Other than the products/plants you’ve mentioned I often use fruit to sweeten. Blackstrap is very strong (like it in small doses, not always user friendly) and we haven’t specified what we’re sweetening here. Generally, for beverages, people like Agave or stevia…agave=more calories. A little splash of OJ or couple tablespoons of applesauce, applebutter, or fig butter can go a long way to add flavor to a vegetable dish or baking recipe. I also use & suggest in recipes dates, figs, berries, apples, prunes, mangos. All work well to create flavorful sauces (helpful on meats than can be dry when cooked low-fat).
I like Stevia and Honey
check out wht ACE has to say about it.
Thanks for the replies, I am sorry my question was confusing, it was a continuation of a conversation I had earlier with a friend. The conversation was mainly about sweetening blended concoctions, but I asked in general terms for anything you like to sweeten. I would like to throw yacon in the conversation, I don’t know why I tend to neglect fruits when sweetening, but I do use berries sometimes…. herbs and spices are also fun to include especially if you are concerned about weight management.
I think that a lot of people who are used to eating sweet things don’t realize how sweet something actually is.
What’s more, when people who are used to sweet things try to switch to artificial sweeteners, they claim that it doesn’t make something sweet enough.
My girlfriend, for example, LOVES sweet tea. When she makes it at the house, she uses about 2 cups of sugar for a gallon. I don’t drink sweet tea, so that may be a little or a lot, I don’t know. I DO know that I tasted her sweet tea ONCE… I made her some sweet tea with an equivalent amount (not 2 cups, but the conversion) of sweetener, and I thought it was terrible just like her tea, but she said it wasn’t sweet enough. Go figure.
The body gets used to that type of food, and like caffeine, it can be hard to change your patterns because your body is craving it.
I suggest that people looking to cut down on sugar or switch to sweeteners take it slow and use half sugar and half sweetener for a month or so, then use a little sugar and mostly sweetener, then just sweetener, then lower the sweetener so that you don’t crave that junk. Then people taste something sweet like they used to have it, and they realize how sweet it actually was and wonder why they didn’t go into a diabetic coma!
As far as what type of sweetener to use, I’ve always been partial to Splenda. The bad thing about any artificial sweetener is that you can’t really find one that’s a great substitue for sugar when you’re baking something. The sweetener just doesn’t… cook right… I hope that made sense, if not try to bake a pound cake with splenda and you’ll see what I mean.
Indeed, there are many different ways to sweeten things up a bit, but I’m a big supporter of just using sugar in small amounts every now and then, and cutting out most of the sweet (sugary) foods in the diet. Some sweet is alright, though. Life needs its little pleasures every now and then.