Nowadays, people in the culinary industry are more sensitive to the health needs and life choices of people. There are more and more restaurants and food establishments that cater to people with vegan diets, food intolerances, or allergies. In the same way, in the art of baking, bakers and artisans have also found ways to make baking healthier for a lot of people.
For a long time, sugar has been the main ingredient for making sweets and desserts. White sugar used in most baking recipes is made from sugar cane. The sugar cane goes through a process that turns it into molasses and brown syrup. These are then filtered to produce white sugar. Sugar is a natural ingredient, but it can be harmful to people who have diabetes as they increase insulin levels. There are many ways to sweeten food and dessert without using white sugar. Here is a list of healthy and natural alternatives that you can use for your baking needs.
Honey, Maple Syrup, and Molasses
The first few alternatives are syrup varieties.
- The most popular among these is honey which is harvested from beehives. They can easily be found in the supermarket and not to mention; it has a lot of health benefits such as having less fructose and glucose levels and fewer calories. Although diabetic people still need to regulate their consumption of sweets even if they are made from honey. Bakers also need to take note that recipe ratios need to be altered along with lessening liquid in the recipe.
- Maple syrup is not just for pancakes; it could also be used to sweeten other baked goods. Other than a lower glycemic index compared to sugar, maple syrup is packed with nutrients as well such as calcium, iron, potassium, and antioxidants.
- Molasses, made from sugar processing, is also a less sweet alternative. It adds a unique flavor to your baked goods in addition to providing them with a helping of vitamins, calcium, and iron.
Fruits and Applesauce
If you are making food and desserts for diabetic people who need a low-sugar diet, there are a lot of fruits that you could use as natural sweeteners.
- Bananas, for one, are sweet but also filled with potassium and fiber.
- Another option is using figs, dates, and raisins as a substitute for sugar since they provide calcium and iron as well to your food. Fruits are great ingredients as well in making smoothies and other cold drinks.
- Other than natural fruits, applesauce is a suggested sugar alternative. In order to reap its health benefits from applesauce, it is better to make your own or select brands that make natural and unsweetened varieties. Applesauce is great for a healthy diet as it is a source of healthy fiber with fewer calories.
Cane Sugar and Coconut Palm Sugar
According to the American Heart Association, cane sugar is healthier than the regular white sugar, although using it should still be minimalized.
- Cane sugar is basically unrefined sugar, which means it has more vitamins than white varieties that have gone through several processes.
- There is also coconut palm sugar that comes from the sap of coconut trees. It has a lower glycemic index when compared to white sugar, which makes it a good alternative for diabetic people. However, take note that calorie and carbohydrate levels between the two kinds are just about the same.