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.
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!
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
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 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.