Sugar is bad- but you knew that already. Today, more than ever, the world is becoming aware of the need to reduce our sugar intake. Sugar is everywhere and it wreaks havoc on the human body, it feeds behavioral disorders, contributes to obesity and tooth decay and is 100% unnecessary in our diets; but I know that sometimes a little sweetness is just what the doctor ordered, so I want to share my favorite natural sugar substitutes.
Blackstrap Molasses (unsulphured)
Black strap molasses is made from the same sugar cane the produces refined sugar, but it is obtained during the third and final refinement of boiling the sugar syrup derived from sugar cane; but unlike white refined sugar, blackstrap molasses is rich in calcium, iron and magnesium that serves to ease muscles cramps. Molasses is also rich in B vitamins that fuel our metabolism and fortify our immune systems.
Now, I don’t use this natural sugar substitute that much in cooking, due to its black licorice flavor, I find the flavor profile a bit too bossy; but I use it during my period to help relieve cramps- and it works like a hot damn. It works to relax muscles, and the uterus is one of the biggest muscles in the female body; heck, it pushes a baby out! For all day cramp relief, take 1 heaping tablespoon in the am, and then dilute another tablespoon in water and drink throughout the day.
A word of caution, blackstrap molasses will relax all your muscles, including your bowels, so for the first few uses, be near a washroom!
Honey (raw, local, unpasteurized)
Honey is an incredibly healing food; and, although, it’s comprised of mainly sugar and water, honey is a nutritional powerhouse. Honey can help reduce seasonal allergies, relieve sore throats and heal wounds; so honey is one of my favorite natural sugar substitutes.
I say this everytime I refer to honey, and it bears repeating; BEWARE of shitty honey (the language IS very necessary). Honey is a perfect food and one of the oldest natural remedies on earth, resisting spoilage and offering the aforementioned health benefits; however, when it’s pasteurized and made by bee’s who are overworked (having to pollinate FAR MORE than natural) honey loses all it’s health benefits, and becomes amber sugar syrup. Raw, local, organic honey is what you are after.
Coconut Sugar (organic)
If you’ve been with me for a while, then you know that I am loco for all things coconut, including coconut sugar; and in my kitchen, as far as cooking and baking is concerned, this is my number one natural sugar substitute. Yes, it’s sugar but this natural sugar substitute measures cup for cup with white sugar, so it seamlessly integrates into all your recipes. Coconut sugar, despite its name, has a light caramel color and flavor to match; and it’s made from drying the sap of the flower from the coconut tree. It has iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium and is low on the glycemic index; and since I caught wise to coconut sugar almost 2 years ago and made it one of my standby natural sugar substitutes, I haven’t looked back!
Always be sure to purchase your coconut sugar organic- just to be safe.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NATURAL SUGAR SUBSTITUTES? DO YOU NEED SUGAR, OR ARE YOU SWEET ENOUGH?!