If you find it too difficult to completely go without sugar and want to have the occasional treat, here are some healthy sweeteners:
Jaggery – This is made from raw sugar cane juice, palm juice or coconut palm sap. It is unrefined so retains the natural vitamins and minerals of the ingredients. The juice is boiled in iron pans and then formed into blocks. It is particularly high in magnesium, potassium, selenium and iron.
Raw honey – Raw honey has not been heated, pasteurised or processed in any way. It contains natural vitamins, enzymes and powerful antioxidants. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is known to help strengthen the immune system.
Stevia – The leaves from the Stevia plant make a natural alternative to sugar. Actually about 300 times sweeter than sugar and extremely low in calories, it does not cause elevated blood sugar levels. The health benefits don’t stop there, stevia is actually thought to have a regulating effect on the pancreas so is beneficial to diabetics and hypoglycemics. Herbal tonics with stevia have been used in alternative therapies to treat elevated blood pressure, digestive disorders, obesity, candida and skin disorders.
For all of your dessert recipes, you can try using Stevia instead of honey or jaggery. You can either powder the dry leaves or soak in water to create a sweet tincture, adding a few drops at a time until you get the right sweetness.