Q. I’ve been seeing more and more natural, no calorie sweeteners on labels and in stores. Can you talk a little about what they are made from and best uses?
A. The baking aisle looks a lot different lately. In addition to white sugar, powdered sugar, and brown sugar, you’ll see sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia. Below are the top six sweeteners gracing the aisles.
Allulose, the single ingredient in this sweetener, is a natural sugar from figs, raisins, kiwi, and other fruits. It’s gluten free, vegan and has no impact on blood sugar. Allulose dissolves quickly when stirred into coffee, tea, smoothies or cereal with milk. It can also be used for baked treats like cakes, muffins or brownies.
Truvia products include regular sweeteners, brown sugar blends, cane sugar blends and more. Most contain stevia leaf extract and erythritol. Add calorie-free Truvia sweetener to coffee, tea, smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, baked goods and desserts.
Made with erythritol and monk fruit extract. Monk fruit is a type of fruit native to some Asian countries, and it’s been used in Eastern medicine for centuries. Monkfruit has a sweetness similar to sugar and can be used as a cup-for-cup replacement in recipes. Pairs perfectly with liquids and desserts without adding calories or net carbs.
The main ingredients of swerve include erythritol and oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate from fruits and root vegetables that may help nourish gut bacteria. Swerve measures the same as sugar, so you can replace exact amounts of sugar with Swerve in recipes. It also browns and caramelizes like sugar without impacting blood sugar or insulin.
SOLA is made with monk fruit and stevia leaf extract, as well as sugar alcohols like erytrhitol and maltitol. It contains 75% fewer calories than sugar. SOLA sweetener bakes and browns like real sugar but may not be suitable for crisp meringues.
Stevia leaves undergo a process similar to steeping tea. The result is a stevia leaf extract that’s much sweeter than sugar but with little to no calories. Nearly two dozen Pyure sweeteners are available including granulated and liquid sweeteners, as well as jams, syrups, spreads and a confectioner blend, so this sweetener works in most recipes.