Sweet by Nature

These goodies sweetened with fruits like dates, figs and apples will make you want to purge refined sugar from your pantry once and for all.

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Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Sweet by Nature

What could be more pleasing than the taste of fresh baked goods, warm from the oven? Certainly not the blood-sugar spike that follows — which is why Food Network Kitchen is on a quest for better baking. The first step: Replacing refined sugar — the culprit in many easily avoidable illnesses — with natural sweeteners like apricots, dates and other fruits. What makes fruit such a good candidate? The fiber content, which slows digestion, so your body won’t succumb to the dreaded "sugar crash." See how it’s done with these six homemade desserts and drinks enhanced with natural sweetening agents. There's never been a better reason to toss out your refined sugar.

Fruit-Sweetened Mini Banana Muffins

There are only 6 grams of sugar in each of these little muffins, and all of it comes from the fruit and milk — there's no added or refined sugar!

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Mini Banana Muffins

Fruit-Sweetened Lemonade

This homemade lemonade is tart, refreshing and completely free of refined sugar — all the sweetness comes from the apples and lemons themselves. You can also try a pink lemonade version by juicing your favorite red-skinned apple instead of the Golden Delicious.

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Lemonade

Fruit-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

This silky frosting relies on all of the natural sweetness in dates and cream. The recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes or one small cake.

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting

Fruit-Sweetened Snack Cake with Chocolate Frosting

This cake gets most of its sweetness from dried fruit (and a little from the dairy and orange juice). Smooth it over with some rich chocolate frosting enhanced with naturally sweet dates for a dessert that's surprisingly low in sugar.

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Snack Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Fruit-Sweetened Fig and Walnut Brownies

Sweetened with just dried figs and dates, these chocolatey brownies are super-satisfying and have 5 grams of fiber.

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Fig and Walnut Brownies

Fruit-Sweetened Hot Cocoa

Skip the granulated sugar — all of the sweetness in this satisfying drink comes from the natural sugars found in the dates and milk (and a tiny bit in the vanilla extract).

Get the Recipe: Fruit-Sweetened Hot Cocoa

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