Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Natural Sweeteners - What Are They?

Here is a list of natural sweeteners that I use  I tend to vary them depending on the flavour of the recipe.

Palm Sugar and/or Coconut Sugar
Is considered to be the closest natural, unrefined version of sugar.  It will dissolve the same as sugar but adds an even richer taste.  Palm sugar is low glycemic and rich in nutrients such as potassium, zinc and iron.

Agave Syrup
Agave nectar is derived from the Agave plants from Mexico.  The syrup is extracted from the core of this cactus type of plant.  Agave can be found in a light or a dark syrup form.  The lighter syrup has had less heating and a more thorough filtration, resulting in a milder flavour.  Agave is low glycemic and considered by some to be raw.  Warning: it has a very high fructose content.

Is an herb from Paraguay.  It is a natural sweetener which does not contain chemicals.  It has a zero glycemic index, meaning it will not alter your blood sugar.  Stevia is SUPER concentrated so you need very little in your recipes and comes in a powdered or as a liquid form.   Stevia does have an after taste which makes it less popular than some other natural sweeteners.

Maple Syrup
Being Canadian I have to love this sweetener.  It is made my boiling down the sap of maple trees until you produce a thick, sweet syrup.  It has a lovely flavour, few calories and lots of zinc.  It can create a maple flavour so may not be suitable for all recipes.

Is a natural energy booster and wonderful for the immune system.  I have also heard that eating local honey can help ease the effects of allergies.  Honey is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making a natural healer.  Raw honey, meaning it hasn't gone through the heating process of pasteurization, contains more nutrients and has stronger healing properties.  


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  2. healthy low calorie meals

    Wow ! You have described very nicely the details of sweetener and its uses for the people who are suffering from blood pressure. Thanks and please keep posting.