- 1 What is Monk Fruit?
- 2 Health Benefits
- 3 How Does Monk Fruit Sweetener Taste?
- 4 How to Dissolve Monk Fruit Sweetener?
- 5 Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe During Pregnancy?
- 6 Recipes with Monk Fruit
Whether for the purpose of losing weight or controlling sugar levels, more and more people are turning to the use of safer sugar alternatives. While stevia is perhaps the most popular one, there are any other tasty and affordable sweeteners you could try. One of them is the monk fruit concentrate.
What is Monk Fruit?
Also known as monk fruit sweetener or monk fruit extract, this sugar alternative is healthy and tasty. It is a small and round fruit, grown in Southeast Asia and it has been around for decades. It was mainly used in traditional Chinese medicine, but it was until recently that it gained popularity. The thing that makes this sugar substitute so popular among people is the fact that it contains zero calories. This makes it ideal for the fitness enthusiast, bodybuilders, weight lifters, for those who want to lose weight or simply for anyone who wants to cut down sugar. When compared to sugar, monk fruit is 100 – 250 times sweeter which means that you will need only a pinch to sweeten your coffee or other beverage.
Safe for Diabetes
An interesting fact about this natural sweetener is that its sweetness isn’t obtained from its natural sugars. Instead, it gets it from the mogrosides antioxidants. During the process, the mogrosides need to be separated from the fresh-pressed juice which explains the fact why this sweetener doesn’t contain glucose and fructose. Since it won’t increase blood sugars, monk fruit concentrate is one of the safest sweeteners especially for those with diabetes. However, if you have this condition and want to use this sweetener, make sure to choose 100% clean monk fruit. This is essential, as on the market you can also find a blend that usually contains erythritol, which unfortunately may affect insulin sensitivity.
It Has Antiinflammatory Properties
One of the main uses of this natural sweetener in the traditional Chinese medicine was for relieving sore throats and reducing phlegm. Prepared as a hot drink, its mogrosides can act anti-inflammatory and can prevent cancer.
It Can Help with Weight Loss
This sweetener contains no calories, no carbs or fat, and that makes it a great option for anyone on a diet. Cutting down on sugar and replacing it with monk fruit would be one step closer towards achieving your goal. But once again, make sure you don’t choose a monk fruit blend that contains added sugars.
How Does Monk Fruit Sweetener Taste?
When compared to regular table sugar, monk fruit sweetener does taste different. While strange at first, you will get used to it shortly and it’ll become an irreplaceable ingredient in your beverages and sweets.
How to Dissolve Monk Fruit Sweetener?
Since it comes in a powdery form, dissolving this sweetener is not difficult. All you need to do is to add the needed dosage and stir, just like you would regularly do with table sugar, stevia or xylitol.
Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe During Pregnancy?
Whether using a liquid, granule or powdery form of this natural sweetener, you can have peace of mind using it when pregnant. It is said that all of these forms are safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children.
Recipes with Monk Fruit
Carrot Orange Bread
If you think the traditional carrot pie is tasty, then you haven’t tried the carrot orange bread/pie. It’s a little moisty, sweet and heavenly tasty. All you need is:
- 5 tablespoons of coconut flour
- 2 cups of blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup of granulated monk fruit sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
Before you begin, you should turn on the oven and preheat it to 180C. Then, take a 20cm loaf pan, grease it lightly and set it aside. In a medium mixing bowl mix the dry ingredients and set aside. When done, take a larger mixing bowl where you can mix the wet ingredients like the eggs, juice and zest, after which you should mix them all together. Make sure to whisk thoroughly until both textures are smooth and without clumps. Now it’s time to add the carrots in the mixture, stir and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for around 30 minutes, and then place a tinfoil over the pan and bake for another 30 – 40 minutes, depending on your oven. Once done, leave it cool a little and you can enjoy it with your family. Bon Appetite!
Note: You can store any leftovers in a container in the fridge for about a week.
Frosted Chocolate Brownies
If you are into brownies and are looking for a healthier version, then you should probably love the idea of trying these intense flavour frosted chocolate brownies with monk fruit instead of a table sugar. For the brownies you’ll need:
- ¼ cup of milk
- ½ cup of yogurt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup dates
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup monk fruit sweetener
For the frosting, you will need:
- ½ cup of yogurt
- 2 dates
- 1 ripe avocado
- ¼ cup of melted chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ dark cocoa powder
- ¼ cup of monk fruit
Before you begin, you should turn on the oven and preheat it to 180C. Grease a 20cm loaf pan or a bit smaller since that way the brownies would be thicker. Now, take a bowl and mix well all of the brownies ingredients, and when no clumps or date chunks are visible, pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (an old trick) and let it cool. In the meantime, you can make the frosting by stirring well all of the frosting ingredients. When done, spread the frosting on top of the baked brownies and chill for an hour. Voila! You’re done!