10 Swaps That Slash Your Sugar Intake
Using this alternative sweetener in your home baking makes it possible to cut down on sugar while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Because no one is really satisfied with a square of dark chocolate for dessert (no one!).
Toss: Refined sugar
Use This Instead: Sucanat, or unrefined cane sugar. It's sweeter than regular sugar, with a strong molasses flavor, so a little can go a long way, meaning you use less sugar overall, says Jack Bishop, Chief Creative Officer for America's Test Kitchen, who oversaw the making of ATK's new cookbook, Naturally Sweet: Bake All Of Your Favorite's With 30% to 50% Less Sugar. Using Sucanat instead of regular sugar in their chocolate-chip cookies took the sugar content from 25 grams of sugar per cookie to 15 grams.
Important Tips: If you're swapping refined sugar for any alternative sweetener, you may need to adjust some other ingredients as well. A few cookie-specific discoveries Bishop and his team made during their baking research:
- Use melted butter instead of creamed butter: "Sugar holds onto moisture, which helps make for a chewier cookie," says Bishop. "Without it, you get a cakey cookie. But by melting the butter, you make the make the water in the butter more available to the flour, which gives you chew."
- Scale down your fats: If you cut back on sugar without adjusting your butter, you'll get greasy cookies, because sugar holds onto fats, says Bishop.
- Add extra baking powder or soda: More leavener will help the cookie spread out more, so you don't get a thick, cakey cookie. (Sugar normally helps with the spread.)