Sweet Alternatives to Sugar

Looking for a creative replacement for processed table sugar? These four natural sweeteners can bring new flavors and different levels of sweetness to your favorite recipes.
Related To:

Looking for a creative replacement for table sugar? These four natural sweeteners can bring new flavors and different levels of sweetness to your favorite recipes. The best part is that they’re less processed than the “white stuff.”

Honey

Honey contains powerful antioxidants, and the different kinds of honey have unique flavors. Drizzle clover honey over waffles or try milder Acacia honey in a smoothie. To learn more about honey, check out Toby’s post on honey's benefits.

Agave Nectar

The plant that gives us tequila also provides the luscious golden sap known as agave nectar. It looks similar to honey and has a mild flavor that is truly unique -- yet, not at all overwhelming. Though it’s sweeter than sugar, agave nectar is digested more slowly, which keeps blood sugar more stable. All that sweetness means you can use less, which will save you a few calories. It’s versatile enough to use in baked goods, brewed tea or even marinades. Agave also contains sapogenins, a compound that helps fight inflammation.

Brown Rice Syrup

Made from cooked brown rice, this sweetener has a complex, pleasant and almost tangy flavor. Similar to agave, brown rice syrup takes longer to digest, which helps prevent drastic spikes in blood sugar. Use brown rice syrup in recipes that call for maple syrup (another great sugar alternative). Flavor brown rice syrup with cinnamon or drizzle over a fruit salad. For a revised muffin recipe, replace each cup of sugar with a half cup of syrup.

Pomegranate Molasses

This gorgeous dark red syrup has a deep, rich flavor. This sweetener is a concentrated source of pomegranate juice, which provides polyphenols -- antioxidants that protect from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Pomegranate molasses may be a bit harder to find than some of the other sweeteners; look for it online or, better yet, try making your own. You’ll be surprised at all the places you can use it. Try it in the classic Middle Eastern dip called Muhammara.

    Recipes to try:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Baking With Sugar Alternatives

Sugar helps make baked goodies puffy, golden brown and moist, but plain granulated sugar isn’t your only option. Whether you’re looking to cut calories, use less processed ingredients or simply change up the flavor, here are some options.

Searching for a Sugar Substitute? Five Alternatives to Classic Sugar

Alternative sweeteners lend a different flavor to foods and can have a few health benefits, too.

Farewell, My Sweets: The Sugar Shunning Trend

If fat was the star dietary villain for the past few decades, sugar is quickly stepping up to take its place.

Is Sugar Toxic?

A recent episode of 60 Minutes titled “Is Sugar Toxic” had folks buzzing over Twitter and whispering at the water cooler. But is sugar really the enemy ?

5 Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings

Trying to reach for healthy snacks but the sugary treats are calling you? Use these strategies to help douse that sugar-fueled fire.

8 Surprising Sources of Sugar

Move over salt, there's a new bad guy in town: sugar. You’ll be shocked to find out that these 8 common foods contain more sugar than you think.

How to Cut the Sugar from Summer Drinks

We consume over three times the daily recommended amount of added sugar each day, and sugary beverages are one of the main contributors to this sugar overload.

News Feed: Fish and Brains, Sugar in Fruit, Pomegranate Healthfulness

Eating fish may aid your brain, sugar in fruit beats sugar in soda — plus, parsing pomegranates and health.

Ask the Dietitian: What's the Difference Between Added and Natural Sugar?

What’s the deal with all they types of sugar out there? Are all sugars created equal? And are all sugars bad?

Nutrition News: Chipotle Unseats Subway, FDA Added-Sugar Label Rules and Soybean Oil Health Effects

Subway cedes top “healthy” chain spot to Chipotle; FDA to require added-sugar info on labels; and a study says soybean oil may be making us fat and diabetic.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Chopped

2pm | 1c

Chopped

3pm | 2c

Chopped

4pm | 3c

Chopped

5pm | 4c

Chopped

6pm | 5c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Chopped

10pm | 9c

Chopped

11pm | 10c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Chopped

1am | 12c

Chopped

2am | 1c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.