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sweetener natural

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Do you struggle to get through a day without a piece of candy? Or a cookie? Do you need to finish off every meal with a little dessert? If so, don’t feel too guilty about it – you may be genetically predisposed to wanting sweet things. In fact, your love of sweet things might even mean you have a pretty likable personality. That’s science, not just popular opinion. Life may truly be sweeter when you eat sweet things. But if you can’t enjoy a day…or a meal…or go an hour…without a little sugar, then you might want to find some alternatives to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, research has found a link between increased sugar intake and a higher risk for high blood sugar, fatty liver disease, and heart attack. That is definitely some sour news.

Luckily, there are plenty of natural things you can add to your iced teas and baked goods that will increase their sweetness, and sometimes even offer some health benefits. It’s always fun to explore cooking alternatives, if not for health reasons than even just for those times when you’re missing one ingredient, and need to get creative. When you run out of sugar or just need an option to forcibly switch things up, you can swap in one of these items and still satisfy that demanding sweet tooth.

sweetener natural

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Agave nectar

While agave nectar sounds like some special potion, it’s actually just a syrup. It comes from the fluid inside the blue agave plant, which is also what’s used to make tequila. It tastes similar to honey, but is slightly more liquid in texture, making it easier to stir into food and beverages. Agave nectar is very sweet, so when using it in place of granular sugar, do not do a one-to-one ratio. Instead, add in small amounts slowly, tasting along the way until you’ve achieved the desired sweetness. It’s particularly good in baked goods, as well as beverages like iced tea and smoothies.

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