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Healthy Sweeteners

by: Good Earth Natural Foods
Agave is a liquid concentrated sap from the plant Agave americana if it’s golden, or Agave tequilana, if it’s blue. Agave is sweeter than sugar, which means you can use 1/3 less as a substitute. Its main source of sweetness comes from glucose and fructose. Nutritional benefits include mannose, galactose, xylose, arabinose, iron, calcium, zinc, saponins, inulin, and more.
Barley Malt Syrup is extracted from sprouted and malted barley yielding a sweetener that is about 65% maltose, 30% dextrin, and 3% protein. It is about half as sweet as sugar. Nutritional benefits include minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Brown Rice Syrup is a liquid malt from cooked and malted (cultured) brown rice. Its main source of sweetness comes from maltose, maltotriose, and lower amounts of glucose and fructose. Nutritional benefits include sodium, B-vitamins, and trace amounts of minerals.
Coconut Palm Sugar or syrup comes in a syrup (concentrated sap) or powder dehydrated from the sap of the coconut palm tree. Its main source of sweetness comes from sucrose and glucose. Nutritional benefits include phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Fructose is a simple sugar naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and honey which can be extracted into a crystalline, dry concentrate. This crystalline form is a nutritive sweetener that often contains iron, sodium, and selenium, depending on where it is extracted from.
Date Sugar is finely chopped and dried dates and therefore a whole food sugar. Its main source of sweetness comes from glucose and small amounts of sucrose and maltose. Nutritional benefits include fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, Iron, vitamin C, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, protein.
Erythritol is sugar alcohol usually extracted from corn and contains 95% fewer calories than sugar and is 70% as sweet. It does not contribute to tooth decay. It tastes very similar to sugar.Honey(100% raw)is the nectar of bee production. Its main source of sweetness comes from fructose and glucose with smaller amounts of maltose and minimal sucrose. Nutritional benefits include 22 amino acids, B-vitamins, 5,000 enzymes, and 27 minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium.
Honey (Ultra-raw, unfiltered versions) contains bee pollen, honeycomb, and propolis included for even higher levels of nutrition and greater health benefits. Local honey is especially popular for help with allergies.
Lucuma powder (raw) is the dried powder of the South American lucuma fruit. Its main source of sweetness comes from glucose, fructose, and some sucrose. Nutritional benefits include Antioxidants, fiber, B-vitamins, carotenes, niacin, iron, and some minerals. Use twice as much powder as sugar and substitute another sweetener half-half in baked goods (for best results).
Maple Syrup (100% raw)is a concentrated maple tree sap that is about 30% sweeter than sugar. Its main source of sweetness comes from sucrose and oligosaccharides. Nutritional benefits include amino acids, phenolic compounds, and minerals like manganese, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Molasses (blackstrap from sugar cane) is the nutrient-rich syrup extracted sugar cane during the third boiling of the sugar refining process. This dark syrup gets some sweetness from sucrose, but most of the sucrose (sugar) is crystallized and extracted out during the refining process, leaving a nutrient-rich syrup that is often so nutritious that it is used as a dietary supplement. Nutritional benefits include calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and manganese. 1 Tbsp provides up to 20% DV of some of these nutrients. It is important to buy un-sulfured molasses to avoid taking unnecessary sulfur dioxide.
Monk Fruit juice extract or powder(Luo HanGuo) is the natural sweetener extracted from Luo Han Guo fruit from southern China. Its source of sweetness comes from “mogrosides” which are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and offer little to no calories. Nutritional benefits in the original fruit include antioxidants and antihistamine qualities, glucose, fructose, pectin, vitamins, and minerals before extraction. Extractions typically only contain the sweet mogrosides of the fruit.
Organic Raw Sugar is evaporated cane juice and is not refined. It retains many of its nutrients and has a natural tan color. Its main source of sweetness is sucrose. Nutritional benefits come from the molasses and include calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and manganese from the included molasses. Turbinado sugar (Demerara) is made from the first stage of processing white sugar, yet it still contains some of the molasses. Its main source of sweetness comes from sucrose. The nutritional benefits may include many of the molasses nutrients, yet in much smaller amounts: calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and manganese.
Stevia (white, green, or liquid) is a zero-calorie stevia glycoside or “stevioside” extracted from the Stevia Rebaudiana species of plants. The concentrated stevioside is white, the dehydrated and powdered stevia leaf is green, and the liquid is usually a glycerite (meaning water and glycerin with the stevia) made from either white or green powders. Its most important use is as a zero-calorie sweetener, having a glycemic index of zero. Nutritional benefits may be found in the green stevia, yet possibly only trace to negligible amounts of iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and vitamins A & C that are found in the original plant.
Sucanat is whole, unrefined cane sugar meaning the molasses is never processed out. This means it contains far more nutrition and less sucrose than table sugar, which gives your recipe a dark, rich molasses flavor and look. Nutritional benefits include calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamine, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and manganese.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in many fruits, vegetables, or other plants. Its main source of sweetness is xylose which is an essential sugar the body uses for a strong immune system. It is one of the sweetest natural sugar substitutes and is extracted from either corn cobs or the bark of birch trees in manufacturing. It is well-known for its dental hygiene benefits, yeast-fighting, and bacteria-fighting properties, and is found most often in mints, gums, and sugar-free candies. Xylitol, like all sugar alcohols, can have a laxative effect in larger amounts. It is advised to start with 1-3 teaspoons daily and work up a tolerance by gradually increase usage over a period of 3-6 weeks before substituting 1:1 for common sugar.
Yacon syrup is a sweet syrup extracted from the Yacon root of the Andes mountains. It takes 14 pounds of roots to make 1 pound of syrup. Its main source of sweetness comes from fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is a polysaccharide of fructose. FOS is a “prebiotic”, meaning it feeds probiotics for a healthy digestive system. Nutritional benefits include sodium, iron, calcium, potassium, carotene, magnesium, vitamins A, B1, B2, & C.It is best to use it as a substitute for syrups, honey, molasses or any other liquid sweetener.
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