Three things about refined sugar are indisputable: we love it, we overeat, and we get sick because of it. Sugar stimulates pleasure centers in our brain that hook us into a pattern of craving and withdrawal. According to the most recent statistics, Canadians’ average total sugar intake (TSI) accounts for 21.4% of their daily calories. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a sugar TSI of less than 10% and ideally 5%. This means most of us are consuming four times the ideal amount. Fortunately, there are many new low and zero-calorie sweeteners on the market that be substituted for sugar. Monk Fruit is the fasting growing category of alternative sweeteners.
About Monk Fruit. A small, round fruit native to Southeast Asia, Monk Fruit is known by many names, including Buddha fruit and Luo han Guo. Monk Fruit sweetener comes from the whole flesh of the fruit, including the nectar. The Monk Fruit components are separated and dehydrated using a simple water extraction process. The concentrated end product magnifies the sweetness principle, known as mogrosides, resulting in a delightfully sweet and naturally pure powder. Boasting zero calories and having a low-glycemic index (a proxy for impact on blood sugars), Monk Fruit is making waves in the health and wellness world. Depending on how it is made, Monk Fruit is between 100 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
About NOW® Real Food Organic Monk Fruit. NOW Real Food Organic Monk Fruit is available in various forms (powders and liquids) and flavours (such as caramel) to sweeten just about anything without sugar guilt or any unpleasant aftertaste. NOW Real Food Organic Monk Fruit sweeteners were the first fully certified organic lines in the natural products industry. NOW uses high (approximately 50%) mogroside organic Monk Fruit to provide a delicious, sweet taste without the bitter aftertaste. Some competitors use lower mogroside levels to cut costs – at least, on the surface; however, lower mogroside levels require the user to add more Monk Fruit to get the same sweetness that NOW has, as the lower amounts don’t reach the same level of sweetness and simply don’t taste as good. NOW Real Food Organic Monk Fruit is thirty times sweeter than sugar. NOW Real Food Organic Monk Fruit is also sustainably sourced, low glycemic, dairy-free, gluten-free, certified kosher/halal, Non-GMO Project Verified, nut-free, sugar-free, vegan and paleo and keto-friendly. NOW tests all batches for strength and purity (including microbial and heavy metal contamination) and screen for pesticides using the most advanced and sensitive instruments available today (GC-MSMS/LC-MSMS).
Using NOW® Real Food Organic Monk Fruit. There are endless ways to replace sugar with Monk Fruit, starting with your favourite hot and cold beverages. Replace sugar with the desired amount of Monk Fruit drops (to taste) in a turmeric latte, smoothies, chai tea, Mojito cocktail, tonic water, and more. Monk Fruit can also be used to sweeten main dishes and desserts thanks to its well-rounded flavour profile. If baking with Monk Fruit, consult the sweetener equivalency chart (provided below) for guidance when replacing table sugar. Be prepared for a denser structure due to the loss of sugars’ natural bulking abilities. A workaround to this structural issue is to replace about 1 cup of sugar with 1/3 cup of a bulking agent such as egg whites (or reconstituted NOW® Sports egg white protein powder), apple sauce, fruit puree, or yogurt. If you are already using a bulking agent in your recipe, for example, bananas in your banana bread, consider adding some more. Ideally, the liquid batter flows with the same consistency you are accustomed to. A second tip to compensate for any loss of bulk is additional baking powder.
Sweetener Comparison Chart to Compare Monk Fruit to Table Sugar:
NOW Organic Liquid Monk Fruit Caramel Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweetener 1.8 oz.
NOW Organic Monk Fruit Zero-Calorie Liquid Sweetener 1.8 oz.
BERRY CHIA PARFAIT RECIPE
1/8 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup chia seeds
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 13.5-oz can full-fat coconut milk
20 drops NOW Real Food® Organic Liquid Monk Fruit
1 10-oz bag frozen mixed berries, thawed