When we’re on a low-calorie diet but still want a way to add some sweetness to our favorite food, it can be a good idea to try and find alternatives rather than using ingredients that are packed full of sugar, and one of these alternatives, which has been exploding in popularity over recent years is monk fruit sweetener.
Originating in Southern China, monk fruit sweetener has gradually started becoming more readily available in many supermarkets and some general stores, and due to just how many health benefits come from consuming it, you really won’t want to miss out on using it if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to liven up your meals.
Here is all you need to know about monk fruit sweetener, including its taste, health benefits, and how you can use it in your cooking recipes.
How Does Monk Fruit Sweetener Taste?
If you’ve ever tried regular sugar food sweeteners, then the taste of a monk fruit sweetener is very similar to that. However, although it is a lot stronger and far more noticeable in its taste, usually estimated to be between 150 and 200 times sweeter than sugar.
This is why only extremely small amounts of this ingredient are needed to liven up the taste of a dish.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Using Monk Fruit Sweetener?
The biggest reason people will decide to use monk fruit sweetener instead of regular sugar is because of how much healthier it is, mainly because it contains zero calories while still tasting just as delicious as regular sweeteners that we are all so accustomed to using on our food.
Alongside containing no calories, monk fruit sweetener also possesses no carbs, so it will not raise your blood glucose levels and lead to health complications if too much of it is consumed, making it much safer for people with diabetes to consume.
On top of this, monk fruit contains mogroside which is anti-inflammatory and is also packed full of extra antioxidants, which are chemicals that help to stabilize our blood while protecting our cells, making this a much healthier alternative to choose when you want to sweeten up your food.
How Can I Use Monk Fruit Sweetener In Cooking?
A big reason so many people have started becoming big fans of monk fruit sweeteners is not only because of its numerous health benefits but also due to just how many different ways you can use it while cooking.
Whether it’s cooking up a hearty meat-based meal, baking some desserts, or even enjoying a sparkling beverage, you can add it to essentially any food or drink to make it that much sweeter and more delicious.
Here are some of the ways you can incorporate monk fruit sweetener, depending on what you are making.
Substitute It For Sugar In Baked Goods
The most popular use for a monk fruit sweetener is for adding a little more flavor and sweetness to baked foods, whether it’s cakes, cookies, or really anything that can be made from dough or batter.
You will be able to use monk fruit sweetener in the core recipe itself, along with using it as part of the sauce if you would like to.
With that being said, monk fruit sweetener is said to be at least 150 times sweeter than regular sugar, so you really won’t need to use much at all to get the desired level of sweetness.
Half a tablespoon is usually more than enough to use in the core of baked foods to elevate their sweetness levels, though if you are also planning to use it in some chocolate or caramel sauce for example, you will only need to add a quarter of a tablespoon since you don’t want the taste to be too harsh or overpower the rest of the delightful flavors within the sauce.
The rule of thumb is to use around half the amount of monk fruit sweetener as the amount of sugar you would usually use, which will still give you a tremendous amount of flavor even with just a fraction of a teaspoon added to the recipe.
Monk fruit sweetener can be added to any meat dish to make the overall taste a little more lively and vibrant, perfect if you’re cooking up a barbeque and want to impress your friends and family with some of the best chicken pieces and burgers they have ever tasted.
This sweetener is usually the best addition for when you want a “sugar-free” meat-based meal which is a lot healthier than simply sprinkling them in salt or sugar.
You will ideally want to use it as part of a sauce before then brushing it over your meat once it’s piping hot and done cooking.
For example, if you’re preparing a delicious teriyaki chicken dish, try including just a ¼ cup of monk fruit sweetener with soy sauce, ginger puree, and garlic puree that you will be able to use as the coating to your chicken.
Add A Bit Of Sweetness Yo Your Breakfast
If you want a small meal in the morning which leaves behind the sugar but is still packed with enough flavor and healthy nutrients to get you ready and prepared for the day ahead, then monk fruit sweetener is the perfect ingredient to use.
If you plan to use this sweetener in porridge, cereal, or yoghurt, you will only need to add a single teaspoon since you don’t want the fairly strong taste to be too harsh and ruin your morning.
Monk fruit sweetener is also the perfect ingredient to use in keto breakfast recipes, so if you are preparing breakfast bars for example, and don’t want to consume a large dose of sugar first thing in the morning, you can just as easily substitute any sweetener you are using with monk fruit, making it the best option for many people following a strict diet.
If you are the type of person who will almost always add honey or sugar to your breakfast meal, to make your morning even healthier and beneficial to your diet, monk fruit sweetener is a great alternative.
Sweeten your Drinks
From margaritas and wines, all the way to coffee and tea, monk fruit sweetener can be added to any drink that you feel could benefit from tasting a little more vibrant and sweet in its flavor.
When mixed into an alcoholic drink, many bartenders will only add half a cup of this sweetener since this is just enough to make it a very potent ingredient, while still being complimented perfectly by the other mixtures used in the specific drink.
This ½ cup measurement is the ideal measurement for any drinks you plan to add this sweetener to since any more can cause the drink to taste far too harsh and unpleasant, leaving a nasty aftertaste in the mouth.
Where Can I Buy Monk Fruit Sweetener Easily?
While it is definitely becoming more accessible due to its growing popularity, packets of monk fruit sweetener are still a lot harder to come by when compared to regular sugar sweeteners which can be found in virtually any food store.
With that being said, you will still be able to find monk fruit sweetener products in Walmart that even give you a choice of a few variants. They all still contain zero calories and carbs, however so there are no added ingredients that could end up making these versions any unhealthier.
You will also be able to find this sweetener online with several recipe and food shopping sites such as Lakanto or even on Amazon where you will be able to buy the sweetener in multiple different versions including brown, golden, and baking depending on what specific ingredient you’re planning to substitute and what you intend to use the sweetener for.
While growing the monk fruit plan is technically possible, it is so challenging to do and is so demanding that it is never an advised option, especially since it can end up costing you far more in the long term than if you were simply going to buy a pack yourself.
Monk fruits need to be grown in subtropical mountainous regions that regularly experience heavy rainfall, high humidity, hot temperatures, and humic soil.
What makes growing these plants especially difficult is the fact that a person needs to apply artificial pollination to them, since it is difficult for insects to do so given the area and the altitude.
Applying this to dozens of plants stretched across a mountainous field takes an incredible amount of work and dedication, so growing is never really an option.
While the monk fruit sweetener is undoubtedly skyrocketing in popularity thanks to being a deliciously healthy alternative to sugar sweeteners, it can still be a little troublesome to find in many stores.
The good news is that many supermarkets and even smaller food stores are beginning to pick up on the fierce demand for this tasty extra ingredient, so you can be sure it will be more readily available in the near future.
To learn about sugars and the different sugars we use in fudge making, check out these blogs:
- Is caster sugar or granulated sugar best for making fudge?
- What makes jaggery different to brown sugar?
- What is muscovado sugar?
Last update on 2023-03-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API