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White Sugar Alternatives. Better Cooking Without Sugar

Updated on September 29, 2009

Good cooks know that tasty food is all about balance, and a harmony of sweet, sour, salty and bitter (and maybe spicy and umami…but that’s another story).

Good cooks know that no matter how comprehensive a recipe may be, there always comes a point nearing completion when that tasting spoon needs to come out and a pinch of this and a dash of that needs to be thrown into the mix. It’s that final tasting and seasoning that makes all the difference, and what elevates the merely good to the great.

And sometimes to create real harmony, you will need to sweeten up even savory dishes – and although straight sugar offers a very easy and one dimensional path to sweetness, sugar is not the only way. In fact, you can add some tasty complexity as well as sweetness by combining in other additions that lend some sweetness, as well as other complimentary flavors.

There are lots of reasons to avoid processed white sugars, thankfully, in this case, eating right is synonymous with well.

So next time you need to sweeten up that sauce – skip the granulated sugar and get a little creative, and see how much better your healthier food tastes.

Sweetening – Alternatives to white sugar

  • Honey
  • Carrots (try adding in pureed roasted or even over boiled carrots to any kind of beef braise or stew.)
  • Corn
  • Caramelized onions
  • Apple juice (or other fruit concentrates)
  • Molasses (blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron – and imagine how boring Boston Baked Beans would be made with white sugar)
  • Maple syrup
  • Sweet spices (coriander, cloves, cinnamon)
  • Vanilla
  • Fruits
  • Raisins (figs, dates and other dried fruits)
  • Brown sugar
  • Roasted beets
  • Roasted parsnips

So try a little honey in that vinaigrette and a little molasses in that cookie and see how much better things taste when you move beyond boring white sugar.

Video Info on Stevia Sugar Substitute


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      Yacov 5 years ago

      I've been using agave, but my nutritionist just told me that it's worse than sugar because its highly processed and filtered.