I’ve been doing quite a lot of baking lately, using all sorts of my favourite healthy sweeteners in my recipes. Especially with the festive baking season upon us, I thought it would be a great time to share my top 5 favourite healthy sweeteners.
These are my all-time favourite natural sweeteners to use in my kitchen. Although they’re still sugar, I consider these to be much healthier options than white refined sugar and artificial sweeteners due to their high mineral content, and being real food!
THE TOP 5 HEALTHY SWEETENERS
Raw (Unpasteurized) Honey
Raw honey is one of my favourite sweeteners. It’s naturally rich in enzymes and it’s very anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, making it excellent for things like colds, flus, sore throats, and other infections including topical wounds! Try mixing a spoonful of raw honey with a squeeze of lemon into warm water for a sore, irritated throat. I love putting honey in my tea.
Make sure that the honey you buy is unpasteurized so as to maintain these beneficial properties. Local honey is also great to use for seasonal allergies as it can aid in immune support and desensitizing the body to local pollens.
Manuka honey is another kind you can buy that is even higher in anti-bacterial content and is very popular for infections because of this.
Maple syrup is just so delicious! I love it because it is very mineral rich and is particularly high in manganese and zinc. Did you know? Over 80% of maple syrup is processed in Canada. Here in Canada, we have 3
No. 1 – Extra Light, Light, Medium
No. 2 – Amber
No. 3 – Dark
I generally buy Amber maple syrup. It has a rich flavour, and I tend to lean towards darker variations as they often have greater nutritional value.
Coconut sugar is probably the most frequently used sweetener in my kitchen. I especially love it for baking (it makes a great alternative to brown sugar) and it tastes so very good. It has a rich caramel flavour and works great in tons of recipes, like these Spelt Banana Blueberry Muffins.
Coconut sugar is very nutrient rich. It’s high in our B Vitamins, and is known as being one of the sweeteners that is lower on the glycemic index (GI). This means it doesn’t “spike” our blood sugar in the same way white sugar does.
Molasses is another great sweetener that is quite mineral rich. It’s particularly high in iron which is great for those who are anemic or otherwise low in iron. It’s also rich in potassium and hair-healthy copper. I love molasses on sprouted bread with a sweep of organic butter, and of course, in ginger cookies!
Dates are great! They are by far the most decadent fruit you’ll ever eat just on its own with its super soft, rich caramel flavour and texture. I love removing the pit and eating them with a walnut or pecan. They’re also the perfect ingredient for making date balls because they’re naturally sweet and roll really well.
Dates are very high in fibre. This makes them great for colon health and to reduce blood sugar spiking. They’re also great for preventing constipation: I accidentally ate too many the other day and nearly crapped my pants.
Bonus Fave: Fruit
I just couldn’t leave out the ultimate healthy sweetener for this list: Fruit! Bananas make a particularly excellent sweetener for smoothies and other recipes. I also love using pineapple and mango because not only are they sweet, but they provide their own uniquely delicious flavour. Best of all, fruit is highly nutritious, hydrating, and rich in fibre.
Do you use any of these sweeteners? Which one’s your favourite?
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