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What Is The Best Sugar Substitute For Baking For Diabetics

brown sugar in measuring cup

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Discover the many roles that sugar plays in baking and learn about different kinds of sweeteners.

Brown sugar and white sugar
Photo by Meredith.

Sugar performs many important roles in baking. It provides moisture and tenderness, liquefies as it bakes, increases the shelf-life of finished products, caramelizes at high temperatures, and, of course, adds sweetness. Refined sugar helps cookies spread during baking, allowing their crisp texture. Because of these critical functions, bakers can’t simply replace sugar with a different sweetener. However, in many recipes, you can decrease the amount of sugar by one third without affecting the quality of the product.

Sugar is Sugar

All refined sugars–brown sugar, white sugar, and “raw” sugars such as demerara or turbinado–are equal from a nutritive standpoint. Brown sugars simply contain a higher molasses content. Refined sugar is 99 percent pure sucrose, a simple carbohydrate.

Other sugars, such as honey, taste sweeter on the tongue than granulated sugar. You can therefore use less honey to sweeten a batch of muffins than you would sugar. Maple syrup tastes less sweet than sugar, but its unique flavor is prized in baked goods and desserts.

Natural Sweeteners

Honey is 25 to 50% sweeter than sugar, and has a distinctive flavor. The flavors and colors of honey can vary depending upon the bees’ diet–buckwheat honey, for example, is darker and stronger than clover honey. Baked goods made with honey are moist and dense, and tend to brown faster than those made with granulated sugar.

Honey
Photo by Meredith.

Use ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey in place of 1 cup sugar, and reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons. Unless the recipe includes sour cream or buttermilk, add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity.

  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies IV
  • Easy Baklava
  • Sweet Cornbread Cake

Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees. The sap is boiled down into a sweet, delectable syrup. Grade A maple syrup is golden brown and has a delicate flavor. Grade B is thicker, darker, and is better for baking because it has a stronger flavor–and it costs less.

Although maple syrup is only 60% as sweet as sugar, use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons to compensate for its liquid state.

  • Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares
  • Unbeatable Pecan Pie
  • Maple Apple Crisp

Molasses is a byproduct of refined sugar production. It contains small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, and iron. Molasses imparts a dark color and strong flavor to baked foods, but is not as sweet as sugar.

When substituting molasses for sugar, use 1 1/3 cups molasses for 1 cup sugar, and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 5 tablespoons. Molasses is also more acidic than sugar; add ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of molasses used. Replace no more than half the sugar called for in a recipe with molasses.

  • Big Soft Ginger Cookies
  • Applesauce Cake III
  • Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze

Corn syrup is known as an “invert sugar;” it is useful in cooking and candy-making because, unlike other sugars, it does not crystallize. Corn syrup is less sweet than sugar, and does not add flavor like molasses or honey. “Golden Syrup,” common in the United Kingdom, is a refinery syrup made from sugar. It is used in place of corn syrup. Some cooks believe sugar syrups have a livelier flavor than corn syrups and add more character to dishes such as pecan pie.

  • Mom’s Best Peanut Brittle
  • Chocolate Chip Crispies
  • Chocolate Scotcheroos

Other Natural Sweeteners

Refined fructose is sweeter than granulated sugar. It can be easily substituted in baking recipes–simply add one-third less. Some tasters find that, although products made with fructose taste sweet, they also taste a little flat. Fructose attracts more water than sucrose, so fructose-sweetened products tend to be moist. Baked products made with fructose will be darker than if they were made with white sugar. Fructose is available in health-food stores.

Brown rice malt syrup consists of maltose, glucose and complex carbohydrates. It is an amber-hued syrup resembling honey, but it is not as sweet as honey. It can be substituted cup per cup for granulated sugar, but the liquid ingredients should be reduced by ¼ cup per cup of rice syrup. Enzyme-treated syrup, as opposed to malted syrup, will tend to liquefy the batter of a baked product. Use the malted syrup for best results.

Fruit juice concentrates, such as apple juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, or white grape juice concentrate, are wonderful substitutes for sugar and add interesting flavors as well. Juice concentrates are made up of fructose and glucose. Use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar, and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons.

Stevia is a naturally sweet herb that has been used for hundreds of years in South America. Available as a powder in individual serving-size packets, as a liquid, and as a mix for baking. Follow package instructions for ingredient substitutions.

Artificial Sweeteners

These sweeteners have been approved by the FDA and are available for home use. While they provide a sweet taste, artificial sweeteners lack the browning, tenderizing and moisture-retaining properties of granulated sugar. Sucralose is the one sweetener than can be substituted cup-for-cup for granulated sugar in baking.

Sugar Substitutes | Artificial Sweeteners
Photo by Meredith.

Saccharine is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. It can be used in baked goods. However, the manufacturer recommends substituting it for only half of the sugar in a recipe. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup sugar. It is sold under the brand name Sweet and Low®.

Aspartame is 160 to 220 times sweeter than granulated sugar. This sweetener is heat-sensitive: it loses its sweetening power when heated, and cannot be used for cookies or cakes. The manufacturer does recommend trying it in no-bake pies and in puddings after they have been removed from the heat. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup of sugar. It is sold under the brand names Equal® and NutraSweet®.

