Next time you want to create a delicious treat in the kitchen, ditch the granulated sugar. Many bakers use granulated sugar because of its availability, affordability, and ability to crystalize or hold moisture. However, using granulated sugar is not great for our health or nutrition. In fact, it only contributes to the rise in diabetes and obesity. The issue with granulated sugar is that it's stripped of its antioxidants and minerals, resulting in a highly processed, empty-calorie product.
So, what's the solution? Thankfully, this doesn't mean you need to stop creating the cakes, cookies, or other sweet treats you enjoy so much. Instead, it simply means that you need to swap your sugar for a healthier sugar substitute. We've listed below our top recommendations for alternative sweeteners and how you can integrate them into your baking routines.
How To Bake with Monk fruit Sweetener
Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener is a healthy alternative to sugar. The sweetness from the fruit is actually 200 times sweeter than sugar, which means you need very little to make a significant impact. Monk fruit is associated with anti-cancer properties and has been known to treat throat or colorectal cancers and build a healthy immune system. Whether you need to sweeten a jam with Lakanto Sweetener Liquid or need a sugar replacement for your next cake with Lakanto Sweetener Classic, monk fruit is a great low carb, zero-calorie alternative.
Baking Conversion: For every one teaspoon of sugar, you'll need to use two drops of the Lakanto Sweetener Liquid. If you're working with regular sweeteners, use ½ cup of the Lakanto Sweetener Classic for every 1 cup of sugar.
How To Bake with Maple Syrup
While maple syrup is a great topping for waffles and pancakes, it actually makes the perfect sugar substitute for any recipe. However, it’s important to pick a high-quality syrup that’s 100% maple syrup, instead of one with artificial ingredients like corn syrup or added sugar. Maple syrup is a great source of antioxidants and helps to fight inflammatory diseases.
Baking Conversion: Maple Syrup does not require a conversion; it can be used as a one-to-one substitute for any sugar or liquid sweetener.
How To Bake with Honey
Honey is an all-natural sweetener that’s perfect for replacing granulated sugar. Plus, since it’s naturally sweeter in taste, you need less of it to sweeten up your recipe. Honey is water-attracting, which helps to keep your baked goods moist and long-lasting. You can find tons of vitamins in honey such as magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. Remember to decrease the liquid in your recipe by ¼ cup and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees when cooking with honey.
Baking Conversion: For every 1 cup of sugar, use ¾ cup and 1 tablespoon of honey.
How To Bake With Agave
Agave runs a little sweeter due to the high fructose content in the substance, making it perfect for any recipe that needs that extra boost. While Agave Blue Nectar is higher in calories than granulated sugar, you'll need less to make your baked goods, so it won't significantly impact the overall nutrients. However, using Agave adds essential vitamins such as Vitamin B9, B6, B2, and K to your recipe. Remember when baking with Agave to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 25%, since it is a liquid, not a solid.
Baking Conversion: For every 1 cup of sugar, replace with 2/3 cup of Agave. Remember that Agave will bake quicker, so it's recommended to turn your oven down by 15-25 degrees to ensure you don't burn your recipe.
How To Bake With Stevia
Stevia is a fantastic sweetener that can provide 200 times more sweetness than regular granulated sugar. Plus, each packet has under four grams of carbs and one calorie, so it's perfect for those trying to lose or watch their weight. Stevia is also a great alternative to reduce blood sugar levels which can help those who have diabetes or high blood pressure. When baking with stevia, you'll need to increase the amount of baking soda or baking powder in the recipe since it won't add texture or help your food rise.
Baking Conversion: For every 1 cup of sugar, substitute with one teaspoon of stevia. Depending on what you're baking, you may need to reduce the baking temperature by 15-20%.
How To Bake with Coconut Sweetener
Using coconut sweeteners is an organic way to add sweetness to any recipe, especially those requiring brown sugar. Coconut sweetener originates from the nectar of Filipino coconut blossoms. Its taste is similar to honey and is the perfect low-carb alternative to sugar. There are tons of nutrients hidden in this substance, including potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Plus, it's a lower glycemic, perfect for those who need to watch their blood sugar levels.
Baking Conversion: Coconut sweetener does not require a conversion; it can be used as a one-to-one substitute for any sugar or liquid sweetener.
How To Bake with Sucanat
Sucanat is unrefined natural cane sugar and is created by mixing the substance with paddles until brown granules form. This process is a lot healthier than granulated sugars and helps retain the sugar's original nutrients and flavors. This strong molasses flavored sugar is perfect for replacing brown sugar in recipes and only requires a small addition to add a ton of sweetness.
Baking Conversion: Sucanat does not require a conversion for it to be used in your recipes. You can substitute it one-for-one for brown or white sugar. However, due to its taste and aroma, it's best to use in place of recipes that call for brown sugar.
How To Bake with Bananas
If you don't have any ingredients in your pantry to substitute sugar, banana can be a quick fix to your problems. There are tons of nutrients packed in a banana, including potassium and magnesium, along with antioxidants, pectin, and fiber. It's essential that you only use ripened bananas, as unripe bananas will leave a bitter taste.
Baking Conversion: For every 1 cup of sugar, use ½ cup of mashed banana. Remember that a banana will contain more liquid, so try to reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Storing Your Sugar Substitutes
Using any of the above-mentioned sugar substitutes is a great way to enjoy your favorite baked goods without the negative impacts of granulated sugar. Like any baking ingredient, it's essential to ensure you store it properly to extend the shelf-life and potency. First, make sure to check the back of your substitute as instructions are typically included on how to care for your ingredient properly.
As a general rule of thumb, it's best to store your substitute in a dry, cool environment. Make sure that the ingredient is stored in an airtight container to keep any moisture from penetrating your sugar substitute. For the best and most flavorful use, try to finish your ingredients within six months. While the sugar substitute will still be usable after six months, it's likely to lose its texture and flavor.
Ready to start baking? If you're looking for more sugar substitutes, check out our entire product line to find the perfect sugar solution.