1. Agave Nectar
The Aztecs used agave thousands of years ago and praised this syrup as a gift from the gods. A derivative of the same plant as tequila, this golden sweetener tastes similar to honey and is perfect in hot or iced tea. But be sure to use in moderation—agave’s high fructose content can sometimes cross it in to the dangerous food zone!
Instead of a half-cup white sugar in a batch of oatmeal cookies, swap in an equal amount of applesauce! The natural sweetness from a Golden Delicious or Fuji apple is perfect in an after-dinner treat. Purchase the “no sugar-added” applesauce, or make a fresh batch at home!
3. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
For a warm winter treat, mix some unsweetened cocoa powder in a glass of hot water or skim milk. It’ll satisfy that sweet tooth without all the extra sugar the sweetened version includes. Add a splash of vanilla extract for extra flavor!
4. Coconut Sugar
Get a little tropical and use coconut sugar in a fruit smoothie. Made from the sap of coconut flowers, this natural sugar comes in block, paste, or granulated form. Plus, it’s loaded with potassium which helps keep our bones strong!
5. Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup comes from (you guessed it!) brown rice. More nutritious than its high-fructose alternative, this buttery and nutty flavored syrup is perfect in granola bars and baked breads.
6. Puréed Banana
In the next loaf of banana bread, try using extra-ripe bananas and eliminating the sugar. The fruit naturally becomes sweeter as it ripens, so there’s no need for extra sugar.
Bonus Alternative: Lemon
If you’re a tea drinker like myself, squeezing the juice of half a lemon into your cup of tea can be helpful when cutting back on sugar! Lemon not only improves hydration, has vitamin C, and helps with weight loss, it also helps with digestion and freshens your breath!
But be careful to use lemon in moderation because of its acidity. So instead of using honey or sugar to flavor your tea, add some lemon juice to get all the great benefits!
Have you used any of these sugar alternatives?! Comment below if you have! I’d love to hear from you!