Refined Sugar-free Baking
Everyone feels like a sweet treat or baking now and again. However, for the more health conscious, it can be hard to find something that isn’t loaded up with copious amounts of refined sugar.
Refined sugars supply calories, but no nutritional benefit – all the fibre, vitamins and minerals that the plant (predominantly sugar cane or sugar beet) originally contained is stripped away during processing, leaving a product that is 100 percent sucrose. This is your standard white table sugar. Brown sugar is just as refined – it has just had molasses added back to it to give it a different flavour and colour.
This cheap commodity is found all throughout our food chain and plays a huge part in our burgeoning poor health problem – ironically, diets high in refined sugars are resulting in over-fed people who are starved of nutrition.
There are plenty of natural sugars that we can use to sweeten up our diets. Natural sources of sugar come from fruit (fructose), milk products (lactose), honey, pure maple syrup and agave (fructose and glucose). Dates are one of my favourite sweeteners – they have an intense sweet caramel flavour great for baking. Honey makes a great alternative to sugar too (try a bit in your coffee or tea next time) – however beware of honeys that have sugar syrups added to them.
While the calories are the same in any type of sugar, at least the natural sources can provide some useful vitamins and minerals and in some cases, like dried fruit, fibre too.
This recipe (click here) is for a scrumptious Lemon, banana, honey and coconut loaf using natural sugars in the form of fruit and honey to achieve something delicious that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.