Baking is almost always associated with refined white flour and sugar. But there is some new-age baking that is breaking that tradition – like how refined white sugar can totally be replaced with natural sweeteners. A simple substitution can transform your bake from one with zero nutritional value to one with amazing health benefits!
India is rich in the kind of options it provides us with. We think that those will work in our sweets only. However, the moment you try them out in your baking, you will discover a whole new world of delicious recipes. So be brave and open your mind, widen your taste palate to accept the range of bakes that can be made with these natural and healthy sweeteners.
This is one of the easiest and best alternatives to use. You have the choice of using it in a powder form or as a liquid, in your baking. The taste of the bake gets transformed to a more intense and earthy one, but it remains delicious. Try this out in biscuits first and then move onto cakes.
2. Coconut Sugar
This is one of the best ways to use a natural sweetener. It has a lower glycemic index than all the other forms of sugar and is the chosen sweetener by some of those who are diabetic as well. And because of its versatility it works well in cakes and cookies, both.
A lot of fruits have high levels of inherent sweetness such as bananas, mangoes and so on. Using them instead of white sugar increases the nutritive value as well as the moisture in the bake. They work well particularly in cakes.
4. Dates and Figs
Homemade pastes or syrups of dates and figs are a great option to use when you bake for children in particular. It is a good way to include cookies or muffins made with these in your child’s baked snacks.
5. Brown Rice Syrup
Unique as this might sound this is a great liquid sweetener with a distinct taste. It adds depth of flavour to a bake and is definitely a better choice as compared to refined white sugar. You might need to try it in some recipes to get accustomed with how the flavours work out.
This is an upcoming ingredient. The extract of this fruit is known to be healthy and heat resistant. So it works beautifully in baking. The only downside is that it is difficult to source in India currently but it is expected to be readily available in the years to come.
So this is a quick reference list for you to pick from. Remember most of these will tend to be lower in sweetness levels than refined white sugar, have a distinct character of their own and retain their intrinsic nutrients. They have not been eroded by excessive refining and bleaching, as is the case with white sugar.