Craving sweet flavors is a natural behavior that, before modern times, kept humans away from harmful toxins and plants. The truth is our sweet cravings have not changed a lot, so liking sweet flavors is natural because our bodies need natural sugars to complete specific biological processes.
For this reason, we often turn to sugar to satisfy our cravings. The problem is that sugar is one of the most harmful types of food additives on the market. It’s so dangerous that some countries have already banned it from store shelves and restaurants.
When you consider how much sugar has contributed to obesity rates and other health problems, you’ll understand why people are starting to think more seriously about what they put in their bodies.
While many sweeteners on the market aren’t as bad as sugar, there are still better alternatives available. Here are a few of the best alternatives for those who want to cut down on their sugar intake:
The Best Type of Sweeteners
Stevia extract comes from a plant called Stevia Rebaudiana which is native to South America. It contains glycosides which give it a sweet taste without any calories or carbohydrates.
This makes it ideal for diabetics who need an alternative sweetener.
However, it’s not recommended for people who need to lose weight. It can also cause stomach distress in some people, so it’s best to start slow and work your way up or alternatively you can use the .
This is a sugar alcohol that is extracted from birch trees. It doesn’t have a sweet taste like sugar, but it still tastes great in baked goods and other recipes. It has about half the calories of sugar and causes fewer stomach problems than stevia.
The only downside is that it can cause diarrhea if you consume too much of it at once.
This is another sugar alcohol that is even better than xylitol for diabetics because it doesn’t raise blood glucose levels at all. Like stevia and xylitol, erythritol does have a bitter aftertaste which some people don’t like when they first use it.
However, it can be used in smaller amounts than stevia and xylitol so you can gradually get used to the taste.
How to Replace Sugar in Recipes
Now that we’ve covered the various sweeteners, let’s talk about how to replace sugar in recipes. The first thing you have to do is read the recipe and see which sweeteners are called for in it.
This is usually listed with the other ingredients. You might find that your recipe calls for a combination of different sweeteners. For example, you might use honey, stevia, and xylitol together depending on what the recipe calls for. That’s why it’s important to before making them!
Once you know what sweeteners are called for in your recipe, you need to decide which ones you want to use instead of sugar and how much of each one you will substitute for sugar.
For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you might decide to use ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup stevia, and ½ cup xylitol instead. You can also use a combination of different sweeteners if you want. For example, you could use 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup stevia, and 1/3 cup xylitol instead.
If your recipe calls for brown or granulated sugar or powdered sugar, you can usually replace it with regular granulated white sugar. You don’t have to worry about as long as you are using the same sweetener in the same amount.
However, if your recipe calls for confectioners (powdered) sugar or icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar), you should use confectioners or icing sugar in place of it.
This is because they are not the same thing at all even though they are both called “powdered sugar.”
If you are using a liquid sweetener, such as honey, molasses, or agave nectar, you may want to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1 to 2 tablespoons. This is because liquid sweeteners are much more concentrated than sugar and will make your baked goods moister.
You should also be aware that some sweeteners are much sweeter than others. For example, if you replace 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of honey or maple syrup, your baked goods will be very sweet. If your recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of sugar and you replace it with ¼ cup honey or maple syrup, however, your baked goods won’t taste any sweeter.
This is because these two quantities contain the same amount of sweetness!
When calculating how much sweetener to use for a recipe that calls for a liquid sweetener (such as honey), remember that ¼ cup is equivalent to 2 tablespoons and ¾ cup is equivalent to 3 tablespoons.
1. Replace the sugar called for in a recipe with an equal amount of a, such as evaporated cane juice (also called coconut sugar), Sucanat, or brown rice syrup. You may need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
2. Replace the sugar called for in a recipe with an equal amount of a liquid sweetener, such as pure maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1 to 2 tablespoons and add ¼ teaspoon baking soda for every cup of liquid sweetener used.
3. Replace 1 cup of granulated white sugar with ¾ cup packed light brown sugar and reduce any liquids in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.
4. Replace 1 cup of granulated white sugar with ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar and reduce any liquids in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.
How to Substitute Honey for Sugar
Honey is sweeter than sugar, so it takes less of it to get the same amount of sweetness in a recipe. Here’s how to figure out how much honey to use for a recipe that calls for sugar.
1. Replace the sugar called for in a recipe with an equal amount of honey, reducing any liquids in the recipe by 1 tablespoon for every cup of honey used.
2. Replace the sugar called for in a recipe with an equal amount of agave nectar and reduce any liquids in the recipe by 1 tablespoon for every cup of agave nectar used.