Natural Sweeteners to Replace Sugar -And Their Health Benefits

I’m not going to sugar coat this, the truth is, giving up sugar can be tough, especially if you’ve never tried and aren’t familiar with the healthier options that are available. When I first made the decision to get rid of the sugar in my household it was a pretty easy transition for everyone. It was a bit of trial and error though finding the ones that worked best in certain baked goods etc. I listed a few of my favorites below that I use on a regular basis and a break down on how to use them and the health benefits of each.

Maple Syrup

 

How can you go wrong with this beauty of a sweetener??? It’s tasty on your morning oatmeal or pancakes but it can also be used in many baking recipes such as bread, puddings, granola and much more. Just when you think that’s all it’s good for, think again. Not only is it a yummy sugar replacement but it packs a full punch on the nutrition scale. This healthy tree sap contains heart healthy minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron and vitamin B’s.  I’d say that’s a pretty good lip smacking reason to give it a try!!

I love glazing my salmon with maple syrup!!! They seem to go hand in hand, so melt in your mouth!! This recipe is a huge hit in my house and it goes well with wild rice and veggies of your choice.

MAPLE GLAZED WILD SALMON

INGREDIENTS:
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp Braggs Aminos
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
4-5 salmon filets

INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and marinate salmon for up to 1 hour.
Preheat a frying pan on medium and add 1 tbls of coconut oil or olive oil then salmon(skin up) and marinade. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes then flip and cook until skin is crisp, about 3 minutes.

 

Honey

This sticky sweetener has created quite the buzz for years,  dating as far back as 2400BC. There must be something to this sweetheart of a sweetener to have been around that long,  wouldn’t you say?? Known to be the “go to” sweetener for tea it can also be used in sauces, yogurt, desserts and the list goes on.

When buying honey,  look for the raw, unpasteurized brands to ensure all the vitamins and enzymes are still intact. Not only does this gooey bee nectar add a little sweetness to our lives but the health benefits are out of this HIVE!!!

Looking for that boost of energy to get you through the day? Honey contains carbohydrates, glucose and fructose and when they enter into our blood it gives us that energy surge we all need come midday.

Have that annoying cough that just won’t go away? I use this method quite often in my household. I add some honey into a cup of tea with a splash of lemon and drink off and on throughout the day.

Have digestion issues? Honey is a natural probiotic and it contains lactobacilli and bifidobacterial and together they can help with stomach issues and intestinal health.

 

Coconut Palm Sugar

If you’ve never tried this tropical sweetener, what deserted island have you been on? Seriously??? It comes from the sap of a coconut, then its boiled and dehydrated and waaalaaaaa, you’ve got coconut sugar!! I’ve been using this sugar substitute for several years now and its been a breeze. I use it in pretty much everything from cookies, cakes, pies and even in my homemade caramel sauce. It has the taste of molasses and brown sugar mixed together…perfect combo if you ask me.
It contains trace amounts of several vitamins and minerals and as an added bonus…..it has a low glycemic index!!!
Ever heard of inulin? Inulin is found in coconut sugar and it is a fibre said to help slow glucose absorption. This healthy little sweetener also aids in digestive issues/gut health as it contains a beauty of a bacteria called bifobacteria which can restore good bacteria and boost your immune system.

Why Should You Ditch Sugar And Find A Healthier Alternative?

Well, its just not good for you!! The list of health issues related to sugar is endless, in my opinion there’s nothing good about it at all. Although, our bodies do need it but in the form of naturally occurring sugars like we find in fruits, vegetables, grains etc. It’s the refined, added sugars that don’t do our bodies good. It causes our blood sugar levels to rise, causes obesity, those daily slumps that leave you feeling tired and craving more sugar and may increase the risk of developing cancer. I’d say those are good enough reasons to kick it to the curb!!

 

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