Without doubt sugar is one of the hottest nutritional topics of the moment.
Foods have trends too and what is healthy one day can be out of favour the next.
One thing we know now is that eating too much sugar is NOT good for you. So here is my guide to the sweeteners available out there to help you make the best choice possible.
Agave nectar is a healthy, completely natural unrefined natural substitute for refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Made from the Agave plant (yes, that is where tequila comes from) it has been used in native societies of Mexico for centuries as a sweetener and healing ointment. Agave is thought to have anti-bacterial properties that can heal wounds and fight off infections.
Stevia has been widely used as a natural sweetener in South America for centuries and in Japan since 1970. It is completely natural and non-toxic, deriving from the sunflower family native to subtropical South and Central America
Honey is about as natural as any sweetener gets. A good quality honey may also have a few added benefits and extra medicinal benefits that other sweeteners don’t. Manuka honey from New Zealand and Ulmo honey from Chile both have incredible antiseptic, immune stimulating and healing properties. Make sure you always opt for raw honey to ensure all of the valuable nutrients and enzymes are retained.
Brown Rice Malt Syrup
Brown Rice Malt Syrup is a fabulous substitute for sugar and one of my favourites. As the name suggests, it is a whole food derived from brown rice. Even better it is completely fructose free (hooray!) and has a low glycaemic level, so it doesn’t send you off into the crazy blood sugar highs and lows that sugar can.
Hot Cross Muffins
SERVES: 12 MUFFINS PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES COOKING TIME: 30-35 MINUTES
All the delicious fruit and spice flavour of a hot cross bun but in a cute as a button muffin.
Lindy Cook is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Director of Corporate Chillout.