All of our sweet treat recipes use these paleo natural sweeteners instead of sugar. If one sweetener isn’t your thing just swap it for something else, it really is up to your taste buds and how they make you feel. We also like to remind everyone that sweet treats are still treats and we recommend you enjoy them occasionally! We probably enjoy a paleo dessert 2-3 times a week!
Low fructose sweeteners
Sugar can be broken down into fructose and glucose. Paleo = no refined sugars (otherwise known as sucrose which is half glucose and half fructose). It’s the fructose in sugar that is the super bad stuff. Our bodies can’t process fructose and it gets turned into fat, as well as causing a whole bunch of other health implications. Glucose is the stuff we use for energy, it gets burned up!
Now this barely touches the edges but it gives you a merrymaker overview of why we’re slowing down on the fructose. There are all kinds of resources we recommend you check out: Sweet Poison by David Gilespie and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.
We are pro stevia! Stevia is a sweetener derived from the stevia plants leaves. This natural sweetener has been around for ages and is now re-gaining popularity (since everyone is jumping on the refined sugar free wagon… yay!). Stevia is super amazing as it doesn’t spike our GI levels, in fact its GI level is zero! Make sure it’s 100% stevia with nothing mixed (some brands try to sneak in nasties!).
Rice malt syrup
We like to use it because it’s fructose free, gluten free, has no preservatives and is a complex carbohydrate (which means it provides a steady flow of energy and doesn’t spike our GI level). Plus! It tastes delish too! As we said if it’s not for you just swap to another sweetener! To make your treats 100% paleo, a good alternative to rice malt syrup is raw honey (this isn’t a low fructose option… you choose!).
Can you believe that Merrymaker tiramisu cake (in the feature image) has only 2 tablespoons on rice malt syrup and it’s super yum and delish! Get the recipe!
Low fructose fruit
We love fruit. Seriously how good is fruit?! It makes us want to sing and dance! Through our paleo journey (our addiction to dates) and cutting of refined sugars we’ve noticed there are ‘sometimes fruit’ and ‘everyday fruit’. The main reason for this is the fructose level. The fruits we use in here are low fructose fruits like: berries, lemons and limes! They add a huge flavour punch plus have so many added health benefits.
High fructose natural sweeteners
How yum is raw honey? It’s full of minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron as well as Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and Vitamin C. We recommend eating local raw honey (that way it can prevent allergies in your area!).
A great alternative for toffee tasting sweeteners! It’s made from pure coconut nectar and is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and is high in electrolytes. It makes you feel really good as it has high levels of Inositol (the feel good Vitamin B8!).
A great alternative to raw/brown regular sugar. It’s a super sustainable sugar with a Low GI of 35. We like using it in our Snickers Cake!
Dates are super versatile and yum. These have a high GI level so just be conscious of the amount you’re eating.
Be sure to use 100% maple syrup. Perfect for pancakes! Like the look of the below? Get the recipe! YUM!
Agave is 90% fructose which is not good at all! So we recommend you choose something else. It funks up your hormones and leads to heaps of health problems, you can read more here.
It can defineitly get VERY confusing, this is why we had a break from all natural sweetener! And guess what… some paleo sweet treats don’t even need any natural sweetener! Checkout these brownies, this apple crumble (below!) and our Mum’s coconut jam slice WINS!
Have you got another natural sweetener to add to our list? Comment below!
Emma + Carla