Are you looking for ways to lessen your sugar intake? One of the easiest places to start is by looking at your regular cup of joe.
Most of us have a coffee routine. But if that routine involves several packets of sugar or sweetened flavors – especially if it’s several times per day – you might be ingesting an unhealthy amount of sugar.
In fact, it might be so automatic that you may not have even considered how to sweeten coffee without sugar. There are, however, many ways.
Keep reading to find out!
How to Sweeten Coffee without Sugar
If the notion of ditching sugar altogether is unsettling, don’t worry. It can be a gradual process. At first, switching out sugar for more natural sweeteners can be a little jarring.
There may be an adjustment period as you transition to your new sweetener of choice. And some will certainly impart a lot more sweetness than others.
But in the long run, you’ll be doing your body a favor. You’ll also be doing your coffee a favor since you’ll begin to experience its flavor in a whole new way. Especially if you’re taking the time each morning to get the most exceptional flavor by grinding it.
Traditionally, honey is the sweetener of choice for tea drinkers. So if you’re a coffee drinker, it probably never crossed your mind as an option.
It’s true that honey does have a distinct flavor and it will impact the taste of your coffee.
Honey is full of healthy vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and C, as well as zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium, to fight off bacteria and other diseases. There are even antioxidants in honey.
Dates rank up there as one of the sweetest fruits. They’re also a great source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. Because of this, people are using them more and more in baked goods and other sweet snack recipes.
Still, you can’t exactly drop some dates into your coffee each morning. To use dates as a sweetener, you need to make a syrup from them first. This isn’t difficult, it just requires some planning.
You’ll need to set aside an hour to soak the dates in water. Once soaked, you put them in a blender with a couple of tablespoons of water until you have the consistency you want. Then simply stir the desired amount of date syrup into your coffee and store the rest in a squeeze bottle in the fridge for easy access.
3. Maple Syrup
Like the first two natural sweeteners on our list, maple syrup also offers some health benefits. The manganese, calcium, potassium, and zinc in maple syrup can help to combat health problems that arise from diabetes, cancer, as well as bacteria.
When shopping for maple syrup, you want 100% syrup and not fake predominantly corn syrup substitutes you might find on the table at the pancake house.
And be sure to skip the Grade A and go right to Grade B. It may sound counterintuitive, but Grade B packs healthy antioxidants you can’t find in the lighter Grade A version.
4. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the flowers of the coconut palm tree. The sap is boiled until the water evaporates out of it. This leaves it with a granulated consistency similar to traditional sugar.
This more natural sweetener could be a good one with which to begin your transition. It has a mild and pleasant taste that leans a little more towards that of brown sugar. And while it only offers slightly fewer calories than regular sugar, it does have more beneficial nutrients.
Plus it’s lower on the glycemic index with a GI of 35 versus 65 for white sugar. This is an important distinction for diabetics.
5. Agave Syrup
Fallin even lower on the glycemic index is agave syrup. It has a GI of 15. It’s also quite a bit sweeter than sugar so you’ll need to use less.
Agave syrup comes from the leaves of the blue agave – a cactus-like succulent plant. The leaves are cut and the juice extracted, filtered, heated, and then concentrated into a syrup. To help break it down further, enzymes may also be added.
This sweetener has a taste that’s similar to honey, but not as strong. It is important to note, however, that agave syrup is higher in calories than white sugar. Although it doesn’t take as much agave syrup to sweeten your coffee, if you’re looking to reduce calories, this may not be the best choice.
When it comes to natural sweeteners, stevia is in something of a grey area. Some consider it an artificial sweetener because what you buy at the store is most likely processed in a lab with added ingredients. So that’s something to consider. The liquid form tends to have less added to it than the powder.
But if you’re really committed to cutting out sugar AND calories, you can always grow stevia yourself, then just dry and crush the leaves.
Whichever route you choose, keep in mind that stevia can have a bit of a licorice flavor to it and a bitter aftertaste. And a little goes a LONG way. So use it sparingly.
7. Not-So-Sweet Options
As you move toward more natural sweeteners, you can experiment with adding flavors that don’t add sweetness too.
Cinnamon is one of the most popular choices with its warm and seemingly sweet essence. Or stir in just a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder to give it a chocolate flavor without the sugar. A few drops of unsweetened vanilla extract can give your coffee a kick too.
Who knows. You may find these flavors so inviting that you can continue to lessen your use of sweeteners until you’ve eventually eliminated using them altogether.
Then you can start enjoying your coffee in a whole new way.
Now that you know how to sweeten coffee without sugar, you may want to consider how you’re preparing your coffee each morning.
You may just find that by purchasing higher-end whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself, you won’t even need sweetener anymore.
So check out our grinder reviews to get started. And prepare for a whole new coffee experience.