Why You Should Lower Your Added Sugar Intake
Its good to bear in mind that eating too much added sugar may harm both your physical and mental health.
For example, diets high in sugar are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver (
All the same, you dont have to avoid added sugar at all costs.
Instead, make an effort to follow a healthier diet, only eating foods high in added sugar sparingly. A balanced diet that consists mostly of whole, nutrient-dense foods especially vegetables and fruits provides the nutrients that your body needs for optimal health.
Given that a high sugar diet may harm your physical and mental health, its best to minimize your added sugar intake. However, dont be afraid to occasionally enjoy treats that contain added sugar as part of a well-rounded diet.
What Is Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is granulated sugar combined with molasses. Light brown sugar has less molasses and dark brown sugar has more molasses. Brown sugar is soft and moist.
Not all sugar that is brown is brown sugar. For example, raw turbinado sugar is light brown but it is a dry, coarse sugar that cannot always be used interchangeably with brown sugar.
Use In Cooking And Baking
Because many sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a smaller amount to achieve the desired sweetness. Therefore, when cooking or baking, your recipe may need to be adjusted if you’re swapping white table sugar for a sweeter alternative.
While the sweetener package may have specific instructions for cooking and baking, this may come down to trial and error , or you can search for specific recipes that use sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners in place of white sugar.
A few other things to be aware of when cooking and baking with alternative sweeteners:
- Your baked goods may be lighter in color as natural sugar browns more deeply when baked and artificial sweeteners don’t brown as nicely.
- Cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- There may be a texture or aftertaste you’re not used to.
- The volume of cakes or cookies may be slightly decreased as you’re using much less sweetener.
Role Of Sugar In The Making Of Jam And Jelly
Sugar is important in making jam and jelly for the obvious reasons such as sweetening and gel formation. However, the most important role is that it prevents any spoilage. The presence of sugar reduces any available moisture for microbial growth.
The number one thing that spoils jam and jelly is mold. Any microbial growth will be stopped when the concentration of sugar is high enough to cause the jelly mix to boil at eight degrees above the normal boiling point of water. So, for example, if the water boils at 212 F, the high sugar concentration is enough to stop any microbial growth if the jelly mix boils at 220 F.
Making jam and jelly with the no-sugar pectin products makes them more susceptible to spoiling easily. Therefore they require longer processing in the water bath canner to kill the microbial growth that could lead to the growth of the mold.
Is Confectioners’ Sugar A Good Substitute For Sugar
While you can pulverize granulated sugar into confectioners’ sugar , you can’t do the reverse. Save the confectioners’ sugar for a frosting or to dust on top of your treats.
In conclusion, nothing beats sticking to the script in a tried-and-true baking recipe. But if borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor isn’t an option, you can experiment with one of the swaps above. Who knows? That adapted version could just be your new favorite.
Recipes to Try:
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Types Of Sugar And How To Substitute Them
When you walk down the baking aisle, there are so many different types of sugar. Whats the difference between white sugar, caster sugar and brown sugar? What about palm sugar and coconut sugar? And do you really need all of them?
The good news is that sugar stores almost indefinitely so it can be worth buying different types, but you can also substitute many sugars for one another in a pinch. These are the common types of sugar in Australia and how you can substitute them.
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Honey Maple Syrup Or Agave Nectar
With a few simple recipe modifications, honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar are all suitable replacements for brown sugar.
Because these substitutions are liquid, youll want to take into account how the extra moisture may affect the outcome of your recipe especially when it comes to baking.
Exact substitution measurements vary depending on the particular recipe in question, but you can use these basic tips to get started:
- Replace each cup of brown sugar with 2/3 cup of liquid sweetener of your choice.
- For every 2/3 cup of liquid sweetener used, reduce other liquid sources by approximately 1/4 cup .
You may also want to consider reducing cooking time by a few minutes, as these types of sugar replacements may caramelize more quickly than brown sugar.
Summary You can use liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar to replace brown sugar but youll likely need to adjust your recipe.
