It’s estimated that the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar every day and around 57 pounds of added sugar each year (1). As we slowly approach the holiday season, you may be looking forward to all the treats you will bake and eat. If you are looking to limit your sugar intake, while still enjoying the desserts of the season there are many substitutes for conventional sugar that you can use.
Raw honey is a superfood packed with enzymes, antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin (1). If you want the true benefits, make sure the honey is raw and not pasteurized. Raw honey is not an ingredient to bake or cook with, but it is great to drizzle over treats, yogurt, oatmeal, homemade salad dressings, mixing into your tea, and more.
- Check out this super simple raw honey mustard salad dressing.
Stevia has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and none of the harmful side effects of artificial sweeteners. In fact, the American Diabetes Association includes stevia on its list of recommended sugar substitutes. Stevia can be used to bake and cook with, but it is 200x sweeter than regular sugar, so you will not want to use the same ratio. To make up for the lost bulk when using stevia in baked goods, use ⅓ to ½ cup of one of the following bulking agents: fresh fruit puree, yogurt, roasted winter squash, two whipped egg whites or one to two tablespoons of coconut flour (1).
- Check out these brownies made with stevia.
Dates are filled with potassium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6. They are easily digested, and help metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The best way to use dates when baking is to first turn them into a paste.
- First soak in hot water until soft
- Add the dates to a food processor along with 1 tbsp of the liquid leftover from soaking
- Blend until smooth – the consistency of peanut butter
- Check out these chocolate coconut date balls
Coconut sugar is full of polyphenols, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, antioxidants, phosphorous and other phytonutrients. It is a great substitute when baking.
Although a bit more coarse, coconut sugar measures just like traditional sugar. You can add the sugar to a food processor until you get the desired texture. You can even make a confectioner’s sugar substitute with coconut sugar quite quickly. For every cup of coconut sugar, add one tablespoon of arrowroot powder and blend until smooth in a clean coffee grinder or high-powered food processor (1).
- Check out these coconut sugar chocolate chip cookies