Natural Sugar Substitutes
Natural Sugar Substitutes include such things as fruit juices, honeys or maple syrup. These products can be used in a Smoothie instead of straight sugar of some kind.
Generally the sugar from the fruit itself is enough to flavor the smoothie.
Many people like their smoothies “au natural”, meaning they enjoy experiencing the taste of the blended raw ingredients without adding anything that might mask their purity.
While I agree that the unadulterated flavors of fresh vegetables can sometimes be nice, there are limits. After all, we are trying to be healthy, not punish our taste buds with bitter concoctions of nutritious, yet sometimes unpalatable, greens and berries.
Luckily, improving the taste of your smoothie doesn’t have to affect its nutritional value. There are a variety of ways to sweeten smoothies, including a range of natural sugar substitutes.
For those who want to experience all the benefits of super-healthy green smoothies, but are not particularly keen on the idea drinking blended spinach, kale or parsley; this should come as a welcome bit of information. Natural sugar substitutes can also even provide additional health benefits.
As most of you probably know, refined sugars are known to have several detrimental effects on human health, including contributing to obesity, tooth decay and coronary heart disease.
A high level of sugar consumption – something very common among modern western eating habits – has also been linked to an acceleration of the aging process. Many health professionals champion the use of unrefined sugars – or natural sugar substitutes – as healthier alternatives to the empty calories present in common table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
The most natural way to sweeten up a smoothie is to use sweet fresh fruit. Ripe apples, bananas, mangos, pineapples, grapes, peaches or strawberries are some of the best natural sugar substitutes.
Not only do they improve the taste of your smoothies, but they also add important dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For thicker smoothies, ripe bananas are a personal favorite of mine, while I prefer sweet apples when I’m in the mood for a lighter, more refreshing smoothie.
Apples and grapes are also quite neutral and add sweetness without overpowering or clashing with other ingredients in your smoothies.
Smoothies can also be sweetened with fresh fruit juice. Again, apple and grape are the most neutral, while pineapple or orange juice can both add a welcome “zing” to some green smoothies.
Dried fruits are another great way to go. Sun dried dates are a great option due to their great sweetness and high levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
However, dates are also quite high in calories and therefore may not be the best natural sugar substitute for weight loss smoothies. Other recommended dried fruits include raisins, currants, figs and apricots.
Those who still want that “sugar” taste might want to try unrefined natural sweeteners like raw unfiltered honey, maple syrup or molasses.
Whole cane sugars like Sucanat (dried cane juice) and muscovado also contain less sucrose and more nutritional value than processed white sugars.
Maple syrup contains manganese, zinc, potassium and calcium, while “blackstrap” molasses provides up to 20% of the recommended daily allowances of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium in just one tablespoon.
So you see you don’t have to drink something that disagrees with your palate, just because it’s healthy.
There are a variety of natural sugar substitutes available, which provide delicious and healthy ways to sweeten up your smoothies!