Sugar has become a major part of many people’s diets. Granulated sugar, in particular, is the most common choice for baked desserts. Nevertheless, excessive consumption of sugar is known to be unhealthy.
Fortunately, several alternatives to granulated sugar can help reduce added sugars in your diet without sacrificing flavor.
I. What is granulated sugar?
Granulated sugar is a type of refined sugar made from either cane or beet molasses. It is commonly known as white sugar or table sugar. This is the kind of sugar that is most readily available in grocery stores and supermarkets. Naturally, it is frequently used in cooking and baking recipe.
Granulated sugar has a fine texture that easily dissolves into liquids, making it ideal for sweetening beverages like coffee or tea.
II. Granulated sugar substitutes to save your sweet tooth
Below are some of the most common granulated sugar alternatives that are perfect to be your natural sweetners:
1. Caster sugar
Caster sugar, also referred to as superfine sugar, is a very fine-textured variety of granulated sugar that readily dissolves when added to liquids. It can be used as a sweetener for drinks and sweets as well as in baking.
It can be used in recipes in place of granulated sugar in an equivalent amount.
2. Brown sugar
Brown sugar is an unrefined sugar with a deeper flavor than white granulated sugar. It is derived from either cane or beet molasses. Due to its slightly chewy texture, it is frequently used in baking, but you can also have it with your favorite banana bread as the texture and flavor goes really well with it.
You can use light or dark brown sugar. It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a 1:1 ratio, but the recipe may require slight adjustments in liquid measurements.
3. Powdered sugar
Also known as Confectioners sugar or icing sugar, this another kind of finely ground refined sugars has cornstarch added to stop it from clumping and caking. Because of its powdery texture, powdered sugar is perfect for frostings, glazes, beverages, and other recipes that call for a smooth consistency.
This confectioners sugar can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
To make powdered sugar at home, simply grind add 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a food processor.
4. Raw sugar
This unprocessed kind, also known as turbinado or demerara sugars, comes from organic resources such as coconut palm and dates. Raw sugar has a subdued golden hue and a faint caramel flavor since it has retained some of the minerals included in the original source material.
It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a 1:1 ratio.
Molasses, a thick syrup produced by the refining of cane or beet sugars, has a strong sweetness and smoky flavor overtones because of the way it is processed. Because of its rich color, it is preferable to plain white granulated sugars for baked items.
It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using 1/2 cup of molasses for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
6. Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar is similar to raw cane sugar or turbinado sugar in texture. Unlike other sugar types that are made from sugar cane, coconut sugar is made from coconut palm sap. It includes traces of nutty flavors and faint caramel undertones because of its original source.
Coconut sugar can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using a 1:1 ratio.
Honey is the oldest naturally occurring sweetener known to man. Depending on its nectar source, honey may have levels of acidity that control the rate at which it will crystalize. It can range from light amber-colored clover honey to dark robust buckwheat honey varieties.
It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using 1/2 cup of honey for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
8. Maple syrup
Maple syrup is a thick, sweet syrup and is frequently used in anything from pancakes to ice cream sundaes. Maple syrup is made from the sugary sap of maple trees and features subtle woodsy undertones with varied degrees of sweetness.
It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using 3/4 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
9. Agave syrup
Gathered from specialized species of agave plants native to Mexico, this low glycemic sweetener variety offers hints of vanilla along with light floral tones making it an excellent natural alternative for those trying to cut back on their sweetener’s overall consumption.
It can be substituted for granulated sugar in a recipe by using 2/3 cup of agave syrup for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
This all-natural, calorie-free artificial sweetener is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant that is indigenous to South America. It is up to 300 times sweeter than conventional granulated sugars, so only minimal amounts are required when using it in recipes. However, this natural sweetener doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
It is important to use it and other artificial sweeteners with caution and adjust to taste as it may affect the texture and taste of your recipe.
11. Monk fruit
Monk fruit, so named after the Chinese Buddhist monks who first cultivated these unique plants in the 13th century, is made by scraping the seeds and skin from the fruit, crushing it into juice, and then boiling the juice down to make a concentrated syrup that has many of the same health benefits as stevia but has no aftertaste.
Like stevia, it is important to use monk fruit with caution and adjust to taste as it may affect the texture and taste of your recipe.
12. Apple sauce
This homemade classic granulated sugar substitute provides sweetness and valuable fiber content when used instead of sugar. It imparts unique fruity flavors that can act as an effective substitution when baking certain dishes such as cakes, cookies, pies, etc.
It is recommended to use apple sauce in a 1:1 ratio when using it as a substitute for granulated sugar.
As one of nature’s most nutritious fruits, bananas are known for their potassium, vitamin B6, Vitamin C manganese, copper, and magnesium content, all beneficial nutrients associated with steady energy levels throughout your day.
A natural sweetener that can be mashed and added to baking recipes, it can also be used to replace a portion of the fat called for in the recipe.
It is recommended to use pureed bananas in a 1:1 ratio when using them as a substitute for granulated sugar.
III. Tips to use granulated sugar substitutes
Here are some tips to make sure you use your granulated sugar substitutes to maximum effect:
- Start with half the amount of the substitute sweetener called for in the recipe and adjust to taste if necessary.
- Always read the package instructions carefully to ensure that you use the appropriate substitution ratios for your recipe.
- It may be necessary to add a little more baking powder or baking soda if using a liquid sweetener, as these can affect the texture of your recipe.
- Make sure to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe, as some sweeteners may require additional fluid.
- It is advised to taste the batter before baking; this will allow you to adjust the flavor of your dish as needed.
- Be sure to store liquid sweeteners in an airtight container and away from direct sunlight.
- It is recommended to use organic sugar substitutes as much as possible as they contain fewer additives and preservatives.
- Read the label of the substitute and make sure that it is calorie-free.
Granulated sugar substitutes can lower processed sugar intake while still letting you enjoy desserts. With proper knowledge and a bit of trial and error, you can discover a sugar substitute that suits your tastes, recipes, health, and lifestyle perfectly.
1. What can I use instead of granulated sugar in baking?
You can use a variety of sugar substitutes such as honey, agave syrup, stevia, monk fruit, apple sauce, and bananas. It is important to read the package instructions carefully and adjust to taste, as some sugar substitutes can affect the texture of your recipe. Additionally, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe.
2. Is granulated sugar just sugar?
Yes, granulated sugar is simply white sugar that has been processed and refined. It can be derived from either cane or beet sources, but the end result is usually the same. Granulated sugar is commonly used for baking or sweetening beverages, but it can also be used to preserve food and add texture to certain dishes.
3. Is granulated sugar the same as brown sugar?
No, granulated sugar and brown sugar are two different things. Granulated sugar is white in color and consists of pure sucrose molecules that have been refined. In contrast, brown sugar is made up of sucrose molecules that are bound together by molasses and have a darker color. Brown sugar is often used in baking because of its slightly different flavor and moist texture.