How to substitute monk fruit for sugar in baking?
It’s no secret that consuming excessive amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your health. From causing weight gain and inflammation, to putting you at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, the negative effects of sugar are well documented.
Enter monk fruit – a natural sweetener that has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to sugar in baking. Known for its zero-calorie count and low glycemic index (a measure of how quickly foods spike blood sugar levels), many people are turning to monk fruit as a healthier option.
But how do you substitute monk fruit for sugar in your baked goods? Is it really that simple? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about baking with monk fruit. Buckle up, bakers!
First Things First: Get Your Measurements Right
Before diving straight into substituting monk fruit for sugar, it’s important to note that not all sweeteners are created equal. Monk fruit is much sweeter than regular table sugar, meaning you don’t need nearly as much of it when baking.
- 1 cup of granulated white or brown sugar = 1 teaspoon of pure monk fruit extract powder
- ½ cup of granulated white or brown sugar = ¼ teaspoon (or less!) of pure monk fruit extract powder
- And so on…
Keep these measurements handy before attempting any recipes calling for the substitution! It can be easy enough (pinky promise) if you’re willing get out those measuring spoons (which come highly recommended)!
Understanding Monk Fruit Extract Versus Powder
When using monkfruit, there are two main forms: liquid [extract] (https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Monk-Fruit-Liquid-Sweetener/dp/B079ZLTQBM) or powdered monk fruit (extract). While liquid drops might make for an easy way to add sweetness to drinks, the powder is much more versatile when utilized in baking and cooking.
However, not all powders are created equal either—some might have additives like fillers that can affect the final product (so do some snooping if you’re unsure). Here’s what to look for:
- 100% pure monk fruit extract/powder
- No added sugars
- No artificial sweeteners
If you’re purchasing monk fruit from your local supermarket or health food store (or even online), take a closer look at labels like Inspector Gadget – just because it’s marketed as “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have sneaky ingredients hiding out inside.
Baking with Monk Fruit: Tips and Tricks
Now that we have measurements down pat, let’s move on to the practicalities of baking with this unusual sugar substitute!
1. When Using Pure Monk Fruit Powder Instead of Sugar…
When using pure monk fruit powder in place of traditional sugar (so wild!), there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Use Less Than Your Recipe Calls For
As mentioned before, remember that monk fruit is much sweeter than regular sugar. So be sure to use less of it compared to what your recipe calls for.
But how little exactly? Typically speaking, amounts between two-to-five teaspoons worth shouldn’t overly impact texture or final bake yields. This is where taste testing along every stage comes in –tough work– so roll up those sleeves!
Self control will also come into play here while making decisions on how much substituted sweetness will suffice in any given baked goodie (slows clap)(you’ve got this)….
Take note –> It’s also always smartest adjust gradually; without hitting the ‘too much of a good thing’ overkill (we all know what happened when Goldilocks wanted to try everything!).
Add Extra Binders
Sugar has textural benefits for many baked goods: it gives softness, sweetness and also acts as a binding agent. When using monk fruit in place of sugar in certain situations, you may need to compensate for that lack of binding.
A handy solution? Additional binders! This could come in the form of eggs or flax/chia seeds (though this is not set in stone). Adding an extra egg yolk(or more) can help maintain moisture while still preserving texture (it’s almost like baking magic).
Alternatively, adding small amounts of ground chia/flaxseeds will provide similar structure/build up (Typically a ‘gel’ substance is made by combining equal ratios water & flaxseed)-This can be used where normally eggs are present too.(woah, mind blown)”
2. Keep An Eye On Temperature And Sweetness Levels
When using monk fruit in the raw, take special care balancing temperatures with its propensity for dry flavor sensations (something like licking sand-mmmmmm delicious….)
As long as you keep an eye on temperature and overall sweet profile- life should go swimmingly (“Swimming Pool” song insert here)…
3. Experiment With Flavors!
While minimizing boring white sugar elements, why stop there?! It would be difficult NOT to add additional flavors for recipe creation versatility – open that spice cabinetry up wide..
Playing around with spices, teas or herbal tinctures, citrus squeezes/zests etc., you’ll find yourself expanding your culinary horizons exponentially—without sacrificing potentially dangerous refined-sugar health implications! Overall just have fun deciphering complex taste combinations… why not?!
Recipe Suggestions To Get You Started:
1) Shortbread Cookies:
Using a buttery base, a combination of almond/coconut flour and icing monk fruit sweetener works well in creating crunchy but still smooth-textured shortbread cookies (without the use of sugar). Bonus points for even adding lemon zest to create delightful summer sensations!
2) Fudgy Brownies:
Using cacao powder combined with almond flour as opposed to wheat flour yields incredible results when baking brownie bites using both extract powder/sweet drops or liquid monkfruit syrup. The result is indulgently fudge-y treats great for lunch boxes –(or mid-day solo pig outs)
3) Lemon Bars:
Combine your favorite low carb flours such as coconut or almond flour—in place of traditional high carb options-then add fresh squeezed lemons plus an ample amount pure monkfruit extract per liking (tastes can vary!).
You won’t believe they’re not loaded with unhealthy processed sugar that so often brings one down after chowing down.
However you slice it, Monk Fruit is a Step Towards Healthy Habits
With its zero-calorie count and low glycemic index, it’s easy to see why more and people are turning towards monk fruit as an alternative healthy option! Whether for baking desserts at home or making signature drinks sans tons of sugars—monk fruit holds up surprisingly great!
Next time you’re craving something sweet without feeling like a sugar monster later on – give this super sweet switch-up (try saying that 10 times fast) instead! Your body will thank ya…
If you haven’t already started eyeing potential grocery purchases utilizing said product prior-treat yo self!