When you think of sugar, you probably think of white, granulated crystals that people bake
with or sprinkle over grapefruit or cereal. But there are lots of different types of natural sugars, each with its own distinct flavor and uses. Natural sugars range in calories
from about 13 calories per teaspoon for brown rice syrup to 20 calories per teaspoon for honey. back to top
What is table sugar?
Table sugar, or sucrose, comes in a few varieties. Table sugar is a processed
form of sugar cane or sugar beet. Molasses is the liquid form of table sugar. This dark-brown syrup is the least processed table sugar. Brown sugar is table sugar that contains some molasses. White sugar has been refined to remove the natural yellow-brown color. back to top
Is honey more nutritious than sugar?
Honey contains small amounts of minerals
, amino acids
, and antioxidants. It is a sweet, thick, supersaturated
sugar solution. You've probably heard that bees make honey, but do you know how? Worker bees eat the nectar
of flowers and then convert it to honey. Bees store and age honey in hives by creating a wafflelike structure called a comb. There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the United States! Lighter-colored honeys have a mild flavor, while darker honeys usually have a strong taste. Some people prefer honey from specific flowers like clover or orange blossoms. Do your own taste test to see which honey you like best. back to top
Are all maple syrups the same?
Pure maple syrup is made by boiling the sap that comes from sugar maple trees in the spring and fall. Most of the pancake syrup sold in supermarkets is not real maple syrup. Some commercial brands contain corn syrup, water, caramel coloring, and other ingredientsóbut no actual maple syrup! Check the food label
before you buy. The label must say "100 percent pure maple syrup" to be the real thing. You can find affordable large containers of pure maple syrup at health food stores and some markets. Replace the white sugar in your corn bread recipe with maple syrup for a taste treat. back to top
Is corn syrup a kind of sugar?
Corn syrup, or fructose, is cornstarch that has been treated with acid and *enzymes*. It has replaced table sugar in many processed foods and beverages because it is usually as sweet as sugar and enhances flavor, color, and product stability. It also brings out the sweetness of table sugar and artificial sweeteners. Some people use corn syrup when baking
treats like pecan pie. back to top
What is brown rice syrup used for?
As you might have guessed, brown rice syrup is made from brown rice. The rice is lightly filtered to make a thick syrup, which gets its buttery flavor from the rice oils. Brown rice syrup is often used as a sweetener in soy-based baked goods like cookies and crackers. Check the Nutrition Facts label
on most sports bars, and you'll find brown rice syrup. back to top