Your Guide to Natural Sweeteners-Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Federal Employee Program

Your Guide to Natural Sweeteners

Cutting back on white sugar doesn’t mean you have to forgo sweets altogether. Try these natural substitutes instead.

There are plenty of sources of sweetness beside processed, white sugar. Certain fruits and veggies are packed with natural sugars, and have the added bonus of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Try these tips.

  1. Reduce sugar in baked goods
    When you're baking, you can usually cut out one quarter to one third of the sugar in a recipe without drastically altering the final product.
  2. Replace sugar with fruit
    For quick breads, cookies, muffins and pancakes, try cutting the sugar in half, then stir in an overripe banana or some chopped dates to make up the rest of the sweetness.
  3. Add fruits and veggies to sauces and smoothies
    Instead of using white sugar to balance the flavors in a sauce or stews, add grated carrots, butternut squash or beets. For smoothies, add a little apple or beet for extra vitamins.
  4. Try stevia
    Stevia is a natural sweetener that has zero calories and is derived from a plant. It tastes 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar, so a little goes a long way. Look for it in the natural foods section of most major grocery stores.
Bowl of pancake batter with dishes of fresh berries

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