Before I delve into the wonderful alternatives and healthier substitutes for sugar, I would like to preface this by explaining the ways you are consuming sugar without knowing it. Some of the few: Anything made with bread. Sandwiches. Alcohol. Pizza. Macaroni and Cheese. Snack bars. These are “Simple Carbohydrates”. A common thread here is processed food/starches. These foods enter into our bodies and then are converted into sugar. And our bodies have to process it in the same way as a candy bar basically. After we complete a day of eating what we consider to be generally healthy food, we stretch our arms big and wide, and proud and say, “Yeah , a nice dessert should be in order after a day of conscientious eating.” And if you don’t know better, that seems totally logical. I did FOR YEARS! Often times by dessert time we have had more sugar than any other food group.
These simple carbs are processed. They are sneaky. We don’t know what they are doing TO us.
Sugar is addictive and poisonous.
I am really not all bearer of bad news. Really, I can be quite positive. But this blog is about good whole foods. Not poison. I love sweets! I spend a great deal of my time experimenting in an effort to enjoy without getting sick. We all get sick from sugar. All those nasty symptoms you feel on a daily basis can be attributed to sugar in most cases. Headaches. Colds. Stomach aches. diarrhea. Constipation.
THOSE AILMENTS ARE NOT NORMAL!
That bears repeating.
THOSE AILMENTS ARE NOT NORMAL!
From there it can grow into Hypo/Hyperglycemia. Diabetes. Cancer. Immune Depression. Adrenal fatigue. A host of others but we will leave it at that. For many, many people it has grown into those diseases. No thank you.
Not all is doomed. Remember, whole real foods is the key here. And anytime we can REDUCE and IMPROVE the sweet intake, the less damage done.
This is about progress NOT perfection.
When we eat whole foods, we have a complete knowledge of how much sugar we are intaking. And when we prepare our own foods we know as well. Changing our eating habits is hard. It takes effort. We have to decide to make our decisions thoughtfully and with a purpose. I know for me, I have spent a good deal of my life just moving through life not giving thought to what I was eating, or where it came from or how it was processed. I was really ignorant to that information. That is not good. We are only on this train once. The trip should be awesome! Not short sighted.
Whole food. Honey can substituted in almost all cases. It has many nutrients.
100% PURE MAPLE SUGAR
Whole Food. It can be substituted in almost all cases. It has many nutrients.
COCONUT PALM SUGAR
Whole food. Has been dried to a granule. It is granule like sugar and can be substituted in all cases. It very high in nutrients. It is unrefined. Organic. Has not been processed.
It is from a plant found in South America. It is very concentrated and is not good for baking. I sweeten drinks or hot cereal with it.
DATES OR OTHER DRIED FRUIT THAT HAS NOT HAD SUGAR ADDED TO IT.
Sometimes I bake cookies and the complete source of sweetener will be dates.
Those are the five I use exclusively. I reduce the amount called for always because I feel we WAY over sugar our foods. So If a recipe calls for 1 cup, I will reduce it to 2/3. If the recipe tastes sweet then next time I will reduce it down to 1/2 cup. If that is satisfactory, then I will keep it there.
The sweeteners I have discussed above, I use sparingly. They are not used on a daily basis. We try to enjoy a dessert once a week. Sometimes twice.
Sugars that talk a good line but I have learned are no- no are:
Agave – It is processed and has been compared to corn syrup in its processing.
Brown Sugar – is nothing but white sugar with Molasses added to it. It is NOT healthier than white. I think sometimes we think if something is brown, it is healthy.???? Like eggs. Brown eggs come from certain breeds. White eggs come from others. No difference.
All the “natural” sugars. – Turbinado. Sucanat Sugar. Florida crystals. They have all been refined and nutrients taken out. Molasses has been added to make it look natural.
I have added molasses to sugar to make brown sugar before when I didn’t have brown sugar. It is the same thing.
Molasses – is a “waste” product from the processing of white can sugar.
The following recipe is wonderful. I have taken a recipe that is predominately whole food. I have cut ingredients to reduce sugar impact. And they are delightful.
**Please note that I will never share a recipe with you that I have not shared with others and have received rave reviews.
The ingredients will surprise you. And the results will even more!!!
Preheat oven 325 degrees.
1 16 oz. jar salted almond butter. organic.
2/3 cup raw honey (the recipe calls for 1 1/4 cup. I reduced it as low as 1/2 cup. not satisfying enough. found satisfaction at 2/3 c. )
1 T Vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa powder. organic. The only ingredient should be cocoa.
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1 cup of dark chocolate chips. organic. I use about 2/3 that. Find the darkest chips you can find. They will be the purest in form. ***** Remember when stuff is taken out, stuff is added to take its place.
1 cup of walnuts or pecans. organic (IF you can buy raw, soak them in salt water over night and dry them in lowest temp in oven until crispy , usually about 24 hours. I do this will all nuts and make about 3 lbs at a time and always have them on hand. This process removes harmful enzymes within the nut that wreaks havoc on our digestive system. )
Blend each ingredient before adding the next.
Place in 9 x 13 glass or ceramic pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.
Please let me know what you think of them!! I would be interested in feedback.