Alternative Natural Sweetners | Friday Obsessions

An understandably important element of the cleanse Papa Bear and I are doing next week is the elimination of refined white sugar, especially in the first week.

Honey Spoons

Of course, I still like things like my tea a little bit sweetened. Luckily, there are a whole range of alternative sweeteners out there. And no, I’m not talking about the crap that comes in those little pink, blue and yellow packets. Because as it turns out, ingesting a white powder made almost entirely of chemicals is not a good thing.

Although there are a lot of alternative sweeteners out there, natural and otherwise, I have three go to’s in my cupboard at all times. Here are my favorites!

Honey

Honey via Dreamy Whites

Honey via Dreamy Whites

If the only honey you have ever tasted has come from a little squeezy bear, you may have never tasted real honey in your life. A lot of the stuff of the shelves is actually nothing more than corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

A wonderful real honey that you can find in most stores is Langnese, and it comes in a number of varieties, but you can find even more of the common varieties here. All in all, there are dozens of varieties out there, all with subtle variations in flavor, from Clover to Linden to Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Forest and Tupelo.

You can find suppliers of honey in all kinds of varieties from all over the US here, and even in your home state! For those of us who like to shop local, honey is another great way to do it.

German Rock Sugar

German Rock Sugar via Fake Food Free

German Rock Sugar via Fake Food Free

This may be my favorite sweetener. It looks kind of like rock candy, in undulating earth tones, sparkling like crystals. And as it turns out, it’s totally made out of vegetables.

Beets, in fact! Yes, this is beet sugar. Who knew there was such a thing?

The best thing about it is that its subtle sweetness will not alter the flavor of your tea (or whatever else you use it in). It is also sweeter and more dense than normal sugar, so you use less of it than you normally would. And you can totally pick it up at Teavana or on their website when you buy all the rest of your tea.

Molasses

Brer Rabbit Blackstrap Molasses

Molasses always has a place on our shelf. Not only do we use it for our Ginger Orange Molasses cookies (which will be notably absent during our cleanse), Papa Bear is obsessive about the black stuff. He cleans the measuring cup with his tongue and fingers every time we make those cookies. His mustache ends up quite a mess, I tell you.

We recently discovered a brand called Brer Rabbit that is by far the best molasses we have ever tasted. All molasses is deep, rich, smoky, and contains all kinds of wonderful minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, butthe darker you go, the more delicious and concentrated the flavors and goodness are.

What’s your favorite non-sugar sweetener?

Comments

  1. PUNKYCOT says:

    Thanks for reminding me abut good ol mo’lasses.(as in “Please Mamaw, kin I have MO of the lasses “?) ie:- more of the last…Comes from the boiling down of cane to make the white stuff. My Tennessee ( pronounced TIN- is -ee”) in laws created the most incredible cakes, pies, (CHESS PIE anyone?) and cinnamon rolls using variations of that dark syrup. But it is too intense for most of us and does not work in coffee!
    Honey, agave nectar, other natural nectars are great in tea etc. but I have yet to find something good in coffee…My coffee ( one cup only ) tastes more like heated up coffee ice cream!
    To sweeten cakes, cookies, biskits (sic) and such I like to use fresh pineapple juice and fresh applesauce. Those also work during a “cleanse” time – especially fresh pineapple.
    Ope someone can figure out how to sweeten coffee and let me know….Maybe I will simply have to give it up!

    • Natalie Webb says:

      I suppose the coffee in molasses thing depends on how obsessive over molasses you are. The hubs loves it, but you’re right, I’m not a fan. Totally try that German Rock Sugar in there though! It has a completely neutral flavor profile, it’s perfect in any liquid.

      I love the pineapple juice and applesauce suggestion, though I’m sure recipes would have to be rejiggered to account for the additional liquid.

      One thing to watch out for, however, is the agave syrup. I used to be a big fan, but did some research and found out that agave syrup is to agave what corn syrup is to corn. Highly processed stuff, which is what I’m trying to avoid right now.

      And seriously, what is CHESS PIE? I must know. Sounds geeky and exciting.

  2. Tiffany says:

    agave!!!

  3. Tiffany says:
  4. Tiffany says:

    Punkycot, coconut palm sugar might be a good choice for your coffee. Its not as nearly as strong as molasses.

    http://www.sunfood.com/herbs-teas-spices/coconut-palm-sugar/coconut-palm-sugar-5-lbs-organic.html

    And Natalie, you do not want to know what chess pie is … its soooo yummy and addictive 🙂

    • Natalie Webb says:

      I think you underestimate my love of addictive foods, and I have looked it up. After this cleanse, it might have to make an appearance in my kitchen! Dammit, I miss pie.