Sweeten Up Your Life the Natural Way –Part 1: Breakfasts and Beverages
Ever find yourself looking to sweeten up your meals, but not looking to have the extra calories? Well, there are many alternatives to sugar cane so you can find what works best for you. Some sugar substitutes are chemically produced and others naturally extracted from various plants. People often unintentionally turn to chemically produced sweeteners in order to have a nearly “calorie-less” beverage or treat. Chemically produced sugars such as sucralose and fructose, in a way, trick your body into thinking they are sugar by their chemical make up, but are then digested differently resulting in their zero calorie intake. However, there are other natural alternatives to sugar cane that would not be foreign to your body.
Agave nectar is a great beverage sweetener; it’s more concentrated than other sweeteners. As a general rule, you can use half as much agave as you would usually use table sugar. There are various flavors of agave nectar to accommodate what you are looking for. A black tea with caramel agave is a great combination. You can also use this agave as you would use any caramel sauce: top ice cream, dip apples, or drizzle over baked peaches.
Honey is another great way to sweeten a glass of tea without the artificial sugars. Bees make honey from the different flower nectars. For this reason, it also becomes a good way to condition your body for allergy season by exposing your body to the different pollens of the area. Grab a little biscuit and honey or top a peach with honey to fulfill your sweet craving.
Jam can really go either way. “Take everything in moderation.” A little jam on your toast never hurt anyone especially if you find a jam that does not have added sugars. Organic India has a jam that is made 100% from organic herbs, giving it rejuvenating qualities. Some of the ingredients can be helpful in boosting your immune system and energizing you for the day.
There has been a lot of talk about stevia lately, particularly for those who are diabetic or are looking to have a low carbohydrate diet. Stevia has been found to have very little affect on blood glucose levels while being a high concentration of the sweet flavor. Unlike saacharin that is produced in a lab and used in many sweeteners, stevia is naturally extracted from herbs and shrubs of the sunflower family. This allows your body to digest the stevia in a more natural way. You can find stevia in different flavored drink packets, or as an alternative to sugar in your coffee. Stevia can also be used for baking.
Chaga syrup comes from birch trees. This product brings nutrients while still adding a flavorful sweet touch. It works well as an ice cream topping or combined with your favorite nut butter.
Test out some different sweeteners and let us know which one is your favorite!
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