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How to replace sugar: 9 natural alternatives to sweeten drinks and desserts

Fundamental to sweeten coffee, tea and drinks or to prepare desserts and delicious recipes, granulated sugar is an ingredient that apparently we could never give up. Despite this, however, granulated sugar is not always recommended and that is why we can replace it with natural alternatives that are just as sweet and much healthier. Let's see what they are.

By Cookist

In the packages and sachets of bars, the granulated sugar is pure white in color, but in reality, at its "natural" stage, the sugar deriving from beet is not like that at all. In fact, to become so white, sugar undergoes a series of industrial processes of refining, through the use of acids and food colorings; the consequence is the loss of most of its nutritional properties, making it quite harmful for our health. .

Another factor to underline is that granulated sugar is considered responsible, along with other factors, for diseases such as obesity, diabetes or hyperglycemia. What to do then, give up and eliminate it from our diet? And what happens to all our sweet recipes? Don't worry; just replace it with aromas and natural foods that, with the same taste, are less harmful for our body, so as not to give up taste and our gluttony. Here are 10 possible sugar substitutes and the quantities to sweeten drinks and desserts the right way.

1. Brown sugar (whole and not) instead of white sugar


Certainly the best known and most popular substitute for white granulated sugar, raw cane sugar has a dark color and a fairly moist consistency. On the market we find two forms; whole one and slightly refined. If in doubt, it is better to choose the first one that has undergone less processing than the second. Excellent to use not only in coffee but also in confectionery; just use the same quantities indicated for white sugar.

2. Coconut sugar instead of white sugar

A product derived from the sap of the coconut palm which is extracted, boiled and then crystallized. Coconut sugar has a slightly sweeter flavor than brown sugar although very similar in appearance. It has the same calories as white sugar but it is not refined. Two fundamental characteristics make it a perfect substitute for granulated sugar; despite the name it does not taste of coconut and does not involve an increase in the glycemic index.

3. Fructose instead of white sugar


Fructose is a natural sweetener found in fruit and honey, as well as some vegetables. It can be used to replace sugar in any type of preparation, but it is necessary to pay attention to one of its characteristics; fructose in fact sweetens about 20% more than white sugar. The equation is simpler than expected; in desserts, for example, 100 grams of white sugar will be replaced with 80 grams of fructose.

4. Honey instead of white sugar

Honey is not only an excellent substitute for sugar but it is also a natural energy food, rich in beneficial properties for our body. On the market we find acacia, wildflower or chestnut honey and all are excellent substitutes for sugar. Honey is also particularly suitable for those who carry out physical activities but not for children, because it could cause the formation of dental decay. To prepare homemade donuts and plum cakes with honey, the quantities to be respected are 80 grams of honey per 100 of sugar.

5. Malt instead of white sugar


Product deriving from the germination of corn or barley, malt sweetens slightly less than granulated sugar, but it is widely used to replace it, especially in the preparation of drinks, biscuits (especially corn one) and ice cream. The rule to follow for the right proportions is to use 50% more malt than the recommended amount of sugar.

6. Molasses instead of white sugar

Derived from the processing of white and cane sugar, molasses has a very dense liquid consistency and a higher sweetening power than granulated sugar. Not very easy to find on the counters of our supermarkets, it will be used with a proportion of 80 grams per 100 grams of sugar especially in some recipes.

7. Apple or grape syrup instead of white sugar


Through a fermentation process the juice or syrup of apples and grapes is obtained, foods particularly rich in fructose, a substance which, as we have seen, has a sweetening power very similar to granulated sugar. To use apple or grape syrup for the preparation of homemade desserts, the proportion to be followed is 80 grams of syrup for every 100 grams of sugar.

8. Maple syrup instead of white sugar

We are used to thinking of maple syrup only on soft pancakes, but perhaps not everyone knows that this syrup, produced by processing the maple sap, is rich in iron, vitamins and sucrose, so it is perfect as a substitute for the classic white sugar. Its delicate flavor reminiscent of honey makes it particularly suitable for the preparation of desserts and donuts.

9. Stevia instead of white sugar


A plant of South American origin, stevia is a very powerful sweetener that can also be consumed by those suffering from diabetes. Now widely used and easy to find on supermarket counters, stevia sweetens up to 300 times more than granulated sugar thanks to its active ingredient, stevioside. Excellent for sweetening drinks or recipes, stevia has a significant advantage, since it is calorie-free.

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