How I use natural sweeteners…

Below are the sweeteners I use when not using regular sugar.  As all alternative sweeteners seem to have their own flavor I try to match it up to the recipe I am making.

  For instance, molasses might be great for gingerbread, but not so much for a sugar cookie or madeline…  So, do keep that in mind.  Remember this is just what I do to start tweeking a recipe.  Each flour combination and ingredients react differently to each other, but I have to start somewhere.  Do a google search and there is probably TONS of info on the different sweeteners and how to use them.  This is just what I do.

 

Remember anytime you switch out a sweetener, your baked good will have a different texture and flavor.  You also want to keep an eye on the time and temperature of your oven, as some sugars (honey, for example) may cause quicker browning than you may be expecting.  Another trick I use when switching out sweeteners or reducing sweetener in a recipe is to use different spices, increasing ones in a recipe that imply sweetness, such as cinnamon and nutmeg.  

 

Agave syrup/nectar:  replace 1/2 agave to one cup sugar.  Reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup of agave used.  If there is not really other liquid to reduce add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks right.  Agave can dissolve in cold liquids.

 

Brown rice syrup:  Make sure you get a gluten free one!!  Substitutes cup for cup for maple syrup and honey.  Less sweet than either.  Substitutes 1 1/4 cups to one cup of sugar and reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup of rice syrup used.  If there is not really other liquid to reduce add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks right.

 

Concentrated fruit sweetener:  It’s been awhile since I have gotten this, but I think you can use it to replace some oil in a recipe also.  Substitute cup for cup for sugar and reduce liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of sweetener used.  If there is not really other liquid to reduce add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks right.

 

Date puree:  This can also be used to replace some fat in a recipe.  However, be sure not to over mix as the baked good will have a rubbery texture.  Pit and chop 1 cup of dates.  Then put them in a blender with 2/3 cup of HOT water, blending until smooth.  I use cup for cup, reducing the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of puree.  I also freeze and thaw frozen really ripe bananas and blend until smooth to replace cup for cup of sugar.  Applesauce is another fruit I use, usually only replacing half of the sugar in the recipe with applesauce, and being sure to reduce the liquids in the recipe.  Applesauce can also replace some of the fat or oil, but again, be sure not to over mix or your muffins will bounce!  

 

Date sugar:  I substitute cup for cup.  Tastes like dates and less sweet than sugar.  Does NOT dissolve or cream into fats and oils.

 

Dried cane juice (such as Sucanat and Rapadura):  Substitute cup for cup.  Tastes more like brown sugar, but lends less moisture to baked goods than brown sugar.  Does not cream into fats as well as sugar.

 

Honey:  Replace 2/3 honey for one cup for sugar.  Reduce liquid 1/4 cup per cup of honey.  If there is not really other liquid to reduce add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks right.

 

Maple sugar:  This is pretty spendy for me to use as a sweetener in an entire recipe, so I usually would use the syrup.  I usually use this to sprinkle on hot cereal or to sprinkle on sliced fruit…

 

Maple syrup:  I use Grade B for baking as it is less expensive than Grade A and has a more pronounced maple flavor for baking.  Replace cup for cup for sugar, reducing the liquid 1/4 cup per cup of maple syrup.  If there is not really other liquid to reduce add 2-3 tablespoons of sweet rice flour, one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks right.  Are you seeing a pattern yet?  ;o)

 

Molasses or sorghum:  replace 2/3 cup molasses to one cup sugar and reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of molasses.  

 

Whole cane sugar and turbinado sugar are used cup for cup to replace refined sugar.  Because of it’s large crystals, I usually use turbinado sugar to top dress scones or muffins.

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