We take a look at al­ter­na­tives to white sugar – some of our favourite nat­u­ral, less re­fined sweet­en­ers

donna hay - Fresh + Light - - Contents Issue 11 - pho­tog­ra­phy CHRIS COURT styling STEVE PEARCE


If you’re look­ing for a low- GI sweet­ener, pure maple syrup is a great op­tion. It’s less pro­cessed than other sug­ars (the maple trees do most of the work nat­u­rally) and is highly con­cen­trated, so just a lit­tle will give a good burst of sweet­ness. The am­ber syrup’s caramel-like f lavour lends it­self to sweets but is equally at home with veg­eta­bles.


This ver­sa­tile un­re­fined sweet­ener is more pop­u­lar than ever. It’s per­fect for us­ing in raw desserts, easy dress­ings and glazes for roasts.

WE LOVE us­ing maple syrup to add nat­u­ral sweet­ness to our morn­ing yo­ghurt.

co­conut sugar

Sur­pris­ingly, co­conut sugar is not from the co­conut fruit but the f lower’s nec­tar, which is heated to re­move the wa­ter con­tent. It has a lower GI than gran­u­lated cane sugar and its caramel, maple-like f lavour is not overly sweet. Try ex­per­i­ment­ing with it by adding to crum­ble top­pings or gra­nola, or us­ing in bak­ing.

Rapadura (also known as pan­ela) is un­re­fined cane sugar with a rich, tof­fee-like f lavour, a deep brown colour and a fine grain. It has be­come a pop­u­lar sub­sti­tu­tion for re­fined white sugar, par­tic­u­larly in bak­ing, as it is less pro­cessed and con­tains a higher level of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, like mag­ne­sium and potas­sium, than other sug­ars. Try us­ing it in your muffins, cakes and cook­ies – you can swap it like for like with white sugar.

the sweet spot…

Not only are these op­tions less re­fined than white sugar, they add unique depth of f lavour to your dishes.

what you need to know about RAPADURA

maple syrup honey

co­conut sugar rapadura sugar

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