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10 natural alternatives to refined sugar

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NATVIA – Stevia can be known to be quite
bitter and some people can never get used to the taste so Natvia created a
product that uses the best part of the stevia plant for a naturally sweet taste
that’s never bitter and mixed it with a sugar alcohol to bring us a natural
sweetener that we can use 1:1 in baking. It is a winner! This makes things nice
and easy and any recipe you see with sugar in the ingredients you can swap it
out with Natvia for the perfect finished product. Its great for birthday
parties to create amazing cakes and treats without giving the kids a sugar high.
You can purchase Natvia at the supermarket in the sweetener isle.
NORBU– A very new sugar alternative to
hit the sweetener scene. Norbu is a natural sweetener you can use 2/3:1 to
table sugar and it only contains 0.5 calories per serving. It’s a great
alternative for people who don’t liken to the stevia taste but still don’t want
the fructose. Norbu is made from Monk Fruit which is a sweet fruit that has
been cultivated and hand-picked from hundreds of years in remote mountain
regions. It is great in baking and can be easily subituted where stable sugar
is asked for.
XYLITOL – Like
stevia, xylitol does not feed Candida or cancer. It is a white crystal powder
that can be used in tea, coffee, and to sweeten up your recipes but in too high
doses it creates a laxative effect. Xylitol is a bit of a magic dust. It
naturally forms in our bodies throughout our daily metabolism. It’s a naturally
occurring carbohydrate in fibrous fruit and vegetables that your body does not
require insulin to metabolise it. Unlike sugar, it is actually good for your
teeth and if you read the back of a lot of natural toothpastes you will find it
in the ingredients list. Xylitol is anti-microbial which means it prevents
the growth of bacteria, unlike all other forms of sugar which cause the
overgrowth of bacteria and fungi. Xylitol is a healer, not like sugar which
causes damage. In saying this, xylitol should not be overused.
COCONUT SUGAR – Coconut
is a wonder food and coconut sugar has minimal effect on blood sugar levels. It
is the evaporated nectar from the coconut. It is fantastic for baking and
sweets giving a slight caramel taste.
RAW HONEY – It
does have a very high fructose content and if you need to quit sugar all
together for health reasons then I would recommend something different. But
bees are amazing! Honey is a medicinal food. It is filled with amino acids and
nutrients, and enzymes that actually help us to break down sugar and B complex
vitamins. It is antibacterial and antiviral which is why it is known to kick
off colds and flu’s and respiratory infections because it contains so many
vitamins and minerals. It is a very powerful food that is packed with lots of
good stuff.  All this talk about honey being so great, keep in mind
it still caries quite a lot of natural forming fructose that will still raise
your blood sugar levels so only use sparingly. Raw honey is to be only used in
raw recipes; if you cook it, all the nutrients will go so you may as well have
used table sugar!
When I talk about honey, I am not talking about the
stuff in the supermarket… That is a no no! We want RAW unfiltered HONEY.
FRUITS – Whole
Raw and Stewed fruits make for great sweeteners for baking! When you
consume a piece of fruit it contains so many great nutrients that the body
needs; all these vitamins, minerals and fibre help us to digest the
sugars. 
They are natural! They are sweet! They are whole!
Use them where possible!
DATES – Oh
how I love cooking with dates! Yes dates are a fruit also high in fructose but
they are great because they are high in nutrients and packed with fibre. When
you use dates you are using the whole food. Nothing refined. You are getting
all the nutrients they provide to help digest the sugar at a slower rate…
Organic Medjool dates are amazing and the only sort to buy. They are great to
relieve constipation, as well as helping prevent cardiovascular disease. They
are great to add to any baked desert, smoothie or as a sweet treat.
MAPLE SYRUP – Maple
syrup is full of lots of beneficial minerals, like zinc for your immune system
and magnesium for energy production. Beware though; most of the products being
sold as maple syrup are chemical laden sugar syrup dressed up in disguise. Read
the labels! Make sure it is the real deal. Real maple syrup is the sap gathered
from the maple tree. Maple syrup also has high amounts of natural occurring
sugars so only use sparingly.
PURE STEVIA – It was originally
used in medicines and has only recently been approved for everyday consumption.
It is a great alternative to anything containing sugar for diabetics, Candida,
or Cancer or your just worried about your blood sugar. It is super sweet,
approximately 300 times sweeter than conventional sugar so you only need a very
small amount. This herb has absolutely no effect on blood sugar. It comes in
liquid, powder or pill form. You only need 3 drops of pure stevia to be as
sweet as 1 teaspoon of table sugar and 1 teaspoon of stevia to be the same as 1
whole cup of sugar so it can be a little tricky to bake with to get the correct
amount without it tasting too bitter.
RICE MALT SYRUP – Rice
malt syrup is a natural sweetener that is derived from rice. It tends to cause
lower spikes in glucose levels because it is made from complex carbs, this is
gentle to the metabolism. It is not as sweet as sugar but can be a good
alternative. It can be good for baking but you need to reduce the liquid
content if you want to swap table sugar for rice malt syrup.
September 27, 2014

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