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Ditch Refined Sugar Now!

Christmas time is all about cookies. I am doing a cookie swap with a close group of friends on Wednesday night and I’m alllllmost ready!

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Did you know refined sugar is the devil? I avoid it whenever possible and that means in my cabinets too. I don’t buy white sugar EVER. The closest thing I get to white sugar is sucanat or organic evaporated cane juice and even then I don’t really use much of that stuff either. You see – there is little to no nutritional value in these refined sugars. Eating refined sugar is addictive, makes you fat, tired, depressed, age faster, makes your skin dull, weakens immunity and when consumed in excess causes all sorts of diseases… No thanks.

So how do I sweeten my desserts without the use of refined sugars and with nutrition?

Here’s my 3 favorite ways to sugar your sweets that won’t wreak havoc on your health…

Organic Coconut Palm Sugar – This type of sugar is a perfect 1 to 1 substitute for any recipe that calls for regular old sugar. One of the big pluses of coconut palm sugar – it’s completely unrefined and not bleached like typical refined white sugar, helping to preserve all of its teeming vitamins and minerals. It is naturally high in amino acids – has 10,000 times more potassium, 20 times more magnesium and 20 times more iron than conventional sugar. Converting to this type of sugar could also, lower your risk of developing diabetes because it’s glycemic index is half of that compared to sugar.

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I’ve used coconut palm sugar in a lot of my recipes this year and everything has turned out fantastic, including these gingerbread men! The flavor is more like brown sugar and it definitely adds a nice touch of richness to cookies and cakes.

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Date Sugar – Produced by grinding dried dates into a powder, it is completely raw and unrefined. Date sugar is equal parts sucrose, glucose and fructose and much higher in vitamins and minerals than refined sugar. For instance it has more than twice the amount of magnesium, iron and potassium. Date sugar doesn’t dissolve so it’s perfect for sprinkling on top of baked goods in the place of regular old powdered sugar. It won’t be as sweet but will give you that sugary boost you need to make desserts worth while.

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Food Babe’s Sweet Blend – Obviously this is my favorite way to sweeten cookies and cakes. One of the first steps I do in any cookie or cake recipe is to blend the sugar component with the fat component. For my special sweet blend, I like to use organic raw pitted dates, prunes, bananas and sometimes apple sauce or maple syrup together in the blender along with some fat – either organic coconut oil or melted organic butter. This kills two birds with one stone – all you have to do is add vanilla (or other flavorings) and the dry ingredients to make the most deliciously sweet cookies or cakes… I highly recommend this blend as much as possible when baking because it uses 100% whole organic ingredients – no processing and all nutrition.

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Try the recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake & Forever Cookies for the exact measurements of raw ingredients to fat…

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So the next time you are itching to bake and make something sweet think about how many nutrients you can pack into your bite! Imagine your body enjoying all the minerals and vitamins it is receiving instead of attacking itself destroying your immune system and causing disease. Ditch the refined sugar – you have no excuses.

Ok off to make more cookies! Do you have any healthy cookie recipes you’d like to share? Please send me some inspiration.


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50 responses to “Ditch Refined Sugar Now!

  1. Great tips for more healthy sweeteners, thanks. By any chance have you heard or tried Sucanat (essentially pure dried sugar cane juice)? Some of the vegan recipes I’ve been making have called for it and its seem like a good alternative as well and I found some organic versions of it.

    1. Yes I have – I used to use that for granulated sugar but then I found out how amazing coconut palm sugar is! Sucanat is still pretty devoid in vitamins and minerals unfortunately…

      1. Do you have a specific brand of organic coconut palm sugar that you use? Also, are there any to stay away from? I went on Amazon, and there are over 300 results for coconut palm sugar!

  2. yep, i’ve been avoiding sugar since I read “sweet poison” by David Gillespie, its hard at this time of year though, I have done a little baking! I should follow your example and only keep more nutritious sweeteners in the cupboard, for special occasions, I’m still using up the white sugar I bought before I read the book (hate throwing out food!). Thanks for the reminder.

  3. What a great post! I only wish those types of alternatives were available in Australia. I’ve tried about 5 different health food stores, online and forget about the regular supermarkets. You can get sucanat in some rare stores, 500g for about $10. I wish I could just make it all myself as the only option here is ridiculous white sugar! 🙁 The closest I can get is raw sugar.

    1. That’s so sad!!! You all live so much closer to where they produce the most Coconut Palm Sugar too!!!! The Philippines! Maybe check to see if you can buy it on the internet somewhere…Good Luck with your search! Thanks for stopping by Alice!

    2. I just ordered coconut palm sugar from along with lots of other non GMO organic goodies…check it out! my favorite place to shop online!

      1. I almost ordered raw coconut flour but then decided to research it more. Do you ever use it in your baking?

  4. I’m baking a yellow birthday cake for my son, and using a traditional recipe calling for butter, flour, sugar. Can I trade cup for cup refined sugar for the palm sugar you mention? Will it come out okay and not be too different for all my non-healthy eaters?
    Thank you!

  5. I only have one natural food store near me, and I couldn’t find coconut palm sugar there….but I did find ‘organic coconut crystals/sugar’. Is that the same thing and just as ‘healthy’?

  6. Do you use Coconut Palm sugar for both brown and white sugar? Do you do anything different for a recipe that calls for both?

