Other Sugar Alternatives To Use + Where To Buy Them If You Want A Sweet Life
It's confusing we know. There are reports saying that we have a sugar crisis which is why there was support for the resolution that authorized the importation of sugar. Even soda companies Coca Cola and RC Cola are claiming there will be a shortage of sugar soon which is one of the main ingredients in their sodas.
However, George Barcelon, head of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), claims there is no lack of sugar at all; instead, the price of sugar has increased to the point it's too expensive even for companies to purchase.
Despite the conflicting reports about the sugar situation, the price of sugar is the bigger concern at the moment for people who love their dishes with a touch (or more!) of sweetness.
The good news is that there are alternatives to sugar that are readily available. We even know where you can find and buy them, too! Unfortunately, if you think that muscovado sugar is an alternative to these kinds of sugar, it's not. That's because muscovado sugar is also made from sugar canes, which is where the other sugars are from as well, so the alternatives we offer are not from this same plant.
Want to know more?
Here are all the other kinds of sweeteners or sugar alternatives you can use in all your cooking and baking needs:
Honey is a natural sweetener and the only kind you should be getting is the ones that are made of pure honey, not the ones that are labeled as flavored honey. How can you tell? It's usually as easy as reading the label or the ingredients list (Hint: It should only have honey in the ingredients list, nothing else.)
Did you honey crystalize and now you're worried it's "fake honey"? That's normal for the sugars in honey to do because sugar does crystalize in its natural form. While real honey is expensive, the good news is that there are alternatives you can find that are not as expensive such as this Bukidnon honey that we found (and love!) in SM Supermarkets.
SM Bonus Bukidnon 100% Real Honey, P175, SM Supermarkets
2 Coconut Sugar and Coconut Nectar
Coconut sugar, or simply coco sugar, is basically the sugar that's been reduced and dried from the sap of the coconut palm tree. It has a high mineral content with a low glycemic index. This low glycemic rating is why it's the safer sugar alternative, especially for diabetics who cannot let go of their need for sweetness in their food. You can even find this in syrup form known as coco nectar or coconut nectar. It's more pourable than coco jam but it's just as delicious and sweet!
Since it's been years since coconut sugar first made waves on the market, you can now easily find these at your local supermarkets, health food stores, and even online shopping websites such as Shopee and Lazada. You can find these two variants at The Marketplace.
Coco Natura Organic Coco Sugar, 250 grams, P112.94, and Cocoro Pure Coco Sap Sugar Ivory, 250 grams, P126.50, The Marketplace
3 Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is a thick, sweet liquid made from a mixture of cornstarch and either an acid or enzyme that transforms the cornstarch into a thickened mixture that is similar to honey. It's also known as glucose syrup.
You can find two kinds of corn syrup on the market: light corn syrup and dark corn syrup. Light corn syrup is like refined sugar, where the syrup has been clarified so the color of the syrup doesn't affect your food. Dark corn syrup is like brown sugar which is not clarified and might even have been mixed with molasses for a darker caramel color and taste.
You can easily find corn syrup, both light and dark, in supermarkets and online shopping websites but it's common as well in baking supply stores where corn syrup is used to make chewy brownies and cookies.
Peotraco High Fructose Corn Syrup, 500 ml, P90, and 1000 ml, P170, Shopee
4 Other Syrups
There are other thick syrups that you can use instead of sugar. These include these syrups:
- • agave syrup
- • rice syrup
- • maple syrup
All of these viscous liquid sweeteners are made from either the sap of the base ingredient as is the case for agave and maple syrup or cooked, simmered, and broken down to the sugars present in the ingredient, as in the case of rice syrup. Most of these syrups are commonly reduced into a thick syrup so it better coats what it is drizzled over and is also a way to concentrate the flavors that might otherwise be too faint to taste when too liquid in consistency.
You can find agave, rice, and even maple syrup in select supermarkets, health food stores, and online shopping websites. You can find this branded Kirkland Signature Organic Blue Agave Sweetener (1.02 kg) on Lazada, real Canadian maple Syrup also on Lazada, and this Korean brand of rice syrup on Shopee.
Kirkland Signature Organic Blue Agave Sweetener 1.02 kg, P399, Kirkland Signature, Lazada
President's Choice 100% Pure Maple Syrup, 500 ml, P783, Lazada
Rice Syrup, 700 grams, P299, Shopee
You might be wondering what a chemical-sounding packet is doing on this list of sweeteners but that's exactly what this is: a sweetener. Those on the keto diet know erythritol well because this is one of the few sugar alternatives allowed on that diet.
What is erythritol? Erythritol is just as sweet as normal white sugar. It actually belongs to the family of sugar alcohols and is a kind of sugar that you might find in fermented food such as wine, beer, and even cheese.
You can use this easily by sprinkling or adding it to your dishes that need sweetening such as your coffee or tea. You can even stir it into your keto dessert such as this keto diet-friendly panna cotta recipe!
Since more people are aware of their diets, erythritol is more easily found than ever! Check out specialty health food stores, select baking supply stores, and even Lazada and Shopee where we found this affordable pack from The Healthy Basket.
Pure Erythritol Granules, 50 grams, P80; 100 grams, P100; and 250 grams, P185, The Healthy Basket, Shopee
If you've been on the sugar-free diet for a long time now, you might recall (and still use) one of the first sugar-free alternatives on the market: stevia. Stevia is actually from a plant, known as sweet leaf or candyleaf. It's a plant native to Paraguay in South America and would you believe is 300 times sweeter than sugar? The best part is that it is a nonglycemic ingredient that diabetics can use in their food without spiking their sugar levels.
It is quite common to find this sweetener in supermarkets right beside the other kinds of sugar and sweeteners, too! We found this pack of stevia packets in Shopwise.
SUREBUY Stevia Sweetener 30 grams, pack of 30, P95, Shopwise
We can't tell you what is the best sugar alternative for you to use during times like this. But with so many ways to make your life sweeter, literally, you can be sure that you can pull through it with a sweeter disposition.
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
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