5 Healthy Sugar Replacements
Refined Sugar is Addictive and Feeds Many Diseases
It's no wonder we develop a "sweet tooth" when we consume sugar. Science shows it to be as addictive as narcotic drugs. To top that it is detrimental to our health–feeding disease causing microorganisms and cancer growth. Sugar changes our microbiome (our gut bugs) from healthy to ones that are pathogenic (disease causing). With all this information sugar is a prime ingredient in most processed foods and drinks. Once you start reading labels in the grocery store you will be shocked.
The US Department of Agriculture says Americans consume 150 to 170 pounds per year. That is a serious habit to kick! We could go for artificial sweeteners but science shows those to be even more toxic to our systems. But that does not mean we have to give up sweets altogether. Listed below are 5 healthy sweeteners.
This honey-like sweetener is made from the sap found in the core of the agave plant. It’s sweeter than table sugar, so you can use less to get the same results, a benefit it adds to your recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals: It has small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. Agave nectar also has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, so it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it a better choice for diabetics. (Neutral for all blood types and secretor types)
Raw Organic Local Honey
What's the BUZZ about honey? Well it contains trace amounts of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, free-radical fighting antioxidants and, some studies have shown, may help to alleviate seasonal allergies. It is beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight; honey’s low glycemic index helps keep sugar levels in check, a nice aspect is that it’s 50% sweeter than refined sugar, so you’ll be satisfied with less. (Neutral for blood types A secretor & non-secretor, B secretor & non-secretor, O secretor and AB secretor, avoid for O non-secretor and AB non-secretor). Remember it is to be avoided for babies under 1 year of age as it contains a bacteria that can harm the baby.
Pure Maple Syrup
We know how delicious using maple syrup is when enjoying pancakes. But this staple can also be used as a sugar substitute in baking. Research shows that maple syrup also has some health benefits including promoting cardiovascular health and boosting the immune system. (Neutral for blood types A secretor & non-secretor, B secretor & non-secretor, O secretor, and AB secretor; avoid for O non-secretor, and AB non-secretor).
It comes from the refining of sugar cane and sugar beets, the juice squeezed from these plants is boiled to a syrupy mixture from which sugar crystals are extracted. The remaining brownish-black liquid is molasses. Molasses is a sweetener often used in baking and can also be used as a syrup on pancakes and waffles. Its health benefits include a high iron content, as well as vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, and more antioxidants than any other natural sweetener. (Beneficial for A secretor and neutral for all other blood types and secretor types). You will want to get an organic form of molasses, sugar beets are almost all genetically modified.
Stevia is the powdered extract of the plant, Stevia Rebaudiana, an herb found in Paraguay and Brazil. While this zero-calorie sugar substitute tastes just like table sugar, it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. When using stevia, consumers should note that it is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar and use far less when baking or stirring into coffee or tea. Health benefits include phytochemical compounds that help control blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. (Neutral for A secretor & non-secretor, B non-secretor, AB secretor & non-secretor, and O secretor; avoid for B secretors and O non-secretors).
With all that being said, it is important to understand that sweeteners should constitute a very small portion of you diet, it is recommended to have 1 teaspoon as needed daily.
Check out the healthy Halloween candy recipes below.
1/2 cup elderberry syrup, divided (Proberry 3 Liquid) from www.dadamo.com)
3 tbsp gelatin or agar agar
1/4 cup very HOT water (but not boiling)
1–2 tbsp honey – OPTIONAL other options are agave, stevia or maple syrup
1 tsp melted ghee or butter to grease molds
Using the tip of a pastry brush, grease gummy molds with melted ghee or butter.
Pour 1/4 cup of elderberry into bottom of a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top of surface and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.
Pour 1/4 cup of VERY HOT water (but not boiling) into bowl and whisk quickly until gelatin is completely dissolved. Then pour in remaining 1/4 cup of elderberry syrup. Taste and adjust sweetness with optional honey. Whisk again until completely incorporated.
Pour mixture into gummy bear molds. Most come with a special dropper to make this process easier.
Place into refrigerator until set- at least 2 hours. Store gummy bears in airtight glass jar in fridge.
If you don’t have silicone gummy bear molds, you can pour mixture into small glass baking dish and cut into desired size pieces once set.
These Activated Charcoal Gummies are a spooky, healthy Halloween treat that's fun for the whole family to make. Texture can vary, so the taste test yourself first to make sure baby is developmentally ready to eat gummies. No Honey for babies under 1 year of age.
1.5 cups chilled tart cherry juice
1/4 cup grass-fed gelatin (we used Great Lakes or Vital Proteins brand. Make sure to use gelatin and not collagen, as collagen won't set.)
1 Tbsp honey
20-30 drops high-quality stevia
1/4 tsp activated charcoal powder
Pour chilled juice into medium size bowl
Add gelatin and stir. Wait 3-4 minutes for the gelatin to fully hydrate, then mix until blended well
Pour into an enamel or stainless steel pot on medium-low heat. Add honey and stevia and stir until well-blended
Pour back into bowl, stir in charcoal, and let cool to room temperature
Pipe into decorative molds using dropper
Let gummies set slightly to avoid spilling when moving to fridge
Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or freezer for 8-10 minutes