I have issues when I consume too much sugar. I used to use Splenda until I learned more about natural sweeteners. I usually suggest stevia, agave nectar, and black strap molasses. If I’m talking to a fellow vegan, then I don’t mention honey because that is still up for debate in the vegan community.
As for sweetening other things, like putting together a recipe for a dish, there are lots of fruits and veggies that are good for that. One thing you can remind people is that root foods like carrots and sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. In fact, mashed sweet potatoes is a good alternative to white potatoes. Oh, and I’m a big fan of oven baked sweet potato fries!
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.
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.