4 Natural Sugar Swaps for Baking Healthier Treats

Sub in these natural sugars to add unique flavor and trace nutrients to your next baked treat.
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Sub in these natural sugars to add unique flavor and trace nutrients to your next baked treat.
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Sub in these natural sugars to add unique flavor and trace nutrients to your next baked treat.

Coconut sugar

Derived from the sap of the coconut palm tree, coconut sugar (a.k.a. coconut palm sugar) has a rich color and flavor similar to brown sugar. Coconut sugar is minimally processed and contains nutrients and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6).
Try it: Use as a cup-for-cup replacement for white sugar.

See also Master the Sugar-Free Diet (and Avoid the Energy Crash)

Mashed banana

Potassium-rich bananas add incredible moisture—even days later, your banana-infused baked goods won’t have dried out.
Try it: Use 1 mashed ripe banana in place of ½ cup sugar in breads, cakes, and cookies.

Grade B maple syrup

Naturally derived from the sap of the maple tree, maple syrup contains natural acids, calcium, and potassium, as well as thiamin, magnesium, and riboflavin. Use grade B maple syrup instead of grade A for its richer flavor.
Try it: Use 2/3 to ¾ cup as a replacement for 1 cup of white sugar. in baking.

Date paste

High in soluble fiber and minerals, dates may aid in digestion.
Try it: Blend a batch at home by pulsing dried, pitted dates in a food processor or blender, and add enough water to form a paste. Then, use as a replacement (1 part date paste to 1 part sugar] for sweetener in pancakes, date bars, and cookies.

See also10 Places Sugar Hides In Your Diet + How to Cut Back