Acesulfame potassium is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is heat-stable, so it can be used in baking and cooking. Use acesulfame K in combination with granulated sugar when baking. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup sugar. It is sold under the brand names Sunette® and Sweet One®.

Sucralose is made from sugar, but is not metabolized by the body like sugar. It is 600 times sweeter than granulated sugar. Granular sucralose is the form used when baking. Substitute 1 cup granular sucralose for each cup of sugar called for in the recipe. Recipes made with this product tend to bake faster than usual, so check for doneness sooner than the recipe specifies. It is sold under the brand name Splenda®.


Explore our collection of Sugar-Free Recipes.


Discover the many roles that sugar plays in baking and learn about different kinds of sweeteners.

Brown sugar and white sugar
Photo by Meredith.

Sugar performs many important roles in baking. It provides moisture and tenderness, liquefies as it bakes, increases the shelf-life of finished products, caramelizes at high temperatures, and, of course, adds sweetness. Refined sugar helps cookies spread during baking, allowing their crisp texture. Because of these critical functions, bakers can’t simply replace sugar with a different sweetener. However, in many recipes, you can decrease the amount of sugar by one third without affecting the quality of the product.

Sugar is Sugar

All refined sugars–brown sugar, white sugar, and “raw” sugars such as demerara or turbinado–are equal from a nutritive standpoint. Brown sugars simply contain a higher molasses content. Refined sugar is 99 percent pure sucrose, a simple carbohydrate.

Other sugars, such as honey, taste sweeter on the tongue than granulated sugar. You can therefore use less honey to sweeten a batch of muffins than you would sugar. Maple syrup tastes less sweet than sugar, but its unique flavor is prized in baked goods and desserts.

Natural Sweeteners

Honey is 25 to 50% sweeter than sugar, and has a distinctive flavor. The flavors and colors of honey can vary depending upon the bees’ diet–buckwheat honey, for example, is darker and stronger than clover honey. Baked goods made with honey are moist and dense, and tend to brown faster than those made with granulated sugar.

Honey
Photo by Meredith.

Use ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey in place of 1 cup sugar, and reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons. Unless the recipe includes sour cream or buttermilk, add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity.

  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies IV
  • Easy Baklava
  • Sweet Cornbread Cake

Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees. The sap is boiled down into a sweet, delectable syrup. Grade A maple syrup is golden brown and has a delicate flavor. Grade B is thicker, darker, and is better for baking because it has a stronger flavor–and it costs less.

Although maple syrup is only 60% as sweet as sugar, use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons to compensate for its liquid state.

  • Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares
  • Unbeatable Pecan Pie
  • Maple Apple Crisp

Molasses is a byproduct of refined sugar production. It contains small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, and iron. Molasses imparts a dark color and strong flavor to baked foods, but is not as sweet as sugar.

When substituting molasses for sugar, use 1 1/3 cups molasses for 1 cup sugar, and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 5 tablespoons. Molasses is also more acidic than sugar; add ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of molasses used. Replace no more than half the sugar called for in a recipe with molasses.

  • Big Soft Ginger Cookies
  • Applesauce Cake III
  • Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze

Corn syrup is known as an “invert sugar;” it is useful in cooking and candy-making because, unlike other sugars, it does not crystallize. Corn syrup is less sweet than sugar, and does not add flavor like molasses or honey. “Golden Syrup,” common in the United Kingdom, is a refinery syrup made from sugar. It is used in place of corn syrup. Some cooks believe sugar syrups have a livelier flavor than corn syrups and add more character to dishes such as pecan pie.

  • Mom’s Best Peanut Brittle
  • Chocolate Chip Crispies
  • Chocolate Scotcheroos

Other Natural Sweeteners

Refined fructose is sweeter than granulated sugar. It can be easily substituted in baking recipes–simply add one-third less. Some tasters find that, although products made with fructose taste sweet, they also taste a little flat. Fructose attracts more water than sucrose, so fructose-sweetened products tend to be moist. Baked products made with fructose will be darker than if they were made with white sugar. Fructose is available in health-food stores.

Brown rice malt syrup consists of maltose, glucose and complex carbohydrates. It is an amber-hued syrup resembling honey, but it is not as sweet as honey. It can be substituted cup per cup for granulated sugar, but the liquid ingredients should be reduced by ¼ cup per cup of rice syrup. Enzyme-treated syrup, as opposed to malted syrup, will tend to liquefy the batter of a baked product. Use the malted syrup for best results.

Fruit juice concentrates, such as apple juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, or white grape juice concentrate, are wonderful substitutes for sugar and add interesting flavors as well. Juice concentrates are made up of fructose and glucose. Use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar, and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons.

Stevia is a naturally sweet herb that has been used for hundreds of years in South America. Available as a powder in individual serving-size packets, as a liquid, and as a mix for baking. Follow package instructions for ingredient substitutions.

Artificial Sweeteners

These sweeteners have been approved by the FDA and are available for home use. While they provide a sweet taste, artificial sweeteners lack the browning, tenderizing and moisture-retaining properties of granulated sugar. Sucralose is the one sweetener than can be substituted cup-for-cup for granulated sugar in baking.

