Kitchen Basics – Sugars

For most people, the term “healthy eating” conjures up many fears and even guilt.  This is due, in part, to the confusion that shrouds food today.  We are bombarded by what we hear “experts” telling us to eat, diet gurus touting health fads, and the advertising from major food producers.  It’s no wonder that we feel confused!  In order to understand what to eat, we must first understand the “genesis” of food, or the beginnings of food.  What is food supposed to be? When you think of any food or menu item, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “What is this ‘food’ supposed to be?” 

Let’s start with sugar:

We all know, by now, the dangers associated with processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and other cheap substitutes.  Unfortunately, these types of sugars are found in almost all foods sold large-scale.   Here’s what sugar should be:

Obviously, fruit is a natural source of sugar.  Dried or fresh: apricots, dates, apples, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, papaya, coconut, mango, plums, peaches, pears, grapes, bananas etc.   Add fruit to salads, blend dried cherries with cream cheese and honey for a whole-wheat sourdough bagel spread.  Eat it in trail mix, smoothies, raw, in breads and cooked grains…the possibilities are endless!  If you will be sure to eat fruit, you will have less cravings for other sugar.

Other Sweeteners:

Agave nectar
Stevia (great for beverages)
Raw honey
Unrefined, dried sugar cane juice* 
Pure Maple Syrup

These are some of the ways I use sugar in our home.  Next time I’ll be writing about how I use grain.

* One name brand of dried sugar cane juice is Rapadura (made by Rapunzel).  Use cup for cup in place of sugar.  Has a much stronger flavor since the molasses has not been extracted.  You can buy some from Amazon (and help support our website) by clicking here.

Posted in Kitchen Basics.

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