TAG: Sugar

Environmental Concerns About Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is marketed as a healthier sugar alternative because it is less processed, more nutritious, and low on the glycemic index. Coconut sugar may be more environmentally friendly as well. The impacts of large-scale cane sugar production include the destruction of ecosystems to clear land for single crops, excessive water consumption, water and air pollution, and soil degradation. Coconut palms, by contrast, grow in diverse ecosystems, have positive environmental impacts, and produce more sugar per acre than sugar cane plants while making fewer resource demands. However, concerns were raised when Tropical Traditions (2012), a producer of coconut oil, posted… read more

Healthy Shades of Sweet

Stevia

The ongoing demand for sugar alternatives is evident in the vast markets for both artificial and natural sweeteners. Though there exist ‘natural’ sweeteners like honey and agave nectar neither contains any real nutritious value. In fact, they can be as hazardous to your health as sugar. Luckily, with these ‘bad’ sugars, nature has also provided a few sweeteners that are safe and beneficial to your health. Stevia is nature’s answer to calorie free sweeteners. Extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana leaf, it is 400 times sweeter than sugar. Because of this, Stevia can achieve the same amount of sweet as sugar… read more

Classic Treats (Without The Sugar)

Baking with Stevia

In a world full of packaged foods, homemade delicacies from the oven are, to many, a rare treat that is eagerly accepted. And they are often better in taste and quality, as well as better for you. But there are still improvements to be made in the staples we use if we wish to create a healthy diet that provides us with the best possible nutrition to support us in our daily lives. For most, sugars and artificial sweeteners make up a big portion of baking staples– it is essentially a tradition in American baking. And like most traditions, the… read more

Nutritious Molasses

Nutritious molasses

Molasses is a nutritionally concentrated by-product of the sugar refining process. The nutrients that white sugar loses during processing are retained in molasses. Molasses is a source of calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron. In fact, it actually provides more iron than red meat with fewer calories and no fat. There are several different types of molasses. Light molasses (also known as Barbados), which is less viscous and higher in sugar, is produced the first time the sugar cane is boiled during processing. Dark molasses, a thicker molasses created during the second sugar cane boiling cycle, is darker in color and… read more

Sweetness With A Sting

Sweetness With A Sting

Many people substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar in the hope of losing weight, but studies suggest that these products have the opposite effect. A Purdue University study found that animals given artificially sweetened foods gained more weight (primarily fat rather than lean muscle) than animals eating naturally sweetened foods. Another survey conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center found that diet soda consumption was linked with increased risk of obesity. Both the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study and a study of nearly 80,000 women conducted by the American Cancer Society linked weight gain to artificial sweetener use. The San… read more

Natural Sweeteners

Natural Sweeteners

There are many natural sweeteners, all of which add their own unique flavors and textures. Cane or turbinado sugar is made from the sugarcane plant, this whole, unrefined sugar has a slight brownish tint because the health-promoting molasses has not been extracted from it. Beet sugar is similar to cane sugar but is derived from beets. Molasses: is rich in many beneficial nutrients including calcium and iron. Molasses can be used to replace up to half the sugar in many recipes. Choose dark or blackstrap molasses, which are more nutritious. Honey is environmentally friendly because it requires minimal processing and… read more

Sweet Relief Without The Sugar

Cocoa_peanuts_coconut

From early childhood we are introduced to products laden with sugar. It is nearly impossible to go to the grocery store without being bombarded with “impulse buys”, in the form of ‘fun sized’ assortments of chocolate bars and sugary confections. But in addition to these sugar addictions, there is an inherent shame about our consumption. Of course, there are also many health concerns posed by over-consumption of sugars. While with any food or habit it is all about moderation, it can be hard to break certain habits without avoiding them altogether. This brings about a search for alternatives, so that people can be in the… read more

A Healthy Alternative?

agave plant

Agave (pronounced ah-GAH-vay) nectar is derived from the agave plant, a spiky cactus native to Mexico that is also the source of Tequila. Agave is approximately 84% fructose, the sugar that gives fruits and vegetables their sweetness. Agave nectar is similar to honey, but not as thick, and it’s higher in calories than white sugar. It’s also 1.5 times as sweet as regular sugar, which means that if you want to use it to replace sugar in baking, you need to reduce the amount. To substitute agave nectar for white sugar, for each cup of sugar called for by the… read more

Baking with Whole Foods

Healthier Baking with Whole Foods

1. Replace fats with fruits and vegetables: You can replace some or all of the butter or oil in many recipes with apple sauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or other healthy substitutes. 2. Use whole wheat flour: Brown flour is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, making it a far healthier choice (white flour loses most of its nutrients during processing). 3. Replace up to half the sugar with molasses: Molasses is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Use 1+1/3 cups of molasses for each cup of sugar, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and reduce… read more