Sugar is a word that we associate with something sweet, nice, and cute but never unhealthy! I will not try to tell you how bad sugar is for you, because I know you are smart enough to figure that out yourself, but we should use sugar in our cooking. In many kitchens, sugar is a must have. You taste the sweetness in many authentic beautiful Indonesian dishes, for example, but may not know that the Indonesians use palm sugar, which has a very low glycemic index and is actually very healthy for you.
I don’t cook with refined white sugar; I don’t even have it in my kitchen. When I cook brown beans, I sprinkle a little raw brown sugar to prevent gas during digestion. In the morning, I love to sprinkle some raw agave nectar or coconut nectar over my fruit and cereal. I use agave in some of my sauces as well, but I prefer palm sugar. Another all natural sweetener I love to use is stevia in the raw. Now remember everything in the raw is less or not refined at all, and therefore much better for you. Stevia is from plants and you really don’t need a lot because it is so very concentrated. Nowadays, they have several brands, so you can choose which one you like better. Sometimes they have a bitter after taste, which I do not like at all.
I love to cook with natural products and use their own sweetness, like fruits, fresh or dried. Don’t forget the sugars in beets, for example, and other fresh veggies such as sweet potato, plantain, sugar snaps, and soybeans. We have many options to keep the sugar levels in your dish low, all natural, health conscious and yummy. So please be smart about it!
Bon Apetito, from Peggy with LOVE!