Earlier on talked about natural sweeteners you can use as sugar alternatives, but those were only the tip of the iceberg. We already know that sugar isn’t the healthiest, but the risks far outweigh the benefits of a sugar high. So what should you do when that dreaded sweet tooth strikes?
We’ve put together a useful list of 29 sugar alternatives, some we’ve mentioned before, so you don’t have to go cold-turkey.
22 Sugar Alternatives for Different Situations
1. Agave Nectar
Derived from the same plant used to make tequila, this golden nectar tastes similar to honey and is perfect for cold or hot beverages. Use it in moderation though, because it has a high fructose content.
2. Maple Syrup
The maple tree sap contains over 50 antioxidants and is one of the tastiest sugar alternatives. Make sure to get the real stuff, and not the cheap corn-syrup knock-off!
3. Citrus Juice
Skip adding simple syrups to cocktails and add an extra squeeze of fresh citrus instead. Lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit… no one will know! Also, Vitamin C.
This famous antioxidant is great for sweetening almost any food or beverage or to soothe a sore throat. Remember not to use a metal spoon as the acidic PH in honey can create strong reactions with metal.
5. Unsweetened Applesauce
When making oatmeal cookies, replace white sugar with an equal amount of applesauce for natural sweetness. The sauce makes a good after-dinner snack too, especially if it’s homemade.
Give your morning cuppa a little kick with a dash of cinnamon or stir it with a cinnamon stick. You get a hint of sweetness with a boost immunity as far as sugar alternatives go. Add it in just before drinking, and don’t add too much as cinnamon powder contains fibres that coagulate when left in warm liquid for some time. Yes, cinnamon sludge is a thing.
This sugar alcohol is guilt-free and FDA-approved. Although not as sweet as sugar, it doesn’t give you tooth decay and increase your risk of heart disease! Try it in baked chocolate goods.
8. Raisins, Cranberries & Dates
Blend these in a food processor and use them like sugar when baking. They make great toppings for salads and sandwiches and are rich in antioxidants too!.
This natural extract is FDA-approved it only takes a drop or two to sweeten a bowl of oatmeal. Read more about stevia here.
10. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Sure it won’t taste as sweet but it is delicious! Mix some unsweetened cocoa powder in a glass of hot water or skim milk to pacify that sweet tooth without all the guilt. Have it with a splash of vanilla extract for kicks.
11. Coconut Sugar
We’ve talked about this magic brown powder before, and it’s still a favourite. Whether in block, paste, or granulated form it’s loaded with potassium, which is good for you.
12. Brown Rice Syrup
It’s more nutritious than its high-fructose alternative with buttery and nutty notes, and it’s one of the best sugar alternatives for granola bars and breads.
13. Rapadura / Panela
Basically sugar cane before its refining stage, this Latin American raw sugar is chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Use it like you would sugar in moderation.
14. Puréed Banana
Best for baking bread and cookies, extra-ripe bananas make the sweetest puree so you can leave out any excess sugar in the recipe.
If you drink milk often, you’ll know that full fat milk has a little sweet aftertaste. The natural sugar in milk adds a touch of sweetness to any morning cuppa, so lose the sugar altogether.
16. Frozen Juice Concentrate
Using juice concentrates in puddings and pies eliminates the need for adding sugar while adding fiber and antioxidants to your dessert.
17. Barley Malt Extract
High in protein and derived from a plant, this dark syrup is similar to molasses and is great for any baked treat.
18. Apricot Puree
In addition to being a good source of Vitamin C, fiber and iron, homemade apricot puree is great with whole grain bread or greek yoghurt.
19. Soda Water
Adding those bubbles to your juice or cocktail can really make a difference when leaving out sugar and syrups. Add a splash of lime to everything and you’ll thank us.
20. Molasses / Black Treacle
Molasses are what happens when when sugar cane, grapes, and beets get together in a tub. This dark syrup is great for gingerbread cookies or rich fruitcakes with a little extra dose of iron and calcium. Sounds good enough for us!
21. Balsamic Reduction
A lovely drizzle of balsamic reduction is just as good as chocolate or maple syrup on ice cream or bread. You can buy some of the aged stuff that comes in a bottle or just simmer regular balsamic vinegar until it thickens.
22. Yacón Syrup
This natural sweetener extracted from the yacón plant is similar to molasses but with hints of apple. Use it like honey or agave!