With all of the health problems that arise from sugar and sugar alternatives, it is no wonder that many people are taking to natural sweeteners in their food. Using natural sweeteners such as honey, figs, apple juice and others helps to avoid chemicals that may be used in sugar and sugar alternatives. A list is provided below of some natural alternatives to use in replacement of a sugar product.
Honey is one of the widest used natural sweeteners. Honey is made by bees and is sweeter than sugar, so reduce the amount of honey used in any recipes as a sugar substitute. Honey can be used in beverages, food and as a topping.
Figs, in addition to being natural laxatives, are also great for sweetening foods. Figs are better cooked rather than raw.
Concentrated apple juice is a great sweetener and can replace sugar in baking recipes and cooking. To replace sugar with concentrated apple juice, use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar. Also reduce any liquid in a recipe, such as water, by 3 tablespoons as concentrated apple juice is liquid in form. Other concentrated juices can be used as well; just keep in mind that different flavors will affect the taste in your recipes.
Molasses is a natural sweetener; however, it is not as sweet as sugar. When replacing sugar with molasses, use 1 1/3 cup of molasses per cup of granulated sugar. Molasses will impart strong flavor and dark color into your recipe.
Maple syrup contains sucrose and glucose. Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees and is widely used as a sugar substitute. While it may not be as sweet as sugar, use only ¾ cup of maple syrup per cup of granulated sugar specified. As with concentrated apple juice, the maple syrup will liquefy the final product so be sure to decrease any liquids in the recipe by 3 tablespoons.
There are several natural sweeteners on the market that can be used in place of sugar and sugar substitutes. Feel free to experiment with different alternatives in recipes until you come up with a solution that works for you. When using a sugar alternative, be sure to account for any allergies such as allergies to honey.