Making Your Old Family Recipes Paleo-Friendly: Sweeteners

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Sweeteners can make or break your family recipe so it can seem even more daunting to replace sweeteners with Paleo-friendly versions. But don’t fear – I have some more than suitable replacements for you. I’ll show you how you can keep your family recipes as sweet and delicious as before.

Granulated sugar is as ubiquitous an ingredient as they come which makes its exclusion from the Paleo Diet all the more apparent when you are trying to cook a meal. But there are more than capable substitutes for both white sugar and brown sugar. If your recipe calls for white granulated sugar, use Paleo-friendly option honey. As it is an all-natural product made by bees in nature, honey is A-Okay by Paleo guidelines. If your recipe calls for brown granulated sugar, you can use 100% natural maple syrup. This Paleo-friendly option can also be substituted for molasses.

Wheat flour is another kitchen staple you can’t use if you’re on the Paleo Diet because it comes from wheat (a most decidedly bad grain). But don’t worry – almond meal offers all the same recipe benefits without having the consequences grain products bring. Almond meal has the same consistency as flour so you can use it for all of your baked items to keep them moist. It also has a tasty flavor that will keep your baked items as delicious as ever. You can also use almond meal as a substitute for corn meal to thicken soups and sources – contrary to popular opinion corn is a grain NOT a vegetable.

Coconut flour is another option for you to cook with instead of wheat flour. Like almond meal, it is gluten free and has a low glycemic index as well as high in fiber. I would advise to use it sparingly or to use it with almond flour. Coconut flour has a very strong flavor that will become even more apparent with the cooking, something you do not have to worry about with wheat flour or almond meal.

There are a variety of “all-natural” sweeteners out there but beware. Some of these options can meet Paleo guidelines and appear to be very healthy but actually have high fructose concentrations. Agave is a prime example of this – it’s made from the cactus plant but has insanely high fructose levels. It has almost the same negative impact on your body as high fructose corn syrup.