Why Is Salt Bad For You
Your salt intake can affect your blood pressure. When you eat a lot of salt, it causes your body to retain water, which also raises your blood pressure. With salt being added to many prepared entrees and packaged meals, it can be difficult for people to reduce the amount of sodium in their diets. Its important to limit your amount of salt intake, in order to prevent heart and kidney damage.
By using some of these substitutions in your cooking, baking, and homemade cocktail mixers, youll be able to make them healthier without sacrificing taste. Refer to this list of sugar and salt substitutes to create a healthier menu that allows patrons to maintain a healthy diet.
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Can You Use Condensed Milk In Place Of Regular Milk
It isnt recommended to use condensed milk in place of regular milk. While you can get away with substituting whole milk with condensed in some recipes, the truth is that condensed milk contains too much sugar and will mess up your entire recipe. Unlike evaporated milk, there is no way to turn condensed milk into whole milk.
By the way, if youre interested in How To Defrost Frozen Milk, check out my article on that.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk and sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. There is a way to simply simmer milk and sugar together over low heat. As an alternative, simmer 2 cups almond milk until the liquid volume is reduced to 1 cup. 2 cups almond milk adds consistency and sweetness however, the flavor and texture of the final dish using almond milk will not be as rich.
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Almond milk is suitable for sweet dishes, while cashew milk can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. If you want to avoid the taste of coconut but still have a dairy-free alternative, use almond milk. If youre looking for a dairy-free alternative, look for condensed coconut milk at specialty stores or Amazon. You can also make a dairy-free condensed milk substitute using coconut milk, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
Baker Or Caster Sugar
Bakers sugar or caster sugar is granulated sugar that has been blended into a powder. It can then dissolve much easier than regular granulated sugar as it doesnt contain added starch.
Compared to powdered sugar, bakers and caster sugar has larger particle sizes. However, it is a great alternative when used in baking goods such as meringue as well as some drink recipes.
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Clever Substitutes For Brown Sugar
Few things are worse than getting halfway through a recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and realizing youre out of brown sugar.
However, there are several practical substitutions you can use in a pinch many of which you may already have sitting in your cupboard.
Here are 7 clever substitutes for brown sugar.
Try These 6 Sugar Alternatives For Baking
Tis the season for sugar. It kicked off with loads of Halloween candy, was followed closely by Thanksgiving pies and now the tempting holiday cookie trays are on the way. But before you load up your plate with sweet treats, lets take a look at sugar.
Refined sugar is stripped of everything but its sweetness a cup has 775 calories, but zero fiber or vitamins. These empty calories play a role in weight gain and diabetes. Plus, when sugar makes up more than a quarter of daily calories, youre twice as likely to suffer heart disease and other major health problems, according to a 2014 study from the Harvard Medical School.
Given all the downsides, experts say we should be eating less sugar. New federal nutrition guidelines are due out before the years end, and they are expected to cap added sugars at 12 teaspoons . The FDA is also redesigning food labels to clearly show how much sugar has been added to foods.
The good news
While its hard to avoid the pure white stuff, it isnt the only sweetener in town. There are many natural alternatives out there.
If you look at a fruit, it’s sweet, but its not a sugar in the way that candy is, says , a registered dietitian and author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.
You might surprise yourself when you eat this way, cutting out refined sugars and focusing more on natural sweeteners, says Hever, an expert in vegan nutrition. Over time, your taste buds may adjust to a less sugary-sweet taste.
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X Or 4x Powdered Sugar
Regular powdered sugar generally comes in a 10X crystal size in the form of very fine powder.
There are other varieties of powdered sugar available but these come with slightly larger crystal sizes. The higher the number, the finer the sugar is ground. Therefore, 10X is the finest form while lower numbers such as 6X or 4X are slightly bigger.
6X or 4X powdered sugar are great substitutes if you dont have 10X confectioners sugar. However, you should be aware that these larger crystals can be quite difficult to dissolve in your cakes frosting.
Nonetheless, they are perfect dust toppings for desserts, doughnuts, pastries, and cakes.
