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Natural Sweeteners - A Cheap but Nutritious Alternative for Commercial Sugar
Here comes the Stevia!
Due to the high-priced commercial sugar, specially the refined white ones, people find an alternative to find natural sweetener that can satisfy their palate when drinking coffee in the morning.It is organic and you don't you to worry about chemical contamination.
One is the herbal plant called stevia (Asteraceae that belongs to Sunflower family)or sweet leaf that abounds both in North and South American countries. Here in the Philippines, the concoction of sweet juice from stevia leaves is good for those who are suffering from diabetes, goiter and intestinal disease. Many farmers started to grow stevia plants at home and add this as another source of income in the locality.
It is more sweeter than the commercial sugar and leaves a slight bitter aftertaste. It is a non-calorie sweetener that helps lower your blood pressure and cures your stomach acidity.
You can propagate it just like any other herbs, through stem cuttings. Grow it under a shade, not in a direct sunlight to avoid withering.
Extract sugar cane juice at home
When you are tired budgeting and include commercial sugar in the list for weekly consumption, you better have an alternative way to fight the high-priced commodity.
When I was experimenting on "The Sugary Talahib" as my Science Investigative Project. I was lucky to visit the BISUDECO (Bicol Sugar Development Cooperative) Milling Station in Pili, Camarines Sur (Philippines).Local millers bring their sugar canes (From genus Saccharum) to the plant.
The process of producing sugar is complicated and health-risky, too. From the harvesting of sugar canes (they burn the leaves first before cutting the cane), truck loading and processing it at the sugar milling station, refining with chemicals and distribution to the local sellers in the market, all I can say is that the process is very tedious.
The alternative way for extracting the juice of sugar cane can be done at home. If you have kitchen mallet, you can pound it one by one to loosen the fiber. Extract the juice with cheese cloth by small batches. You can cook the juice in a pan until it became a sticky molasses. It will harden and you can shape it and store it for future use.
Selling hardened molasses is a thriving business for the locals. If your are a tourist, just ask for this in local product name as sangkaka in Bicol region or panutsa in Northern Luzon. You can sweetened your coffee with molasses from sugar cane. It has rich-carbohydrate content and natural glucose that is not harmful to your health.
Sweeten your tea with honey
It doesn't expire, natural honey comes from the nectar of flowers collected and stored by honeybees in their beehives.
Commercial manufacturing of beehives is also a good business to a start at home in your backyard. Bees are good source of income but a delicate insects to take care of. They should be near the flowers where they can get all the nectar of flowers they need. Don't burn dry leaves near your backyard because they get easily confused by the smoke.
More and more people like to sweeten their beverage, coffee or tea, especially tea with honey. You can start doing it, too.
If you want high-intensity sweeteners, you can check this article for a more concise data on artificial sweeteners, but with less energy to burn.