By now, we’ve all at least heard of high fructose corn syrup. It’s the sweet liquid in our juices, candies, jams, and about a hundred other sweet products available at the grocery market. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is made from corn starch that has been processed to turn glucose into fructose. As a sweetener, HFCS is often compared to granulated sugar. Many companies prefer working with HFCS because it is easier to handle, and in some countries it is less expensive.
However, in recent years, health experts have become increasingly concerned with the rampant consumption of this liquid sweetener. Nowadays, through processed foods and sugary drinks, the average American has increased their consumption of HFCS from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During this same time period, obesity rates more than tripled and diabetes increased by more than seven-fold.
While the safety of HFCS consumption is still being debated, if you do want to take the safe route and avoid it, there are plenty of alternatives out there that you can use! In fact, here are 10 high fructose corn syrup alternatives you can buy online:
1. Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup
Who needs sugar when you have fruits from nature? And with a product as convenient as Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup, there’s no excuse for not using what nature provides. The sauce, made 100 percent from fruit, uses the sweet nectar of apples, carob, and grapes, to satisfy all of your sweetening needs. And with no additives, preservatives, G.M.O’s, gluten, soy, or nuts, it’s truly a sweetener everyone can enjoy!
2. Now Foods Organic Sucanat Cane Sugar
Sucanat is actually an acronym for Sugar Cane Natural. Now Foods Organic Sucanat is made from organic cane sugar and is actually sugar in its most natural state. To make it, cane juice is squeezed out of harvested sugar cane. Then, the juice is clarified, filtered, and evaporated to remove excess water. The resulting syrup is then crystallized. Since sucanat is a one-for-one replacement for refined white and brown sugars, you can easily swap it in for use in hot or cold drinks and baked recipes.
3. Sun Maid California Raisins
Sun Maid California Raisins make for a great and healthy on-the-go snack, but did you know you could also use them as a sweetener? It’s easy. Just blend a cup of raisins in a food processor and instantly you will be left with a thick syrup to add to your recipes! With antioxidants and fiber, these little dried grapes are definitely a nutritious alternative.
4. Mott’s Apple Sauce
Mott’s Apple Sauce is always marketed as a tasty and nutritious snack, but not everyone knows you can also use this apple-y purée as a quick alternative to sugar. Add it in your baked goods for a sweet and subtle sweetness that you will love! Try it in this Healthy Banana Walnut Bundt Cake or this Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake. Yum!
5. Stevia in the Raw
Stevia in the Raw is a sweetener that comes from an herbal leaf plant. Since it not technically sugar, it does not raise insulin levels, which is the reason many diabetics use it.
Many debate as to whether the FDA-approved sweetener is good or bad. Skeptics point out that to keep the sweetener on shelves, additional additives like, erythritol and dextrose, must be added to the packets. Do your own research to decide whether you’d like to use stevia or not. While you might have to calculate the conversion rate for some stevia-infused products, Stevia in the Raw has an equal conversion rate so use it with ease in recipes.
6. Ben’s Sugar Shack Pure Maple Syrup
Made from the sap of maple trees, maple syrup, like Ben’s Sugar Shack Maple Syrup, is one of the most popular sweeteners on the market today. It ranges in color from light yellow to amber-brown, but no matter which one you get, it’s bound to be delicious! And the syrup not only has a high natural sugar content, but also includes over 50 antioxidants and vitamins such as zinc, calcium, and potassium. You can use is it as a replacement for sugar for some tasty maple-flavored coffee, or try it in this Walnut Carrot Cake With Maple-Cashew Frosting or this Maple Parsnip and Chestnut Wellington.
7 . Bee Free Honee
Bee Free Honee is made from U.S.-grown organic apples and comes in five flavors: Original, Ancho Chili, Chocolate, Mint, and Slippery Elm. This gluten-free replacement for honey is 100 percent all natural, and can be used interchangeably with honey at a 1 to 1 ratio. You can use this in tea, coffee, protein bars, cakes, and breads. With a replacement this seamless, the possibilities are endless!
8. Date Lady Dates
With all of the sugars on the market, it can get a little difficult to decipher what’s good and bad. With Date Lady Dates, however, there is no question! Organic, kosher, G.M.O and gluten free, these California dates are a real game-changer! They are full of magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, and other minerals, and most importantly, are busting with caramel flavor! Talk about nature’s candy. Use dates to sweeten raw cheesecakes like this Raw Lemon Cherry Cheesecake or this Raw Mango Cheesecake.
9. Navitas Naturals Mulberry Berries
In addition to being a “super fruit” you can add to your granola, trail mix, or non-dairy yogurt, Navitas Naturals Mulberry Berries are a great replacement for sugar in your baked goods. Their sweet, fruity taste will transfer nicely to several dishes, like these Chocolate Peanut Butter Raspberry Bars or this Raspberry Cookie Crumble. And since they are an excellent source of vitamin C, protein, iron, fiber, and calcium, they are an alternative you can really feel good about.
10. Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave Nectar
Wholesome! Organic Blue Agave Nectar is a naturally-occurring sweetener made from the juice of the agave plant. The subtle maple-like flavor of agave nectar makes a great substitute for maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses for cooking, baking, and topping your creations. Since agave is almost 1 and a half times sweetener than sugar, you can use less of it to achieve the same sweet results! Substitute agave nectar for sugar in recipes by using 2/3 cup of agave for every cup of dry sugar. We also suggest reducing other liquids in the recipes by 1/4 cup.
11. Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries
Dried fruits, like Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries are a great way to add a sweet touch to otherwise bland muffins, breads, tarts, and dessert treats. Studding your baked breads and muffins with cranberries makes for a delightful burst of fruity flavor every few bites! Or simply topping your brownies, dessert bars, and tarts is a ridiculously easy way to get natural sugar into your recipe. Plus, these little tart treats add a dose of antioxidants refined sugars can’t offer.
12. Sweet Freedom Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate Sauce
Sweet Freedom Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate Sauce is arguably one of the most ingenious sweeteners ever. Not only does it lend a deliciously chocolatey flavor to whatever you add the syrup to but since it’s 100 percent sweetened by fruit, you don’t have to feel guilty at all!
13. Ravfruit Apricot Purée
Purées, like Ravifruit Apricot Purée, is delicious on its own, on top of non-dairy ice cream, mixed into dairy-free yogurt, or frozen into sorbet. In addition to these treats, you can use it as a sugar replacement while you bake. Try it in these Apricot Coconut and Cashew Bars or these Quinoa, Apricot, and Oat Muffin Clusters.
14. Wholesome! Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm trees produce all sorts of goodies for us. Obviously coconuts, but also coconut nectar and coconut sugar. Wholesome! Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, is made from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. The sap is placed under high heat until almost all of the water has evaporated and then voila! Coconut Sugar. Since it can be used at a 1:1 ratio with sugar, you won’t need to do any math in the kitchen! Always a plus. Try it in these Churros With Coconut Sugar or these Choco-Coco Muffins.
With so many sugar alternatives, you’ll never have to settle for high fructose corn syrup again!
Lead Image Source: Wikimedia Commons