Healthier Alternatives To White Sugar
Not all of the white sugar substitutes are for everyone since they have different properties and flavours. They might also yield slightly different taste and textures as compared to using regular white sugar.
But, dont be afraid of experimenting with them and see which ones you like best! In the end, thats the fun part of cooking and baking, isnt it?
The recipes you see on Bakestarters were developed using regular white and brown sugars, but you can also make them with the above white sugar substitutes.
Here are some recipes to try out:
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How To Reduce The Sugar In A Recipe
Looking for a sugar substitute because you need, or want, to reduce the sugar and calories in a recipe? Then, you may not need a substitute at all. Just reduce the sugar called for in a recipe by 25%, and you probably wont even notice the difference.
If you have a recipe that you make regularly, continue reducing the sugar, until you hit the point where the color, flavor and texture of the finished product starts to suffer. When you find what works best, make a note on the recipe, so you can repeat the results.
Baked goods made with significantly less sugar will be lighter in color, and more dry and crumbly in texture. It probably comes as no surprise that theyre also be less sweet.
Warning: Do not reduce the sugar in recipes when making pickles, or canning other low-acid foods. In this situation, the sugar is likely being used as a preservative to prevent food spoilage.
Other Brown Sugar Substitutes
I highly recommend that you use the molasses substitute, but in a pinch, if you dont have molasses you can combine granulated sugar with any of the following:
Stir about 2 tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, or agave into 1 cup of granulated sugar.
NOTE: These substitutes will not produce a result as close to brown sugar. The sugar will not be as dark and the flavor will not be as deep and rich. Your baked goods will be lighter in color and the results can vary based on the recipe.
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Raw Sugars Like Turbinado And Demerara
Raw cane sugars are white sugar’s coarser cousins. They’re less processed than brown sugar, but still contain some of their natural molasses. Because of their larger crystals, raw sugars can soak up more liquid in a recipe, resulting in drier or grittier baked goods. You can avoid this with a clever workaround: Blitz raw sugar in a food processor or spice grinder until it resembles granulated sugar.
Substitution ratio: 1:1 by weight or 1 cup of ground raw sugar for every 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Best for: Recipes with higher proportions of liquid, such as pecan pie and loose cake batters.
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What Is The Same As Powdered Sugar
There are several other names for powdered sugar. It is also known as icing sugar in the UK, and is often also referred to as confectioners sugar.But all powdered sugar really is just regular granulated sugar that has been ground down by milling it into a powdered form. The reason that powdered sugar is often favored over regular granulated sugar is because its fine grounding means that its more easily dissolved. This makes it the perfect sugar to use for frosting, icing, and adding glazes to baked goods. Or sometimes it just looks good sprinkled on top of your bakes to look like delicious snow.But remember too much sugar is bad for you, so please enjoy it in moderation.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Powdered Sugar
In our article above we have named ten different items that you can use in your recipes in place of powdered sugar. These are: DIY powdered sugar, powdered coconut sugar, powdered dextrose , 6x or 4x powdered sugar, xylitol powder, dry milk powder, hot cocoa mix, baker or caster sugar, snow powder, and erythritol.So if you happen to have any of those items available in your kitchen or pantry, why not check out the relevant section of the article and see how to use it as a substitute for actual powdered sugar. We even tell you how you can make your own powdered sugar.
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How To Pick The Right Granulated Sugar Substitute
White granulated sugar is a highly-refined sugar thats made from sugar cane, sugar beets, or a combination of the two. While mostly thought of as a sweetener, it also contributes to recipes in other ways. It leavens baked goods makes foods moist helps with browning and improves texture. In some recipes it even serves as a preservative. So, substituting granulated sugar isnt as straightforward as replacing one sweetener for another. To get good results, you may need to tweak other ingredients in your recipe, or adjust the bake time and temperature. The following substitutions take all of that into account, so you dont have to.
Warning: If youre trying to replace the granulated sugar in a canning recipe, its best to start with a recipe thats been written and tested to work with that particular sweetener. Altering canning recipes can have dangerous results.