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Healthy Altitudes

Five Alternatives to Sugar When Baking

Most people consume way too much sugar without knowing it, and having a lot of sugar can lead to health problems. It has been associated with many serious diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Fortunately, there are many ways to sweeten foods without adding sugar.

Check out these five alternatives to sugar that will help satisfy your sweet tooth.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is one of the best natural sweeteners. With so many varieties, it can add a different sweet flavor. For example, try buckwheat for intense earthiness or clover for a mild floral sweetness.

Additionally, honey is sweeter than sugar so you can use less than if you were using sugar and contains an abundance of antioxidants and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Just be aware that honey will burn at over 350°F and it is a bit higher in calories.

Agave Syrup

This natural sweetener is derived from the same plant that is used in making tequila!

Similarly to raw honey, agave syrup is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, so you should use less in your baking.

Bakers utilizing agave syrup should be sure to combine all liquids before adding dry ingredients, and use parchment paper because the syrup tends to be sticky.

Keep in mind, agave syrup is high in calories and might not be a suitable substitute for those trying to lose weight.

Maple Syrup

Try maple syrup to add depth to your baked goods with its caramel, earthy flavor of maple syrup adds a depth to baked goods that regular sugar lacks.

Pure maple syrup is another natural and unprocessed sweetener, and it comes with health benefits. It contains iron, zinc, calcium and manganese, which is essential for energy production, and more antioxidants than honey!

Like honey, maple syrup is a slightly better option than regular sugar, but it is still high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

Applesauce

Swapping sugar with any fruit, like bananas, apples or even pineapple adds sweetness, nutrition and flavor!

Applesauce will cut down significantly on calories when used to replace sugar, and is a great option when you’re on a diet. Plus, it will help keep your baked goods moist and fresh for longer.

Make sure you’re purchasing unsweetened applesauce to use in your baking, and check to see if it has cinnamon added, too! As a bonus, you can also use applesauce to replace butter or oil in your baking.

Date Sugar

There’s a good reason that dates have been a favorite since ancient times! Not only is it a delicious natural sweeter with notes of butterscotch, but it’s also high in vitamins and nutrients, and can help reduce the risk of stroke, lower cholesterol, and help with the absorption of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They contain a lot of magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese and iron.

Date sugar – which is essentially just ground dates – makes the best substitute for brown sugar.

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