7 Sweet Replacements for Sugar in Cooking ...

There are lots of delicious replacements for sugar you can use in cooking. With people becoming more and more health conscious, everyone's looking for healthy alternatives. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits, and while a little is arguably okay, you definitely don't want to make it a huge part of your diet. Fortunately there are a variety of tasty, healthy, and super sweet replacements for sugar that work well in all sorts of dishes. Take a look and see which ones you'd like to try!

1. Honey

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Honey is one of the most well-known replacements for sugar, and with good reason. Organic honey is quite easy to come by and not too terribly expensive. Cooking with honey lends a richness to the dishes add it to, plus the flavor changes depending on what kind of honey you use. Bear in mind that honey is up to 50 percent sweeter than the sugar you use now. Typically, you'll only have to use three-quarters of a cup plus one tablespoon full of honey for every cup of sugar you'd use.

2. Stevia

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Stevia is becoming a huge contender as the most popular substitute for sugar. It's a plant native to South America, and you should know that it isn't yet FDA approved as a safe food. Still, many people use it now, and it's generally available in supplement form. As a substitute, it packs a wallop: it has 300 times the sweetness of sugar.

3. Molasses

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Although molasses is actually still a byproduct of sugar, some people still consider it a viable substitute. It has a much stronger flavor but it lacks some sweetness, partly due to the fact that it's got more acid than sugar. You won't want to use molasses in all your recipes, but in some it's a very valuable replacement.

4. Brown Rice Syrup

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Brown rice syrup is the next best thing to such sweet treats as caramel and butterscotch. It's not as sweet as sugar but still makes a great substitute, partly thanks to the fact that each teaspoon is only about 13 calories. It's slow to break down in recipes, plus it has zinc and magnesium, among other vitamins and nutrients. It still contains some glucose, however, so it won't be the right replacement for everyone.

5. Maple Syrup

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Maple syrup is a delicious replacement for sugar, especially in baked goods and pastries. You only need three-quarters of a cup for every cup of sugar you'd normally use, even though maple sugar isn't quite as sweet. The sap is much richer, however, and the flavor is incredibly strong.

6. Agave Nectar

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Many of the aforementioned substitutes work better in cooking than in sweetening teas or coffees. Agave nectar is just the opposite; it's perfect for adding some sweetness to your hot drinks. It's definitely not just for tequila any longer. Since each tablespoon is 60 calories, you won't want to use too much, but it's also sweeter than the sugar you're used to using, so you don't need as much.

7. Whey Low

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Whey Low actually comes from the three sugars that occur in nature; it's a blend of fructose, lactose, and sucrose. As such, it's not for everyone, but when all these sugars are mixed, the body doesn't totally absorb them. The Whey Low is very low in calories and won't cause such a supreme sugar crash.

While I was aware of many of these, a few caught me by surprise! Trust that using these ingredients as replacements for sugar won't negatively impact the flavor of your dishes. In fact, if anything, you'll end up with richer, more complex flavor profiles that will leave guests begging for your recipes! What's your favorite ingredient to use in place of sugar?

Sources: webmd.com, wholeliving.com, gotohealth.com

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