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Old 09-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
Kevin Bowman
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Natural Sweeteners

I am looking for some natural sweeteners that I can utilize when I cook, specifically homemade BBQ sauces. I already know honey (local, raw if possible), and large volumes of fresh fruits (either full fruit or juiced fruits), but are there options that I may be missing.

Assistance appreciated.
Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:20 PM   #2
Liz Wolfe
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

I'd consider using whole fruits, liquefied in the blender like I did for this bbq sauce recipe: (WFS)

http://www.stevesoriginal.com/blog/bbq_sauce/

I'm not a fan of no-calorie sweeteners, so I think using the liquefied fruit (pulp and all) at the very least keeps those nutrients that the body uses to process the sugars. Using straight fruit juices or cutesy "natural" sweeteners still neglects the fact that the body uses nutrients to process sugars.

I may get in trouble for saying this, but I think blackstrap molasses has some pretty cool properties as well.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
Joe Tsai
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

I agree with using whole fruits. Mango makes a great sweetener for bbq sauce and blends very nicely.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

What's wrong with sugar?

Yes, I know it isn't "Paleo," but I doubt Grok was using honey by the cupful either. In moderation, I don't see why sugar is any worse than any other source of sweetness.

Katherine
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
Kevin Bowman
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

I am not a fan of the processed sweeteners (stevia, sweet n lo, equal, etc.) either and prefer something more natural.

I wonder how the taste would differ if I used just the juice v the whole fruit. I could easily throw it in the pot, cook it down, run it through the food mill, and perhaps gain more of the flavor within the sauce. My last BBQ was a peachy jalapeno combination. (it was two different homemade salsas turned into said sauce).

Liz:
thank you for the recipe. That sauce looks great. Due to my less than bountiful garden this year, I may need to look at purchasing more items from the store this year. I hate it, but not every year can be a great crop.

Katherine:
Good point. For a sweet BBQ, I normally use a more than ample amount of brown sugar.

Off to yahoo the differences between the normal granulated sugar and raw sugar.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:24 AM   #6
Mark Davis
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

Agave nectar will fit your need perfectly.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:28 AM   #7
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

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Originally Posted by Mark Davis View Post
Agave nectar will fit your need perfectly.
Agave nectar is definitely not any better for you than table sugar, and is highly processed, not natural.

http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/ (wfs)
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:38 AM   #8
Mark Davis
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

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Originally Posted by Rebecca Roth View Post
Agave nectar is definitely not any better for you than table sugar, and is highly processed, not natural.

http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/ (wfs)
Oh wow, I did not know that. Thanks for the link. Knowledge is power!
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
Shaun Bevins
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

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Originally Posted by Mark Davis View Post
Oh wow, I did not know that. Thanks for the link. Knowledge is power!


Anything that tastes sweet, tastes sweet for a reason. You can slap whatever name you want on it, but they all are pretty chemically similar. Most sweeteners, including honey and agave nectar are some combination of fructose and glucose.

Interestingly honey, agave nectar and HFCS, and sucrose (regular table sugar) all have similar ratios of fructose and glucose, ie chemically they are similar. However, something like raw honey may also offer trace nutrients in addition to the fructose and glucose. Using fruits as sweeteners also provides other nutrients not just fructose and glucose.

The big thing with fructose is that it is metabolized in the liver and "large" amounts may be associated with a fatty liver...though, still not clear consensus about what constitutes large amounts or what long-term effects ingestion truly has. The current research is sketchy and sparse. I should also mention small amounts of fructose, like that found in fruit...is probably good for us.

As you probably know...all carbohydrates are made of varying length chains of glucose. Some foods, like fruits also have fructose. Before those foods are absorbed they are broken down into glucose and fructose and glucose is glucose/fructose is fructose (your body doesn't distinguish). The difference is these whole foods also contain fiber, other vitamins and minerals etc...when most commercially sold consolidated sweeteners do not. For a while agave nectar which is high in fructose was being marketed because of its high fructose content and the fact that fructose does not affect insulin the same way that glucose does.

While I think it is not a bad idea to limit added "sugars" I am with the poster who said...why not just use some "sugar". Some sugar is probably not "bad" if consumed within the context of a healthy diet.

Just remember, all foods are chemicals that are broken down into their individual parts before being digested. I wrote a post about HFC but it also offers a discussion of sweeteners in general. You may find it helpful. I also have a bunch of sources that you might want to read. http://blog.fitnessforsmartpeople.co...ient-fall-guy/

Artificial sweeteners or low-cal sweeteners are a completely different matter. I personally would rather eat sugar myself. There is some evidence that while artificial sweeteners fool our taste buds they don't fool our brains and a few studies that have actually showed a positive correlation between obesity and the use of artificial sweeteners. Though many are considered to be safe...they are probably less appealing to someone with a paleo philosophy. Fructose and glucose are naturally occurring substances in our diet...though concentrated sources were probably not readily available way back when. Still, a little probably isn't going to end the world.

Good luck with your recipe.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #10
Natalie L. Cox
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Re: Natural Sweeteners

There is a sweetner called "erythritol" that carmelizes like sugar, but is not a source of carbohydrates to the body. Technically it is a processed food, but is not an artificial sweetner, it's actually classified as a "sugar alcohol", but unlike xylitol, is not absorbed in the small intestine and won't cause digestive distress. I eat low carb and this stuff is great for things that need some carmelization action but not a bunch of sugar added. Just another option.
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