As mentioned on a few other sites, I’m very “anti-sugar”.
Not only have I found out that sugar isn’t even necessary most of the time – especially when you cook/bake with already sweetened ingredients (eg. cocoa powder, chocolate, etc.), fruit (that already contains sugar as well) and many more – but also, as you probably know, can make you really sick.
This is why I’ve started adding the sugar at the very end, even when it says differently in the recipe.
You don’t have to fully omit the sugar, but at least do your body and health (is this redundant?) a favor and at least reduce it.
What I mean is when, for example, a recipe for brownies says:
1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and maybe Nutella® or chocolate chips or whatever (not all at once but just one of them but maybe there are people who are really that crazy), it just has to be sweet (and of course a bunch of other ingredients), you can EASILY omit the sugar as a whole because the Nutella®, chocolate chips or whatever else the recipes says already contains TONS of sugar. Am I making sense?
I’ve actually seen recipes like that, with 1 cup Nutella® and 1/2 or 3/4 cup sugar.
If you are looking at the example above (brownies), the overall amount of (pure) sugar would be 2.75 cups (~ 414 grams). You wouldn’t eat that amount of sugar pure with a tablespoon out of the bag, would you? Unless you’re insane or want to give yourself diabetes, the correct answer here is always “no”.
For my frosting recipe, I was doing a quick research to find out what the base for frosting was and then (with a little common sense) estimated the amount I will need for my 12 cupcakes that we’re cooling, just waiting to be frosted. Literally, EVERY recipe I looked at didn’t say less than 2 cups of sugar. I used a 1/2 cup and I’m telling you: that’s plenty.
But let me get back to original purpose of this page and give you a few examples of (natural) substitutes for sugar:
- Maple syrup
- Stevia (you have to like it, personally, I hate the taste and it can make the food bitter if you’re using too much)
- Agave syrup (can also make the food bitter if you’re using too much)
- Rice syrup
- Coconut Blossom Sugar or Coconut Sugar (also known as Coconut Palm Sugar is a natural sugar made from sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant and okay to use for people with diabetes)
- Birch Sugar (also known as Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol derived from xylose, it’s found in plums, strawberries, raspberries, and birch trees and is safe to use for diabetics and reduces the risk of cavities)
- Date syrup
- Date sugar
- Lucuma powder
- Apple syrup
- None (yeah, that’s right – you and your body can thank me later)
By default, I’m using birch sugar for my recipes, unless stated otherwise. Birch sugar is – I think – usually and most of them caster sugar-ish.
Of course… the decision is up to everybody themselves but as I mentioned above, you are doing yourself a favor if you start using less sugar.
PS: I’m not a telltale, so I won’t post the sources of the recipes mentioned in the example but if you search the internet for long enough you will find them.