    1. I use it in place of brown sugar, and sometimes white sugar to. It’s stronger if used in place of a recipe that asks for a lot of white sugar…so I do have coconut sugar and half organic white or another white alternative.

    2. A substitute for brown sugar is adding 2 Tablespoons molasses per one cup of sweetener. I believe it is less refined than white sugar. Here is a link that might help you: While molasses is a byproduct of white sugar processing, it isn’t a great amount to get the flavor you want. Some of the natural sweeteners that Food Babe has recommended have a stronger flavor than plain white sugar. Perhaps you could use two different natural sugars to obtain the flavor you are looking for. i.e. one stronger in flavor for the brown sugar and one lighter in flavor for the white sugar.

  7. I just came across this post, but please check out this page (as well as many others out there):

    While certain sweeteners may have 40x (!) the amount of certain minerals and “nutrients,” this certainly doesn’t mean they are nutritious! Have an orange for an actual significant amount of potassium.

    I applaud everyone trying to make healthier food choices — but I hope people consider the health of the planet, as well.

    1. I just read this article and am astounded that nobody has really picked up on the ramifications of Coconut sugar production vs. Coconut oil production. I just purchased my first bag of the stuff and possibly my last since the sugar production side of equation may not be sustainable. Good, nutritive grade coconut is expensive enough and I’d rather have my coconut oil which is far more beneficial to me than some sugar whose nutritive benefits are questionable at best. I don’t eat much sugar of any sort anymore, save for fruits and such as I’m following the Paleo diet. Take a pass on the coconut sugar and stock up on the coconut oil !!

  8. I just ordered some coconut palm sugar and can’t wait to use it. I never use white sugar but I do have sucanat. I like using applesauce or bananas or dates when possible. Thanks for your recipe blend. I love coconut oil and coconut butter.

  9. Does anyone know if the coconut palm sugar adds the coconut flavor to what you’re cooking?

    1. Hi Sarah – I don’t think it tastes coconutty at all… (I know that’s not really a word but I like it!)

  10. To make your sweet blend, what ratios do you use, say for example if a recipe calls for a cup of sugar? Thanks for all this great information you provide!

    1. Sorry – just realized you provided the amounts in the above recipes! I’m going to try those forever cookie! They sound delicious!

  11. Thank you as always! Can you please advice if what do you use for oil when a recipe has oil? What’s the best subtitute?

    1. Hi Amal – it depends on the recipe – for baked goods, you can usually use coconut oil or butter like she mentions in the post under Food Babe’s sweet blend. For most savory dishes, you can use extra virgin olive oil.

  12. For those who still have refined white sugar lying around, don’t throw it out! I use mine to make sugar paste wax. Obviously this isn’t relevant to everyone, but it’s so much better (and cheaper) than traditional wax 🙂

  13. IS there a huge difference in the regular vs organic. Obviously I know organic is always preferred, but my store only has regular. Is it worth it? What am I missing out on if I don’t go organic here?

  14. I have a friend whose daughter is diabetic. What natural sweetener would you recommend for iced tea instead of white sugar?

  15. I’ve already ordered a subscription from amazon, i am loving the organic coconut palm sugar to replace table sugar and its amazing in my milk tea.yummmmm

  16. What about sugar in the raw? I put that in my coffee as the only better alternative to white sugar and all the rest of the junk. Any thoughts?

  17. Hi there! Great website. Love all the work you are doing. Have you ever heard of the following sweeteners and if so what are your thoughts on them?

    Somersweet (product by Suzanne Sommers)


    1. Yes, I would love to know this too. I recently bought some Lakanto. I like that it has a zero glycemic index!

  18. I am not concerned so much about refined sugar as the High Fructose Corn Syrup which is used to replace plain sugar in a variety of products ( from Nabisco Ritz Crackers, to cookies, ice cream, BBQ sauces, ketchups, and everything under the sun that should contain sugar but instead is stuffed with obesity causing High Fructose).
    This ingredient is never used in Europe or anywhere else but America.
    Vani, is there a campaign in the making against High Fructose?

    1. Yeah, after reading that article I won’t use the palm sugar. I’d love to know Food Babe’s opinion!

  19. I have been searching for a brand of Palm Sugar that does not leave “little black things” floating in my coffee. At first I thought these were just…well, i don’t know what i thought! However, after careful examination they seem to be bug parts…yuck! While I love the sugar and its taste, I cannot drink it anymore without thinking of the “bug parts”. Have you noticed this? And would you be able to recommend a brand that potentially doesn’t have these “little black things”. Thus far I’ve used the following brands: Wholesome Sweeteners and Better Body Foods.

  20. Great info! Loved the link about the science behind our bodies being poisoned by sugar. I do organic coconut oil melted with organic cocoa powder, nut butter
    ( I prefer cashew), and honey. I freeze it in cupcake papers and pull it out any time I have a craving. Clean eating Reese’s Cup!

  21. I recently saw that Costco has Organic Sugar. Is this okay? It’s white and its more crystallized – but it’s still white sugar. what is your recommendation? Thanks.

  22. how do I know how much dates, bananas, coconut oil or coconut sugar etc to use in a recipe? What is the replacement value for all of those things? How do I know how many dates to bananas to use? And what kind of flour do you use? do you have a mix to replace regular grain flour with?

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