Here, a little grocery list of the best natural sweeteners you can choose instead of the nasty refined sugars, next time you go shopping.
But, to make it clear directly, this doesn't mean that now that you've found healthy sweeteners, you can just go for it and not care about the quantity you’ll be using. Some of these alternatives have still high glycemic index, so try to use them with moderation🙊
The advantage of these natural sweeteners, is, that they are so INTENSE in taste that they will directly give the sweet taste you want for your delicious recipes!
And as we know already, but we sometimes tend to forget: too much is TOO much.
So first thing to remember, no need to use any of these refined sugars ever again, as there are MANY healthy and tasteful ways to replace it.
Try fruits, dry fruits and fruit sauces
For granola’s, pancakes, smoothies, cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.
THINK dried cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots, figs, etc.
There are sweet and with a certain glycemic index of course, so don’t abuse them but at least they’ll give some sweet taste to your smoothies, dough, granola mix and other preps without adding any nasty sugars.
dates paste and raisins paste
DIY : Soak the dates or raisins for two hours in water. Keep the water aside and mix the dates or raisins in a food processor adding little by little some of the water you've kept aside until you reach the suitable consistency for your paste. There you go ! If you like it you can add a pinch of vanilla extract or cinnamon to add more flavor.
DIY: Choose preferably sweet apples, peel them and cut them into 3 cm cubes. Add some cinnamon, I usually put a bit of coconut oil to avoid that the bottom sticks and burn. On low heat, I usually leave it to cook for 20 minutes (depends on the quantity of apples). The more you let it cook the more the natural sugar of the apple is going to come out and give a natural caramelized taste. No need to add extra sugar and if really, you're willing to have a bit more of sweetness add a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Apricot sauce, Prune sauce, Pear sauce and even mashed Pumpkin
DIY : Exactly the same process as for apple sauce, but count more 40 minutes as cooking time (even sometimes one hour for the pumpkin). Of course, it’s still depending on quantity, so keep an eye on it !!
If you don’t like the idea of having pieces of fruit into your mix. Using the fruit pastes or sauces, is the thing you should try ! You will get the sweetness of the fruits and some extra fibers but no chunks in your preparation.
Also, always think about using raw cocoa mixed with some apple/pear sauce into your brownies. Like this, you’ll get a tasteful brownie made out of raw chocolate but no bitterness thanks to the apple/pear sauce. If you want, instead of using flour, you can also replace it with red kidney beans, it works amazingly! [check out on Instagram for the complete recipe]
Same for your pancakes instead of using sugar and wheat, just use one egg two bananas and one teaspoon psyllium husk for the fibers and the consistency, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of vanilla if you like it, just blend the whole thing together and you get delicious pancakes without any refined sugars and even gluten! [check out on Instagram for the complete recipe]
The natural sweet BOMBS
First on the list as I tend to think that used wisely and carefully, it’s one of the best sweeteners we can use as it is super strong in taste and very healthy BUT AGAIN, use it wisely. In Ayurveda, honey is considered as medicine so use it but don’t abuse it, it’s also not recommended cooking honey.
Pure maple syrup
Second on the list, as I would put as the number two in terms of powerful sweetener and quite a healthy ingredient at the same time if used reasonably.
Unrefined sugar cane, high in glycemic index but non-processed sugar so has kept all its components and is better assimilated by the body.
People are mixed concerning the coconut sugars as its glycemic index is quite high. What I would say is that its taste is so intense that you don’t really need to use it that much and in terms processing, coconut sugar has the advantage that it is quite untouched. So if you make again a wise use from it, it is still a better choice compared to refined sugars.
A really nice alternative to sugars as it is a spice and has many health benefits. You can use it raw in its most simple form, not processed or you can also cook it. In any case, it will give a lot of flavour to whatever recipe you’re preparing but not everyone falls in love with its taste.
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Well cocoa powder is a special replacement for sugar as it is not sweet at all, but cocoa has this other flavour which makes us so down on it, so combined with healthy sugars it’s the perfect match AND not to mention that raw cocoa as plenty of health benefits!
Comes from a fruit and has a lot of health benefits but among all its health advantages it is really low in glycemic index so it works really well to stabilise the sugar levels in your diet. Like this, you get the sweet taste but not the peak of sugar in your blood.
EAT wide awake
Before finishing this article, when it comes to #eatwideawake, I would like to share with you one last thing.
First, always remember that, by buying some products instead of others, you are influencing the offer in terms of food. Remember, by choosing local ingredients, you’re supporting local production. By choosing Fair Trade, you’re supporting fair condition of working and living. When buying sustainable or environmental friendly, you’re making a step forward in protecting our planet. When buying from local farmers using organic crops, seeds; you’re not supporting smaller models of economy, you’re also supporting the production of healthier food.
All these choices matter, not only for the future of our planet but also for your own well-being.
I promise you, by consuming more local, more seasonal, more environmentally friendly which means more in tune with the environment you’re living in, more in tune with the needs of your body, you’re not only helping the society to evolve in a better way but you will also help yourself to feel better in your body.
Since, Ben and me, made this choice to become wide awake to what we were eating, we can’t even tell how much changes we started noticing in terms vitality, mood, memory, fatigue, headaches, skin problems and the list goes on and on.
Thank you for reading us,
And we know it that lowering the sugar intake is a hard step to make but it’s definitely worth the challenge!
If you have more questions about quitting the nasty sugars or if you simply want to get in touch with us, just write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be really happy to answer any of your questions.
With L O V E and A W A K E N I N G
Wide Awake BE