With the recent news about sugar, you might be looking at ways to sweeten your favorite treats without dumping a bunch of the white stuff in. (We wouldn’t blame you.)
Happily, there are a number of options — after my trip to Quebec last year, I started using more pure maple syrup as a sweetener, and I know plenty of people who swear by agave. But have you ever tried monk fruit?
I’ll be honest — I haven’t tried it out myself yet, but I’m definitely interested. Here’s the scoop on this funky little fruit and how it’s being used now.
What Is Monk Fruit?
- It’s a small, sub-tropical melon found in the remote mountains of Southern China.
- Monk fruit juice is 20 times sweeter than other fruit juices.
- The juice is made by crushing the fruit, mixing the crushed fruit with hot water to create an infusion, then filtering the infusion to leave behind sweet, low-calorie juice containing fruit sugars to make it very sweet. Extract, which is 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, is then made by separating those fruit sugars and spray drying them as a powder.
- You might’ve even seen it around — Starbucks is offering a monk fruit/stevia blend as a sweetener in its stores, and you can find Monk Fruit in the Raw online easily. Each teaspoon of Monk Fruit in the Raw contains less than two calories, which allows it to be marketed as a zero-calorie product.
Do you have a favorite sugar substitute? I honestly get so nervous every time one is announced because, as a child of the 80s and 90s, I ate and drank a lot of artificial sweeteners that were later called out as pretty terrible for you. But this? This sounds pretty groovy! —Kristen