What’s the Deal With: Monk fruit
While we’ve learned throughout the years that sugar is ‘the enemy’ when it comes to our health, it can be a tough thing to give up. Because we all want to enjoy a sweet treat once in a while, or have something to add to our coffee that doesn’t have us coughing because of bitterness, today we’re talking about a natural sweet alternative that still lets you indulge, without the negative effects on our health.
WHAT IS MONK FRUIT?
When choosing a natural alternative to refined sugar, monk fruit has become a popular choice in the wellness scene, and there are lots of great reasons why. Monk fruit is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia that has been used in traditional Eastern medicine for hundreds of years. The extracted sweetener from monk fruit contains zero carbs or fat and does not alter blood sugar levels (which is key). The sweetness actually comes from the mogroside antioxidants found in the fruit. Monk fruit extract can be 150-200x sweeter than sugar, which means you will need to use much less of it to get the same taste as sugar; and unlike other alternative sweeteners like stevia, it has not been shown to produce any negative side effects such as bloating, nausea or gas.
When purchasing monk fruit sweetener products watch out for any fillers such as dextrose, or sugar alcohols (aka those ingredients that end with “tol”). Often companies will blend the product to balance the sweetness or to save money (because mon fruit is imported, it can be expensive to produce). The label should read only ‘monk fruit extract’ to be considered legit.
HOW TO USE IT?
In case you’re wondering, you can definitely bake with monk fruit sweetener products. Cookies, brownies – go crazy, because monk fruit is 100% heat stable. If you are looking for a sweet treat, where you can use monk fruit sweeteneer, we have a recipe for Gluten-Free Paleo Carrot Cake for you.
We also love adding a few drops to cold treats such as homemade sorbet and nice cream. All in all, you won’t have to give anything up because it is a low-glycemic sweetener that is safe to introduce to your diet whether you are pregnant, keto, diabetic, or just looking to watch your weight.
As always, we would love to share with you some of our favourite brands so you can try this out for yourself. Click below for our picks.