It’s Friday night. You’re craving sugar. Spontaneously, you jump on your feet and decide to bake a bunch of cookies to satisfy your hunger. Well, there’s no worst disapointment than opening your pantry just to find out that your sugar container is… empty.
What a way to pull the rug from under your feet! We’re here today to tell you: have no fear. There are tons of granulated sugar substitutes. And they don’t sacrifice the taste and texture of your recipe, both in cooking and baking. Keep these ideas in mind, but most of all in your pantry!
Not only can fruit purées replace sugar, they can also replace a part of the fat content in bakery recipes and pastries. To reach the desired texture, substitute half the fat (butter, oil…) with unsweetened applesauce, for example, and lower the quantity of sugar. If your purée already contains sugar, you don’t even need to add some in your recipe.
Sweet and creamy, bananas add a certain smoothness to the mix. Just like fruit purée, they can replace both sugar and fat. Bananas are also damper than sugar. Therefore, count only half the required sugar portion for this fruit.
It’s probably the sugar substitute you most often have in your pantry. Brown sugar is indeed quite versatile. With its caramelized taste and its sweet and soft texture, brown sugar can substitute sugar in equal proportions.
BPT is a big fan of Canada’s food emblem: maple. In Quebec, we’re the luckiest with our very own maple syrup! Delicious and versatile, maple syrup can replace brown sugar in almost any recipe! It can also act as a sugar substitute, while adding a comforting caramelized touch.
Tip: substitute with equal or inferior proportions of maple syrup, and add a tablespoon of flour for each ¼ cup of sugar if the recipe doesn’t have any liquids. This way, the texture will be preserved.
In contrast with maple syrup, honey should be used sparingly since its unique taste, floral and very sweet, can easily outshine the other ingredients. For example, use ½ cup of honey for each cup of refined sugar in a recipe. Then, the liquids by ¼ cup. On the contrary, if there are no liquids in your recipe, add 1 tablespoon of flour for each ¼ of sugar.
Even more liquid than honey and maple syrup, agave syrup is particularly sweet. It is therefore perfect for bakery recipes or pastries since it goes well with the other ingredients. As for the liquid/sweetening agent balance, follow the same proportions as for honey.
Dates can replace any sweetening agent, but require more preparation. Indeed, you must soak the pitted dates, drain them, and then mash them to get a paste. The texture should be similar to that of nut butter. Besides, date sugar can also be found in supermarkets. It’s a great way to subtly sweeten any recipe!
Molasses’ taste is quite intense, which is why it is better to combine it with another sugar substitute. Use the same proportions as for sugar, but reduce by ¼ cup all liquids of the recipe. Once again, add 1 tablespoon of flour for each ¼ cup of sugar.
No need to worry! There's a ton of refined sugar substitutes you can use! Besides, most of them make more nutritious options while also bringing a twist to traditional recipes.
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