More and more people are avoiding sugar in any shape and form (white, coconut, brown…) and are turning towards alternative sweeteners for baking or their coffee first thing in the morning.
One of my favorite sweeteners that I started using recently is : Monk Fruit Sweetener also known as monk fruit extract.
So what is Monk fruit sweetener?
Although this sweetener has been around for decades, it only recently became increasingly popular because companies started selling it to the masses whether in local supermarkets or online. It’s natural, contains zero calories and is 100-250 times sweeter than sugar (which is why it is often mixed with inulin, erythritol to reduce the sweetness). Monk fruit sweetener is extracted from monk fruit, grown in Southeast Asia.
In order to create the sweetener, you need to remove the seeds and skin of the fruit, crush it to collect juice and then dry it into a concentration powder. Monk fruit contains only natural sugars mainly fructose and glucose.
Now here is the catch what makes this sweetener special: unlike other fruits, this particular one is NOT responsible for its sweetness. Instead the sweet taste come from very specific antioxidants called mogrosides. During the above mentioned process, mogropides are separated from the fresh-pressed juice and therefore monk fruit sweetener doesn’t not contain fracture or glucose.
Mogorsides extracts have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and they inhibit harmful molecules and help prevent damage to your DNA (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17852496/ effects), anticancer properties (not still clear, more research is being done) and anti-diabetes properties (this sweetener won’t raise your blood sugar levels, good option for people with diabetes).