One distinct ingredient in any recipe that requires it is sugar. You can not miss the sweet taste and feel of sugar if used in a recipe. It is highly versatile and finds usage in many traditional and continental recipes.
There has been a high demand for alternatives to sugar in the recent past, especially because of health reasons, as most persons with certain ailments are strictly warned to avoid sugar. Hence the need to get healthier substitutes for it. Gladly, there are both natural and artificial alternatives to sugar which include; aspartame, maple syrup, and honey.
What is Sugar?
Sugar is simply a form of carbohydrate that, when digested in the body, is broken down into glucose, which helps our body with energy. Sugar most commonly comes in four forms; glucose, fructose, sucrose, and lactose. These four forms can be further categorized into natural and added forms of sugar. The type of sugar in most soft drinks is the added form of sugar. Added forms of sugar, when moderately used, are fine. Still, many of us, of which I am guilty sometimes, consume more than necessary.
On the other hand, natural sugars are found naturally in foods like fruits and milk. Most foods with natural sugars are nutrient-dense and rich in fiber, which helps in overall health. Sugar was first extracted from sugar cane juice from the plant. Added sugar also has some hidden sources that are not so common to users, including agave nectar, barley malt syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, coconut flour, and honey, which are healthier Substitutes for sugar.
Sugar is also very distinct in taste, look, and texture, this makes people want to use it specifically for the twist and sweetness it adds to the food. But, people cannot always use it because it’s not as healthy or available.
Sugar has a distinctly sweet taste and a grainy to powdery texture for granulated forms of sugar. It is completely soluble in water while giving a dense texture to recipes where they are used.
Sugar Nutrition Facts
Sugar Uses in Recipes
Sugar is very versatile, especially in pastries. Therefore, it finds use in numerous traditional and intercontinental recipes. Because they easily mix with the matrix of the recipes, they are used often, even in foods you may not think would require sugar. Some of the recipes where sugar is used includes:
- Dairy desserts
- Sweetened drinks
- Shortbread biscuit
- Fruit juice
- Homemade Cookies
Substitutes for Sugar
Suppose you are looking for substitutes for sugar in your recipe either because of health reasons or you ran out of it with something even more flavorful, healthy, and easily available. In that case, this list will be helpful to you. Agreed is that you may not be able to leave out sugar from your recipe completely. Still, there are wonderful substitutes for it in both natural and artificial forms. Take a look.
Coconut sugar is obtained from coconut palm sap. It comes in a crystalline form and has quite a deep flavor. It can be substituted for sugar in your recipes on a 1-for-1 basis in terms of quantity. It brings coconut flavor, which can greatly spice your cooking.
Locally sourced honey adds a rich sweetness to any recipe and is a perfect sugar substitute. It has a strong flavor profile which may vary based on the flowers where the honeybees got their nectar. Honey is a healthy source of natural sugar and can be gotten anywhere around you. For every cup of real sugar in your baking recipe, you can add ¾ cup of honey.
Fruit concentrates are fruits with the water removed. That can bring fruity natural sweetness and flavor to your recipe, such as desserts. You may want to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by three tablespoons and include ¾ cups of concentrates for every cup of sugar.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener and a common low-calorie sugar substitute. It is made up of 2 amino acids; aspartic acid and phenylalanine. It is often sweeter than your regular sugar and can be found mostly in processed food and drinks like yogurt, pudding, and chewing gums. However, aspartame loses its sweet taste when heated, so it is not a good substitute in baking.
Maple syrup is yet another natural substitute for sugar. It is derived from tee sap and is very flavorful. For every cup of white sugar, ¾ cup of maple syrup is added. Maple syrup is a great and healthy alternative to sugar used in different recipes. It is also advised to read the label of the maple syrup you buy to know the added sugar content.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
What can I use in place of sugar?
There are many healthy substitutes for sugar available, which could be either artificial or natural. Some of which include; coconut sugar, agave nectar, and maple syrup.
What is the healthiest alternative to sugar?
There are some healthy alternatives to sugar, and most of which are from natural sources—for example, honey, stevia, coconut sugar, and maple syrup.
How can I sweeten my recipe without sugar?
You can sweeten your recipe without sugar by using natural sweetener sources that do not contain any sugar. Some of them include; cinnamon, banana, dates, shredded coconut, or vanilla.
Sugar remains a major ingredient for most recipes in different parts of the world. However, because of health reasons and probably a preference, many persons would rather do without it. So if your reason is that you ran out of sugar while cooking, you would also find this piece helpful. This article has covered many healthy alternatives to sugar which means you can have a lovely meal and not be worried about your health. And, I do hope you find some great substitutes for your recipes here