You don’t need to add in a scoop of refined sugars to sweeten up your palate. For the sweet tooth fanatics who are reading this and felt backed to a corner when they hear the thought of plant-based foods, the question that comes to their mind is how do you sweeten it? Sugar is a key essential for making your foods taste good.
Surprisingly, there are plenty of vegetables and fruits that are wonderfully sweet and not just that, they come packed with antioxidants, fibers and nutrients that will make your organs smile! They add in the tenderness to baked goodies and the color to your casseroles and sauces. Going for plant-based sweetener alternatives can do plenty of good for you!
Bake With Vegetables And Fruits
Apart from sweetening your taste buds, sugar can be essential in the texture of bakery items. There may be a requirement for you to experiment before you get the right mix in, along with the consistency. Without the right ratio of ingredients, the final product might come out as too soggy, tough or rubbery and inedible during your worst days.
How do you go about substitute good ol’ refined sugar then?
In so many ways- You can substitute the sugars by means of blending dates and stirring or mashing overripe bananas into the dough of batter. This is true for bread, pancakes, cookies and muffins. Bananas help in softening the dough and add in moisture to the baked goodies.
Dates, on the other hand, have an intense sweetness that is perfect for scones and muffins. All you need to do is to cut them up in small chunks and then soak them in lukewarm water. Once they are softened, you can begin with mashing them into a paste. If the paste is tough, then you can add in equal parts of water to the dates (1:1). You can use this paste in a variety of things from sauces to sugar substitutes for your coffee.
You can make use of applesauce or Jaggery to be used as a substitute. They help to provide sweetness to your baked stuff. You may use cooked and pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, beet…just about anything plant-based that is sweet to taste. Keep in mind that adding these can change and alter the texture of the final product, making it denser than it was intended. So, use sparingly and accordingly.
Use Caramelised Onions
One of the best ways to sweeten your veggies is to add in onions, and then proceed to caramelize them. Do it in the same pan as the flavors and sweetness that oozes out of the onions can be infused with the flavors of other foods. You can use them as toppings for veggie burgers, pizzas, tacos, or even your favorite casserole among other plant based meals.
The way to go about it is to add in thinly sliced onions to a searing pan and stir it around for around 5-7 minutes on a low heat- do this until they turn brown. De-glaze the onion with a little water, or for an added flavor you can add in vegetable broth. You can then proceed to cook it at low heat for around 20 minutes while stirring it occasionally.
Sweetening Your Cereal
If you prefer non-dairy cereal, then there are plenty of plant-based milk that are loaded with sugars in them. If you are making it at home, then you can add in a mix of blended dates, spices and raisins. You can add in dried cherries and sweetened dates. It is a guilty-free way to enjoy your breakfast and not worry about the sugars that you are putting in yourself.
Sweet Potatoes And Dessert
What does one even do, since they cannot have ice cream and dessert that are made from animal dairy? You can get all that you need and more, from the plant kingdom!
Roasting a few sweet potatoes brings out the natural sugars in them and intensifies the flavor without the need for you to put in clarified butter or butter. To add in the complexity of flavors, you can dice and put in a sprinkle of cinnamon, cloves and date paste. You can combine cocoa powder and date paste for a guiltless chocolate pudding!
Plenty Of Candy To Go About
There are more than enough ripe fruits for candy substitutes for you to tame your sweet cravings. Take advantage of all the fruits that grow and become sweeter as they ripen, such as apricot, cherries, jackfruit, bananas, cantaloupes, mangoes, guavas, pears, plums, strawberries, papayas and blackberries to name just a few. You can pop them all into a bowl and mix them up with freshly squeezed lime juice and a sliver of chopped mint- you now have a healthy, ready to go, dessert that will more than compensate for any of the ridiculous refined sugars that you would otherwise put in you!