Sugar guide from Naturally Good Food
If you are looking for an alternative to sugar in your diet, then we have a number of options for you, including:
- Agave syrup: agave syrup, or nectar, comes from a cactus-like plant that is native to Mexico. Agave is sweeter than honey, and less viscous. Indeed, agave is intensely sweet, but with a mild flavour, making it an excellent alternative to sugar, honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners in baking and in drinks. We stock both Crazy Jack and Biona agave syrup, both of which are organic. The Crazy Jack agave syrup comes in a very handy squeezable container. As it is so sweet, agave makes a good alternative to honey for vegans.
- Barley malt extract: barley malt extract is a natural sweetener produced from barley and malted barley and contains a complex mix of carbohydrates, trace elements and vitamins. Barley malt extract can be stirred into hot milk for a traditional soothing bedtime drink. It can also be used in bread-making and as a natural sweetener.
- Date syrup: the Meridian date syrup we stock is a richly flavoured concentrate of pure date syrup. It contains no additives or preservatives and is an excellent natural sweetener. Date syrup can be used to make flapjacks and cakes, or to flavour ice cream, yoghurt or muesli. Mix in equal proportions with Meridian tahini to make a delicious spread.
- Maple syrup: we stock both Shady Maple and Meridian organic maple syrups, both of which are sustainably produced in North America from maple trees. The maple sap from these trees is concentrated into a syrup that retains both the natural nutrient content and the unique flavour. Maple syrup can be used as a sweetener in desserts, added to fruit salad and ice cream and, of course, used as a topping for pancakes.
- Rice syrup: Crazy Jack organic brown rice syrup is a naturally processed sweetener, made from sprouted wholegrain brown rice. It has a mild, caramel flavour and can be used in place of sugar, honey, maple syrup or molasses. Brown rice syrup is a good sweetener for those on a macrobiotic diet, as it is not as rapidly absorbed as normal sugar.
- Sukrin - Sukrin is an all-natural sugar substitute with zero calories. Sukrin does not contain any carbohydrates that can be absorbed by the body, and is thus perfectly suited to diabetics and those on a low-carb diet. Sukrin is produced through the fermentation of dextrose (glucose). A bacterial culture is added to glucose, which is then converted into erythritol. This is the same process as is used for the production of wine, cheese and yoghurt and is completely natural. Sukrin (erythritol) was, after thorough evaluation, approved for human consumption in the European Union in the summer of 2006 . In Japan it had already been used since 1990 and in the USA since 1997.
- Zylitol – (Xylitol): is good for those watching the calories, as it is roughly as sweet as sucrose, but with only two-thirds of the calories. Zylitol is considered to be better for your teeth than sugar. It can be substituted for sugar in equal measure around the kitchen, used in cakes and puddings or sprinkled over cereals.
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