maple syrup? What should people look for? What’s the difference between grade A, B, etc? Since maple syrup is sourced straight from tree sap, it goes through minimal processing to reach its final form. Maple syrup isn’t just to top your pancakes or waffles, it can also be used to sweeten granola, homemade ice cream, plain yogurt, salad dressings and sauces.
#2 Coconut Sugar
We love coconut sugar because it’s a natural, unrefined sweetener. Derived from the sap of palm trees that’s been dried and milled, coconut sugar is not only a smart sweetener, but it’s also a sustainable sweetener. Coconut palm trees produce as much as 75% more sugar per acre, while using less than 20% of the resources than sugarcane plants. Now that’s a sweetener you can feel good about using. We use coconut sugar to sweeten our crunchy cookies and our banana muffin mix (as well as a few others).
Dates could be considered Mother Nature’s candy. These sweet fruits are completely unprocessed and can be eaten fresh, dried or pureed into a paste. Keep in mind dates are very high in fructose, so it is still important to enjoy them in moderation. Use dates to sweeten energy bites, homemade bars and puddings.
#4 Monk Fruit Extract
Monk fruit is a sub-tropical melon that originates in Asia. It is created by fermenting the pulp of the monk fruit, which removes the sugars and leaves behind a residual sweet powder, which becomes monk fruit extract. We love it because it lends a delicious, naturally-sweet flavor to our organic frostings.
Molasses is a sweetener that is made by boiling down raw sugar to remove the sucrose. What’s left behind is a thick syrup that we know as molasses. Fun Fact: Blackstrap molasses is processed up to three times to remove as much as the sucrose as possible.
Looking for a good use for that bottle of blackstrap molasses? Try this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Loaf
#6 Raw Honey
One of the best honey options is Manuka Honey from New Zealand, as it hosts a higher nutritional content than raw honey. If you prefer raw honey instead, then look for options labeled raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered. Use honey in dessert recipes, oatmeal, tea, smoothies and yogurt.
When it comes to sugar, enjoy it mindfully by choosing to use one of these six smart sweeteners, but remember to use them all in moderation because you are sweet enough already!
Tag us @SimpleMills so we can see how you sweeten smartly.