Filed under: Dining
Honey Made up of a combination of fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose, honey is as much as 50% sweeter than sugar and has a distinctive flavor that can vary depending on location, time of year, and the bees diet. Honey also offers some nutritional benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Maple Syrup Real maple syrup (not the 'maple-flavored' syrups) contains magnesium and zinc and comes from sugar maple trees. It's boiled down to the desired thickness and is usually about 60% sweeter than traditional table sugar.
Agave Nectar A fructose syrup that's slightly thinner than honey and originates from the Agave plant in Mexico, it's 25-30% sweeter than white sugar and has a mild flavor along with some nutrient properties (mostly minerals). It also has a lower glycemic index than sugar so is often favored by diabetics.
Molasses A byproduct of the sugar refining process, molasses is dark and heavy and has a very strong flavor. It is sweet (made up of fructose, glucose, and sucrose) but slightly less so than sugar itself. Molasses is high in iron and calcium and also contains several B-vitamins.
Raw Sugar If you must have sugar then go for raw sugar, or sugar that has not been refined and still maintains its nutritional value. Tastes very much like brown sugar (essentially it is, although even less processed).
Stevia Made from the leaf of the stevia plant, stevia sweetener is 200-300 times more potent than sugar and is usually found in liquid and powder form. Stevia leaves (although not always the end product) contain many nutrients like iron, calcium, and zinc.