Natural sweeteners have received a lot of interest due to increasing health concerns over the consumption of sugar as well as problems related to the safety of some non-nutritive artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners derived from fruits or vegetables are great alternatives to white sugar.
Some Natural sweeteners include:
Honey is made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. Raw honey is a true superfood and one of the best natural sweeteners. It is packed with enzymes, antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, riboflavin and niacin. It is sweeter and has more calories than white sugar.
The sugar derived is made from pulverized dates. It contains some fiber and minerals. The date pieces do not dissolve in liquids or melt like other sugars, so the use of date sugar is limited. Dates are loaded with potassium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6. These sweet fruits are not only delicious to eat straight, but can be utilized in many types of blended shakes, foods as well as, of course, healthy dessert recipes. They are a very common natural sweetener among those adhering to a raw vegan diet or dietary regimes attempting to avoid other types of processed sugars.
Brown rice syrup
This is made by heating brown rice with enzymes. In the process, about 50 percent of the rice starches are converted into sugars; the liquid is strained and the syrup remains. Brown rice syrup is about half as sweet as white sugar. It has a mild, butterscotch flavor. Brown rice syrup can be used in cookies, muffins, and puddings; as a syrup for pancakes and waffles; and as a sweetener for iced tea.
Molasses is the thick syrup that remains after sugar beets or sugarcane is processed to make white sugar. The type of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar beet or cane, the amount of sugar that is removed, and the extraction process. First, sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is extracted. The juice is then boiled down to form sugar crystals, which are removed from the liquid. Molasses is the thick, brown syrup left after the sugar has been removed from the juice. This process is repeated several times, and each time a different type of molasses is produced.
Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar or coco sap sugar, or coconut crystals is made from the sweet nectar of flower buds of the coconut palm. The sugar is extracted when the coconut nectar is heated until the water evaporates and then the caramelized nectar is dried and ground into granules. Coconut sugar is a good source of potassium, iron, and vitamins.
Maple syrup is made by boiling down sap from maple trees until the sugars condense into thickened syrup. Natural maple syrup contains minerals, such as calcium and potassium. Maple syrup is also manufactured by combining corn syrup, maple flavoring, and coloring. Manufactured maple syrup may not contain the same level of minerals as natural maple syrup.
The extract from stevia is approximately 100 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar and can be used in cooking and baking. It is best used as a sweetener for some beverages. Stevia does not have a significant effect on blood sugar levels and is considered low glycemic. It’s also the only item on this list that does not contain any calories.
Other Natural Sweeteners include; Balsamic glaze, Banana puree, Monk fruit, Agave nectar, and many others.