Sugar Substitutes | Artificial Sweeteners
Photo by Meredith.

Saccharine is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. It can be used in baked goods. However, the manufacturer recommends substituting it for only half of the sugar in a recipe. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup sugar. It is sold under the brand name Sweet and Low®.

Aspartame is 160 to 220 times sweeter than granulated sugar. This sweetener is heat-sensitive: it loses its sweetening power when heated, and cannot be used for cookies or cakes. The manufacturer does recommend trying it in no-bake pies and in puddings after they have been removed from the heat. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup of sugar. It is sold under the brand names Equal® and NutraSweet®.

Acesulfame potassium is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is heat-stable, so it can be used in baking and cooking. Use acesulfame K in combination with granulated sugar when baking. Substitute 6 (1-gram) packets for each ¼ cup sugar. It is sold under the brand names Sunette® and Sweet One®.

Sucralose is made from sugar, but is not metabolized by the body like sugar. It is 600 times sweeter than granulated sugar. Granular sucralose is the form used when baking. Substitute 1 cup granular sucralose for each cup of sugar called for in the recipe. Recipes made with this product tend to bake faster than usual, so check for doneness sooner than the recipe specifies. It is sold under the brand name Splenda®.


Explore our collection of Sugar-Free Recipes.


Video about What Is The Best Sugar Substitute For Baking For Diabetics

Best Sugar Substitutes for Baking & Cooking

In today’s video, we’re going to talk about the Best Sugar Substitutes for Baking and Cooking.

As you stare through the pastry display case like a carbo-crazed zombie, the maple donut, ruby-red velvet cupcake, decadent brownie, and gooey cookie cunningly lure you in. Let’s face it, we’ve all fallen victim to these sweet indulgences from time to time, and their ubiquity at grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants haven’t lessened our well-intentioned willpower.

But, spikes in blood sugar and rises in both obesity and diabetes call for some serious self-control for not just adults, but kids, too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents age 2-18 years, are consuming 40 percent of daily their calories from empty calories from added sugars and fats.

Granulated sugar is the go-to for many bakers for its affordability, availability, and ability to trap and hold moisture, brown, and crystalize. But, with that baker’s perfection comes a hefty price tag on health.

While many people reach for honey as a natural sugar substitute, according to Ayurvedic medicine, honey should never be cooked. In Ayurveda, toxins, also known as “ama,” are the root cause of many diseases and illnesses. The process of heating honey creates unwanted particles that adhere to the lining of the digestive tract. Here are the Best Sugar Substitutes for Baking and Cooking.

Maple Crystals or Maple Syrup.

Maple syrup is a terrific sugar substitute for baking, but you might not be familiar with the dehydrated maple crystals from maple tree sap. The crystals contain about four carbohydrates and 15 calories per teaspoon. Maple crystals and syrup are loaded with minerals, including calcium, potassium magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.

They also include iron and trace amounts of B2, B5, niacin, zinc, and folic acid, all-important for a healthy immune system, heart, and reproductive system. Maple syrup has a low glycemic index of 54, and 50 percent each of glucose and fructose.

Maple crystals syrup can be used in marinades, on cinnamon toast, in oatmeal or other hot cereals, in glazes, and in baked or raw desserts like cookies and candy. Always use 100 percent maple syrup, not table or pancake syrup, which is highly processed. Most brands of table or pancake syrup contain a high amount of corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, according to Consumer Reports.

Cane Sugar.

Cane sugar is a sugar that has not been refined. Since it has undergone less processing, it has more vitamins than its refined counterpart. Glucose, fructose, and sucrose are all found in cane sugar. While it is healthier than table sugar, you should still keep its use to a minimum according to the American Heart Association.

Coconut Sugar.

Also called coconut palm sugar, coconut sugar is derived from coconut nectar, but doesn’t taste like coconut. It’s lower on the glycemic index than table sugar. Though high in calories, coconut sugar contains nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants as well as minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium.

Coconut sugar is naturally high in amino acids. It also includes beneficial inulin fiber, which may slow glucose absorption, and has a low glycemic index of 35. This is an excellent substitute for brown sugar but should be used sparingly due to its high calories.

Monk Fruit Crystals.

The sweetness of monk fruit comes from antioxidants, called mogrosides, which are 200 times sweeter than sugar. They have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, according to Metz. One study on mice found that mogroside 5 inhibited the rapid progression of pancreatic cancer cells.

Another study indicates that mogrodise 4e, a plant triterpene glycoside in monk fruit, can be used as a supplement for treating colorectal and throat cancers. One packet of monk fruit crystals contains zer0 calories and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Monk fruit extract is heat stable, making it suitable for cooking and baking. Metz’s favorite recipe using Monk fruit is homemade lemonade that provides antioxidants and keeps you cool throughout the summer. At just 2 grams of sugar per serving, it’s a great alternative to store-bought lemonade, which boasts about 40 grams of sugar per serving.

Source : https://earth911.com/home-garden/cooking-baking-with-healthy-sweeteners/

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