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Comparing Sweeteners and Substitutions



When choosing sweeteners for cooking, baking or even table use, it is important to understand some of the differences and how they can affect the flavor of different foods.
For example, molasses brings a very distinct flavor and texture to baked goods and no gingerbread would ever be quite the same without it; however, if you want to use molasses in place of honey or some other sweetener in a recipe, it will certainly alter the taste. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you do need to adjust for the added liquid and understand that the results and flavor will be different than the original recipe. The same is true if you want to substitute honey for sugar in a recipe. Honey also brings a unique flavor to baked goods and this flavor will depend on the particular nuances of the honey itself. Bees gather nectar from nearby flowers and depending on the flowers used, the floral and fuity essences will be evident in the honey itself. Recipes will also need to be adjusted for the added liquid and a little trial and error is often needed to get just the right results you are looking for.
Some people are looking for alternatives to high calorie sweeteners like sugar and honey have found that natural stevia is an ideal solution. Stevia is not an artificial sweetener, but rather it comes from a shrub grown in South America. The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant can be 30 times sweeter than sugar, so a little bit goes a long wayStevia is all natural and contains zero calories and as an added advantage, it can be used freely by diabetics because it does not affect blood glucose levels. It’s delicious in tea, coffee and added to a variety of other foods. When substituting stevia for sugar in recipes usse 1 tsp. liquid stevia per one cup of sugar.
Another popular sweetener is pure maple syrup. If you have never tried real maple syrup on your breakfast pancakes, you are in for a real treat. The delicious taste of maple syrup can also be used to replace other types of sweeteners, such as sugar or honey; but again, if you are substituting for sugar in a recipe, the added liquid will need to be compensated for by decreasing other liquids in the recipe. Typically, reducing 1/4 cup of liquid for each cup of syrup or honey that is used will be sufficient.
When looking at the variety of sugars that are available, it can be confusing to know which one to use. Basically all sugar is the same, it just varies in the amount of processing it has received. Sugar starts as the sap of the sugar cane plant which is crushed to release what is known as the sugar juice. This juice is then heated, which produces a thick dark molasses that contains the sugar crystals. It is then placed in a centrifuge which spins out the molasses and leaves behind the white granulated sugar. Brown sugar is nothing more than white sugar that has some molasses added back into it, with dark brown sugar having a little more molasses than light brown sugar. Raw sugar is similar to brown sugar, except it is less refined and all the molasses was not removed during the refining process. Confectioner’s sugar, also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, is just plain granulated white sugar that has been ground to produce very fine granules. Castor sugar is also white sugar with crystals that are up to half the size found in typical white sugar.
Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are liquid sweeteners that are derived from corn starch that has been processed with enzymes or acids. Corn syrup will not crystalize like sugar, so it is often used in recipes for jams, jellies, frostings and candies. High fructose corn syrup is a product used commercially in everything from ketchup to soda as well as prepackaged baked goods and many other products. It is used extensively in processed foods in the U.S. Corn syrup is available in either light or dark varieties. Light corn syrup has been clarified so that all the color is removed and the product is basically flavorless; dark corn syrup has had caramel color and molasses added to it. You can substitute a syrup made by boiling together 1-1/4 c. sugar with 1/3 c. water for light corn syrup. To substitute for dark corn syrup, add a dash of unsulphered molasses or dark treacle to the sugar syrup.

Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+, 17.6-Ounce Jar

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Tropic Bee Orange Blossom Honey, 32-Ounce Bottle

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Great Lakes Select Honey, Clover, 32-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)

All of the honey is U.S. Grade A. The quality is superb and the taste is light and floral reminiscent of the natural settings that the brand names portray…

YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee – Raw Honey, 22 oz gel

Raw, Unheated, Unfiltered, Unpasteurized What is the major difference in organic from conventional beekeeping? Organic bee colonies are not maintained…

Mother Hubbard Molasses, Blackstrap, 16-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

HoneyTree Inc. is a manufacturer and food processor based in Onsted, MI. HoneyTree will celebrate a 90 year heritage in the honey industry in 2008! Throughout…

Alwadi Al Akhdar Date Molasses, 24.75-Ounce plastic jar (Pack of 3)

Date molasses is a natural sweetener that can be added to give an exotic fruity flavor to cooked meats or vegetables, and stews. Try as an alternative…

Wholesomes Sweetners – Organic Molasses, 16 oz liquid

Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Certified Organic Molasses is a blackstrap molasses with a rich, full-bodied robust flavor that adds natural color and…

Organic Blackstrap Molasses, 16 oz.

Organic Blackstrap, Un-sulfured, 16 oz

Slow As Molasses, Light and Mild, 11-Ounce Containers (Pack of 6)

Grandma’s Original Molasses All Natural, Unsulphured – 12oz

The highest grade, pure molasses – like Grandma’s – is made from 100% pure, natural sugarcane juices, clarified, reduced, and blended to get just the…

Domino Light Brown Sugar 16oz

Domino Light Brown Sugar has a nutty, caramel flavor, natural moistness, and subtle molasses flavor. It’s ideal for cookies, shortbread, spiced cakes,…

Domino Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar 1lb

Domino Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar 1lb

Sugar In The Raw/Unrefined, 32-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

Sugar In The Raw natural cane turbinado sugar is grown and cut exclusively on a 37,000 acre plantation in central Maui, Hawaii. There, nature’s own…

Sugar In The Raw Single Serve Packets (Pack of 400)

Sugar In The Raw never bleached or over processed. It is the result of slow boiling layer upon layer of high colored cane— allowing the golden crystals…

Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar, 24-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12)

Turbinado’s golden crunchy crystals, produced from 100% organically grown sugar cane, are perfect for gourmet coffee, tea, beverages and as a crunchy…

Sugar in the Raw / Raw Sugar Natural Cane Sugar / 6 lbs bag

Natural Cane Sugar from Hawaii Great for baking Stay fresh reclosable zipper 6 lb bag

Karo Light Corn Syrup 16oz

Karo is pure corn syrup made with real vanilla to ensure the best quality. A natural sweetener that can be used in baked goods and candy making when extra…

Lyle’s Golden Syrup, Original, All-Natural Syrup for Baking and Cooking, 11-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

Lyle’s Golden Syrup, 11-Ounce Unit

Wholesome Sweeteners Syrup, Light Corn, 11.2-Ounce (Pack of 6)

Karo Dark Corn Syrup 16oz

Karo Dark Corn Syrup is a a natural sweetener and can be used in recipes that call for something sweet, like baked goods, pies, popcorn balls and in sauces…

Coombs Family Farms 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup Grade B, 32-Ounce Jug

USDA organic. For seven generations, Coombs Family Farms has produced 100% pure, great tasting maple syrup by taking special care of our ancient maple…

Brown Family Farm Pure Vermont Maple Syrup, 32-Ounce Jug

At Brown Family Farm, we create extraordinarily delicious maple culinary delights. Working exclusively with independent New England farmers and chefs,…

Butternut Mountain Farm Pure Maple Syrup, Grade A Medium Amber, 1-Pint Jug

Butternut Mountain Farm is unique among maple suppliers in that it is devoted almost entirely to the maple industry. From managing forest lands (their…

Now Foods 100% Pure Maple Syrup, 64 Fl Ounces

Maple Syrup is distilled from the sap of Sugar Maple Trees in springtime. It takes 40 gallons of pure sap to make one gallon of pure syrup. A good Sugar…

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