Why Natural Sweeteners?
Nobody is going to tell you that white sugar is really good for you. It has no known nutritional value except to give you energy. And even aside from major diseases that sugar plays a part in like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, sugar is often at the root of everyday problems like these:
- tooth decay
- painful menstrual cramps
- emotional imbalances
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Even mosquitos are drawn to the person whose blood is rich in sugar just as ants seek out the spilled glob of jam at a picnic.
One of the great dangers of consuming refined sugar is that your body has to pull calcium and other minerals out of your teeth and bones to neutralize the effects of the sugar. But unrefined natural sweeteners contain minerals, vitamins, and enzymes of their own. That’s one reason the unprocessed sugars are better for you. They contribute nutrients that help your body metabolize, or digest, the sugars themselves.
Proper Calcium Balance: Why It Matters
The less refined a sweetener is, the less it will upset your blood sugar balance. And the less off kilter your blood sugar is, the better the balance of calcium and phosphorus in your blood.
The reason this is such a big deal is because calcium is the most abundant and most important mineral in your body. Calcium controls the contraction of your muscles, including your heart. It forms and maintains strong bones and teeth, prevents bone loss that would eventually lead to osteoporosis, regulates your heart beat, and is required for muscle growth.
And when your body maintains the proper amounts of calcium and phosphorus, menstrual cramps can be alleviated or seriously diminished.
Ladies, that reason alone is worth making sure the sweeteners you eat are unrefined and that you only eat them in moderation!
Bad vs. Better
Please understand that even unrefined sugars are not “good” for your body. But they are much better for you than their highly refined counterparts. Even natural sweeteners, eaten in excess, will cause your body to leech minerals from your bones and teeth, and that can lead to tooth decay and all of the other problems associated with refined sweeteners.
According to Ramiel Nagel, author of Cure Tooth Decay, if you have active cavities that you are trying to heal or other dental problems, you should try to avoid all forms of sugar temporarily until your teeth have remineralized.
Three Safe Sweeteners
Bees naturally keep their hives at 92 to 93 degrees, winter or summer. Honey that has never been heated above this temperature will contain a rich supply of enzymes, along with vitamins and some minerals. The enzymes in honey are mainly amylases, which our own bodies also produce to digest carbohydrates. This makes raw honey an excellent sweetener to spread on bread or to add to other grain-based foods, because the amylases in the honey will help to digest the carbs and save your body’s precious supply of enzymes. Because of this, it’s best to keep this special food raw.
Best Uses For Raw Honey
Rapadura is made by extracting the pure juice from sugar cane and evaporating it while it is being stirred with paddles until it becomes a hard block. Then it is ground through a sieve to make it more granular. All of the molasses portion of the sugar remains with the granular portion of the sugar during the entire process, so all of the nutrients remain in the finished product. Nothing is removed or added.
Rapadura is high in minerals, especially silica, which helps our bodies to absorb calcium. It also gives the best results for baking.
Rapadrua has a rich flavor, somewhat similar to the taste of brown sugar. But its texture is more grainy. You can substitute rapadura in almost any recipe that calls for sugar or brown sugar. You can even powder it to make icings or other more delicate treats that call for a smoother texture.
- hot chocolate
- apple pie
There are other sweeteners on the market that are labeled as “raw sugar” or “whole sugar,” but as far as we know, these are likely to be highly processed, and most of the molasses removed. But just to confuse us, rapadura goes by a few other names, especially in other countries. Jaggery and panela are two that are basically the same thing as rapadura.
Maple Syrup & Maple Sugar
Maple syrup is only made in the spring when the sap starts to flow again after the maple trees have been dormant for the winter. The sap is collected in pails and evaporated until it reaches about 219 degrees.
But if you keep heating it until it reaches 260 degrees and then stir until it granulates, it becomes maple sugar. Maple sugar imparts the most wonderful flavor to granolas, hot oatmeal, cheesecake, cookies, ham, and anything else that will highlight its decidedly maple flavor.
Substitute maple sugar for granulated sugar cup for cup in virtually any recipe.
Golden Maple Syrup With Delicate Taste
Most of us use maple syrup on our pancakes, waffles, and French toast, but it’s an excellent sweetener to use for baking and cooking too.
Sometimes it’s nice to cook or bake with a dark, richly flavored maple syrup. But for other things, you really need a healthy sweetener that doesn’t add a strong flavor of its own. We prefer the lightest of the maple syrup grades, “Golden” maple syrup for recipes where we want a healthy alternative for the mild flavor of white sugar.
Things like cheesecake, all different flavors of ice cream, granola, and lemonade all turn out best with this light, mild maple syrup. It doesn’t impart a strong maple flavor that would complete with other flavors like lemon or mint.
Add “Golden” Maple Syrup To Recipes Such As These
To For local pick up: order organic Vermont maple syrup, maple sugar, maple candy, maple nuts, and maple cream here.
Or to have your order of maple products shipped to your door, order here. All orders will ship on June 17th, 2014.
We only take orders for organic maple syrup, fresh from the farm, once a year in the late spring, and it is the best! Be sure to get your order in before June 5th!