The following sugars can, without moderation, replace white sugar, because they are natural and devoid of all chemical additives. So, don’t hesitate, use them for your everyday recipes !
Honey is a natural food substance rich in simple sugars which can be directly assimilated, thanks to a more important sweetening power than sucrose (table sugar); at the same time, it has a lower calorie content. It has a dynamogenic and stimulating action on the heart which is much sought-after by athletes and people with fatigue. It aids the absorption of calcium and the retention of magnesium by the body; these are two minerals which are essential to the good functioning of our biological “factory.” With children, honey allows for a better and a quicker calcification of the bones and teeth. Thanks to its numerous enzymes, it facilitates the absorption of other foods, improving, as a result, the digestion and the intestinal transit.
- Whole cane sugar
Being called “brown sugar” is not enough. Usually, it is just colored white sugar. And it is only to give oneself a better conscience that one eats it in the place of white sugar. Only whole or complete cane sugar, not totally devoid of its syrup and obtained from dehydrating the juice of cane sugar, is beneficent and healthy. When it comes from organic agriculture, it doesn’t undergo any transformation or refining process and it keeps all its mineral salts, vitamins and amino acids.
Derived from fruits or honey, fructose has a sweetening power 1.2 to 1.8 times greater than sucrose (table sugar). Its calorie content is identical to the other sugars (4 kcal per gram). On the other hand, its glycemic index (speed with which glucose appears in the blood after the consummation of a given food) is weaker than that of sucrose. Thanks to which fructose is a simple sugar which acts like a slow sugar; this is why it is important for athletes and people trying to lose weight. In addition, its metabolisation doesn’t require insulin. It can be recommended, in certain conditions and under medical control, in diets for diabetics.
- Maple syrup
Forty litres of maple sap are necessary to make one litre of maple syrup. This syrup is a natural sweetener with a fine aroma and a soft flavour. Rich in iron, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, it can efficiently correct mineral deficiencies and is one of the best products for those who desire to be free from sugar and refined sweeteners…however, its strong sweetening capacity implies that it should be used only in small quantities.
It’s the fruit of the carob tree, which comes originally from Syria. Very sweet, carob is the natural sweetener richest in fibre and calcium. It also contains tannins. Carob can be found in all natural food stores.
With an original and refined flavour, kitul sap is rich in vitamins B1, B12, C, iron and calcium. In Sri Lanka, this natural sweetener derived from the stems of the Caryota urens flower (the sap is collected daily, filtered then boiled at 230 ° F) is traditionally used to prepare deserts and pastries.
- Black Molasses
Molasses is a very thick, sticky syrup containing about 40 to 50% sugar. It is the residue of the last flow of the crystallization of brown sugar. Its smell is strong because it comes from the beetroot and reminds one of rum which comes from cane sugar. Only black molasses is commercialized.
- Agave syrup
The agave is a succulent plant from the Americas whose fruit gives a translucent syrup (called “honey water” by the Aztecs) with exceptional nutritional qualities. It is 1.4 times sweeter than sucrose, with much fewer calories, strong fructose content and plenty of mineral salts. It is good for the control of diabetes because it regulates the insulin level.
- Syrups from grains
The syrups of rice, wheat, malt (obtained by the fermentation of barley by reduction) or corn are good natural sweeteners. They constitute a good alternative to cane sugar in hot drinks, desserts and pastries. They have a solid consistency, so it is necessary to warm them up in a double-boiler or in a steamer to make them fluid and easy to use.