Tips - How I Replaced Refined Sugar In Our House

10:36 AM Posted by Jo Pedranti

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One of the first things I did when I became interested in health was to get rid off all whites. I switched out the 'not so good' ingredients for healthier versions when I baked or cooked. White sugar was replaced with un-refined natural sugar, and white rice and flour were replaced with whole grain versions. This was many years ago, and over the years have modified and got rid off even more things. Today I eat a Paleo style diet. I allow my children to have a special treat day once a week, and they also enjoy extra treats during the holidays. We don't make a big fuzz about food when we visit people and we eat what's being served. 

Change doesn't happen overnight. It is important to take baby steps so that you don't get overwhelmed. It is what you do everyday that counts, and it is not the end of the world if you occasionally enjoy food from the "banned list".  It may sound easy when I share things about health, but it has taken me a while to be the health person I am today.

To get you started I put together a list of ideas on how I have replaced sugar in our house over the years.

Here are some  ideas on how you can replace sugar in your baking and cooking.
  • Replace 1 cup sugar with:
    1 1/4 date sugar,
    1 1/2 ground up raisins, dates or other dried fruit.
    1 1/2 cups molasses.
    1 1/2 apple, black berry, or other fruit juice concentrate. (unsweetened of course)
    1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup.

    What I do:
  • Pancakes/waffles -syrup:
    I mix a variety of berries with some water and let it simmer on the stove for a while. Add some pineapple chunks or little fruit juice if you need to sweeten it more. I store the left over in a glass bottle in the fridge. If you need to make it thicker, mix some arrow root powder with a tiny bit water. Add to the mixture at the end of the cooking time.
  • Yogurt flavors:
    I puree a mixture of berries and some fruit and I add it to natural unsweetened yogurt. Add some sweet fruits like banana or pineapple if your child thinks it is too sour.
  • I puree fruit, berries and sometimes coconut milk and put in popsicle molds. Leftover smoothies or protein shakes can be used the same way.
  • Hot cereal:
    I add frozen berries and let it cook with the cereal. This eliminates the need for any sweetener, often cinnamon is used as a topping when the cereal is done.
  • Dried fruit home made jam:
    First of all, rehydrate dried apples, pears, peaches or other combinations, with enough water to cover the fruit. Simmer until soft or soak overnight. Put in the blender and mix until it is smooth. It will keep about a week in the fridge. Add dried date granules if you want it sweeter.
  • Jam recipes:
    *Dilute peanut butter with water and add crushed pineapple.
    *Soak 1 cup dried apples and 1/2 dates in 3 cups water and then blend.
    *Blend dried figs with desired amount of fresh orange juice.
    *2 cups pitted prunes, 1 cup cashew nuts. Add water and blend.
    *Blend almond and dates with equal amount of water.
    *1 1/4 cup pitted dried prunes or 1 cup of pitted dates, 1 cup of dried apricots and 1/2 crushed unsweetened pineapple. Simmer prunes and apricots in enough water to cover fruit, or soak over night. Blend with pineapple in blender until smooth.

    Sometimes when I bake I use Rapunzel's unrefined raw sugar. I also like to use crushed pineapple or dates when I make a special treat. I always have raw honey and maple syrup at home. I do realize it's effect on the blood sugar so I use it wisely. 
    I prefer to use more berries than fruit since many berries have a low glycemic index. They are truly superfoods with all their nutrients.

    Don't be afraid to add a little extra rapunzel raw sugar ( it truly tastes and smells yummy) until the family's taste buds are re-trained. It is still less sugar than store bought things. My children prefer that I add banana or pineappe to make things sweet, and it is enough as a sweetener.

Thanks for visiting!


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives.

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This post is linked to
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Simple Lives Thursday 
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Sunday School at Butter Believer
Fat Tuesday 
Make Your Own Monday Link-Up 
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  1. Stephanie said...

    Thank you for this information Jo! I have been eyeballing the healthier alternatives in the store, to help decrease the white sugar. This is a great reference!

  2. Lisa said...

    awesome info! I do south beach diet so white is not right for us either, two things that I use in my foods in place of sugar are unsweetened apple sauce and agave nector!

  3. Jo's Health Corner said...

    Hi Lisa,
    That's great that you don't do whites. I have occasionally used agave, and apple sauce is great for cakes.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jo's Health Corner said...

    I'm glad I can help Steph. It is tricky avoiding sweeteners when they include it in almost everything.

  5. HallofFameMoms said...

    Thanks for sharing. I bookmarked this for later use ;) Found you at Raising Homemakers today!

  6. LivingSoAbundantly said...

    Thank you for sharing the details of it. I'm trying to switch over, and it's intimidating at times.

  7. Jo's Health Corner said...

    You're so right. It is intimidating in the beginning. That's why it is better to do a little bit at a time.

  8. Jo's Health Corner said...

    You're welcome. Thanks for visiting HallofFameMoms.

  9. Noelle said...

    I'm currently working on minimizing whites in my diet. I struggle with my morning coffee. I've slowly reduced the amount of sugar I add, but have not found a substitute that I like in coffee. I'd love any suggestions for my morning brew!

  10. Jo's Health Corner said...

    I drink my morning coffee black..Perhaps start by switching to raw sugar?

  11. Jasmine said...

    Thanks for this information, Jo. I am trying my best to stay away from white sugar. I use Rapunzel and the occasional honey in my tea.

  12. lifeofahappymom said...

    I grew up eating brown rice, but I think it was my husband that helped get nearly all the white out of our house. I grind my own wheat and make the most delicious whole wheat bread. I buy a few pounds of white flour 2 or 3 times a year for the occasional recipe, and I recently bought some white sugar because it was on sale--and haven't used it yet! I'll probably use it to make cookies to give away or something like that.

    I mostly use raw sugar in place of refined sugar. The alternatives are so expensive! For my son, who has a lot of allergies, I use stevia. And honey. Raw wildflower honey. I can make THE BEST chocolate fudge by mixing honey, peanut butter, and chocolate powder (baker's chocolate) in a 4:4:1 ratio with a little vanilla and a pinch of salt. No soy, no wheat, and so delicious...

  13. Jo's Health Corner said...

    @Jasmine, Rapunzel is not as bad since it has many of the important minerals left.

  14. Jo's Health Corner said...

    Your fudge sounds delicious.I have to try this sometimes.
    My husband influenced me a lot in the beginning.He was more aware of healthy eating than me.

  15. Melanie said...

    Do you use maple syrup or honey in place of white sugars? I'm contemplating slowly trying to switch... but was thinking of using these as a replacement. (We make our own syrup, so that is on hand and I'm looking for local honey to use.)

  16. Jo's Health Corner/ said...

    It depends on what I make. I prefer honey over maple syrup due to its healing properties but sometimes it tastes better with maple syrup.

  17. Ellen said...

    Raw honey is amazing in coffee!

  18. Jessica said...

    Great ideas!!

  19. Lauren said...

    Thankfully, I drink my coffee and tea without sugar and I don't drink sodas, so I don't have to worry about all that sugar! I bake pretty often, though, so I'll be sure to try your suggestions. Thanks!

  20. NaturalFamiLea said...

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)