Looking for alternatives to refined sugar?
Nature offers many choices.
Coconut sugar. Healthier than refined sugar, coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut plant. The sap is heated until most of the liquid evaporates. This process allows for the retention of the vital nutrients it contains – iron, zinc, calcium & potassium.
Coconut nectar. This is the liquid form of coconut sugar – it can be used for sweetening cold drinks, used as a dessert topper, poured over pancakes, etc. Minimally evaporated at low temperatures, coconut nectar has good nutrient retention.
Maple sugar. Made from the sap of maple trees. It is boiled to evaporate the liquid. It retains most of its nutrients - potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. Maple sugar is loaded with antioxidants.
Maple syrup. This is the liquid form of maple sugar – and most are familiar with it. Boiled and filtered to evaporate the excess water and remove impurities. Maple syrup has excellent nutrient retention.
Date sugar. It’s not extracted from anything. It’s just dehydrated dates pulverized into a powder. Date sugar is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients – calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.
Date syrup. It’s pureed dates. Date syrup contains all of the antioxidants and nutrients contained in dates – calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.
Ginger syrup. This is organic cane sugar infused with ginger. Ginger syrup is warming and can be stirred into tea to soothe a sore throat or added to sparkling water to make homemade ginger ale to calm an upset stomach. NOT a refined sugar alternative, but the anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting qualities of the ginger infusion make it notable.
Molasses. A syrupy by-product of the refining of sugarcane into sugar. Blackstrap molasses is the third boiling of the syrup and contains the highest concentrations of iron. Molasses contains trace amounts of vitamins and significant amounts of several minerals - calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium.
Honey. Made by bees using nectar from flowers. Honey contains vitamins, amino acids, and minerals – calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium.