What is the best substitute for sugar?
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HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
What are you making?
Echo HalfPint's question - what are you making? There are many wonderful substitutes for sugar - honey, maple syrup....
Aspartame? Just kidding of course ;)
There is no "best substitute" for sugar. What you will use will depend on what you are making, as many sugar substitutes will impart flavor as well. I wouldn't sweeten my tea with molasses for example.
I use stevia in my tea (I was drinking way too much sweetened tea and my teeth were paying a bitter price, but too many drops of stevia can make things taste really weird). I buy gum sweetened with zylitol. My boyfriend drinks things with sucralose, which I think really does taste nasty, but that might be because it always tastes over sweet and a little off to me.
Those are the only sugar substitutes in my home, my boyfriend is low-carb and very particular about added sugar most of the time.
When I bake I reduce the amount of sugar called for, but use regular sugar, partly because I know how it will act and partly because I don't quite understand why I would want sub-par baked goods.
In terms of sugars that aren't cane sugar: I stay away from Agave because it tastes nasty and is super high in fructose. I love honey, but use it more as a flavoring than a sweetener. Date sugar tends not to work that well for anything. Molasses is nice if you are low on iron and need something in your warm milk (for serious). Maple syrup is the only thing for pancakes, but is far too flavorful for almost anything else (except pumpkin pie). and corn syrup is a poor substitute for sorghum syrup in pecan pie.
palm sugar and syrups but whatever your making can have a different reaction to the heat or cooling be careful palm sugar is a sweet sap that hardened its made from palm trees