The buzz on honey’s benefits go beyond the liquid’s sweetness. Honey is composed primarily of water, fructose and glucose. The sticky substance is sweeter than sugar, so you need less of it to sweeten your food. Bonus health feature: local honey contains trace amounts of pollen, which helps desensitize allergic reactions.
This natural sweetener has started to become a supermarket staple. The stevia plant is native to South America and has been used as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years. The sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar and can be a substitute for sugar in baking recipes. Many mainstream companies are incorporating stevia into their products such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola due to the sweetener being calorie-free.
Surprisingly, dates are one of the best substitutes for white sugar. The fruit is high in sugar and fiber, but offers a more caramel-like flavor. Date sugar, which can be found in many grocery stores, can be used as a one-to- one replacement for granulated or brown sugar. Blended raw dates act as a binder for homemade cookies while also being delicious in smoothies. Finally, homemade date syrup can add a delicious caramel flavor to your morning coffee.
Pureed fruits, such as bananas or applesauce, may be used as a natural sugar substitute in baking. In addition to making your recipes more favorable, you will harness the fruit’s natural sugar instead of using refined sugar. Be mindful, however, of matching flavors in baking. Using pureed bananas in banana bread offers natural sweetness while applesauce’s mild flavor works in multiple recipes.
While perhaps one of the most decadent natural sugar substitutes, maple syrup can be found in nearly every supermarket. The syrup may be used in various recipes from baking to cooking. The syrup contains antioxidants that support your body’s immune system, as well as several vitamins and minerals. Make sure to purchase real maple syrup, though, and not the imitation sweetener.
When using natural sugar substitutes, be mindful of your consumption. Just because many sugar substitutes are natural, does not necessarily make them healthy foods. When it comes to sugar and its substitutes, make sure to consume them in moderation.
Cutting back on your sugars isn’t the only way to stay healthy. Being healthy also means annual doctor visits, which means health care is a must. If you currently don’t have health insurance, Nevada Health Link is here to help. As part of a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). In other words, certain life events or situations, such as job loss, income change, marriage/divorce or birth/adoption of a child, may allow you to enroll in an insurance plan through Nevada Health Link outside of the annual open enrollment period.
All of our health plans exist to reduce the costs of health insurance and make sure you are covered. We’re always to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.