There’s a new nutrient-dense, low-sugar, plant-based sweetener on the market that seems to check all the boxes of that perfect ingredient — monk fruit.
Monk fruit is native to Southeast Asia and has just begun to become popular in the western world. The sweetener is derived from the juice of the monk fruit, which is extracted after the seed and skin are removed. Why is this sweetener different? Monk fruit extract is incredibly low in sugar due to the fact that it gets that lovely sweet punch from an antioxidant called mogrosides, which “are metabolized differently by the body than natural sugars,” and yet provide a sweet flavoring that is 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar cane. This heat-loving fruit is not just famous for its ability to sweeten any dish without adding sugar, it’s also known as the “longevity fruit” due to the high level of cancer and age-fighting antioxidants.
While some recipes may already be utilizing monk fruit sweeteners, many still rely on the trusted vegan basics. If you’re looking to try monk fruit sweetener in some of your favorite old-school recipes, here are a few from the Food Monster App that can get you started!
Source: Healthy Peanut Butter Pie
This Healthy Peanut Butter Pie recipe by Annie Markowitz is a pioneering example of the powerful sweetening flavor of monk fruit! With a fourth of a cup of monk fruit sweetener, this healthy fat-filled pie is balanced by a unique blend of powdered peanut butter, protein-rich tofu, and an additional teaspoon of stevia to give it that additional kick of sweetness!
Source: Healthier Macaroons
These Healthier Macaroons by Annie Markowitz offer a vegan and gluten-free alternative that also happens to be refined-sugar free! Instead of traditional baking flour, this recipe relies on fiber-filled ground flax and nutrient-rich coconut flour. With a dash of vanilla extract and a whole half-cup of monk fruit sweetener, these are the perfect go-to, sugar-free, healthy treat.
Source: Cherry Soda
This Cherry Soda by Maryea Flaherty is perfect for the coming sweltering summer days! With only 5 ingredients and 6 steps, this beverage is easy to whip up in large batches. For a lower-sugar and high nutrient option, substitute monk fruit for stevia.
Source: Prune Marzipan Tart
This Prune Marzipan Tart by Mitra Shirmohammadi will not only boost the health and regularity of your digestive tract but, if you substitute monk fruit sweetener for that sugar-rich maple syrup, it’s quite nutritious and low in sugar. With a helping of protein and fiber-rich almonds and oats, this is a great treat to keep in your fridge for those tough digestive days!
Source: Seven-Layer Magic Bars
Yet another pioneer with monk fruit sweetener! This Seven-Layer Magic Bars recipe by Sabrina Estafo includes two tablespoons of monk fruit, along with healthy fat-filled coconut milk and coconut oil, protein-rich almonds flour, inflammation-fighting cinnamon, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Plus, this recipe is incredibly diet friendly as it’s vegan, gluten-free, paleo, grain-free, and refined sugar-free!
Source: Creamy Pumpkin-Coconut Pie
While stevia is a great sugar alternative, try substituting monk fruit sweetener in this Creamy Pumpkin-Coconut Pie by Annie Oliverio. This recipe also delivers a dose of antibacterial and antimicrobial crystallized, powdered, and fresh ginger, adaptogenic maca powder, healthy fat and selenium-rich cashews, and a tasty serving of pumpkin!
Starting the day with lots of protein and fiber is a great way to awaken and energize your body, yet layering sugar on top of that can cause the opposite effects. Try replacing sugar-rich agave syrup with low-sugar monk fruit sweetener in this Quinoa Breakfast Bowls with Cinnamon Apples and Agave by Jamie Bevia.
Source: Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge
Along with the adaptogenic powers of maca, this Maple Maca Amaranth Porridge by Claire Ragozzino also offers up a dose of healthy fat-filled coconut oil, inflammation-fighting cinnamon, and antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds. For lower-sugar, higher nutrient value, replace the sugary maple syrup with monk fruit sweetener.
Sweeteners aren’t just used in sweet recipes, they can be used to add a hint of flavor to more savory dishes, such as this Maple and Mustard Glazed Tempeh With Crunchy Pistachios and Scallions by Kim Sujovolsky. Instead of maple syrup, use a bit of liquid monk fruit sweetener. This will not only reduce the amount of sugar, but it will also add to the already nutrient-rich ingredients including gut-friendly tempeh, antibacterial shallots, and healthy fat-filled pistachios!
Source: Healthy Chocolate Avocado Fudge
This Healthy Chocolate Avocado Fudge by Kibby Miller is super simple to make in only four steps and uses the flavoring powers of healthy plant-based fats such as avocado, full-fat coconut milk, and pistachio nuts. Make it super healthy and sugar-free by replacing stevia with monk fruit!
13. Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Source: Maple Roasted Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is naturally sweet, therefore this Maple Roasted Acorn Squash by Christina Bedetta is a perfect recipe to try out a less sugar-rich sweetener such as monk fruit. The natural sweet flavoring of squash and monk fruit sweetener is cleverly balanced with savory olive oil and sour cranberries!
Source: 3-Ingredient Grape Chia Jelly
Jelly is traditionally made with copious amounts of sugar. With that said, this super simple 3-Ingredient Grape Chia Jelly by Jesse Lane Lee focuses on protein-rich chia seeds, natural sugar-rich grapes, and stevia. To boost the nutritional value and reduce sugar content, replace the stevia with monk fruit sweetener.
Source: Chocolate Mug Cake
Yet another recipe that explores the wonderful uses of monk fruit sweetener! This Chocolate Mug Cake by Nora Schlesinger defies the logic of “cake” by using powerfully healthy ingredients such as protein-rich almond flour, nutrient-rich coconut flour, adaptogenic cacao powder, your choice of healthy fat oil, low-sugar monk fruit, and alternative options for a completely sugar-free version.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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