Have you ever wondered if you can grow sugar at home? Here are some simple sugar alternatives that you can grow in your very own backyard.
Turn your orchard or veg patch into a treasure trove of treats with our guide to natural sugar alternatives. These sweet alternatives to sugar are an all-natural option for those wanting to avoid artificial sweeteners and refined white sugar. Not only will they make a great addition to your pantry, but they decrease our reliance on commercial monocultures of sugarcane. Which have a pretty poor record of environmental destruction (hello cane toads).
All of these sugar alternatives have a far superior nutritional profile to “white death” refined sugar. And some of them are even suitable for diabetics. But they are all delicious and will mean you can make homegrown treats for your friends and family – naturally.
Our top grow-your-own sugar alternatives
An incredibly resilient and long lived tree that has sweet pods in wintertime. The carob tree is a great asset to any permaculture garden. And given it’s reputation as a survival food in harsh climates it’s probably a great tree to future proof your patch.
If you live further north, bananas, mangoes and papaya are all intensely sweet when dried. Dried fruit makes a great treat on it’s own, or can be blended and added to cakes, breads and puddings as a sweetener.
Honey is the product of hard-working bees, refining nectar from flowers into sugar. And it’s actually sweeter than sugar! It’s pretty easy to take care of a hive of your own bees, or even just support local populations by growing your own bee-friendly garden.
So plant your patch in bee-friendly flowers or nurture your own hive and give bees a chance!
Sugar beet is an ugly beetroot relative. It is easy to grow in temperate climates and can be easily turned into a sweet syrup. But it does retain an earthy aftertaste, so it’s best for adding to cakes and breads with other flavoursome additives to mellow these flavour notes.
Stevia is a bushy perennial that is native to South America. It has sweet leaves that can be ground into a green powder or turned into a syrup. An alternative sugar that is said to be appropriate for diabetics.
Yacon is a hugely productive tuber and is a relative of jerusalem artichokes. The tubers can be juiced and then turned into a delicious, dark molasses-like syrup. Like stevia, it’s touted as a wonder sugar for diabetics and dieters. And it tastes pretty good too.
So, have you tried growing any of these sweet alternatives at home? What is your favourite natural sugar alternative? Let us know in the comments below!