It should be so simple. Sugar – it’s pure, it’s natural, has no fat and relatively few calories per teaspoon, yet we villainize it and cut it out of our diets with a variety of substitutes, including artificial sweeteners.

According to an article published in 2012 by Harvard Medical School, however, artificial sweeteners may actually contribute to weight gain by giving a false sense of security that says its all right to eat in excess as long as you’re drinking a diet soda. The article goes on to state that artificial sweeteners can make people crave even more sugar while making un-sweet foods less palatable.


Some people, including diabetics, should consult with a doctor about sugar substitutes, but if you’re looking for a natural replacement for processed sugar, choices such as maple syrup, molasses, honey, agave or date sugar are easily available. Used in moderation, a little sugar may be preferable to filling your body with artificial chemicals.

Mixed Berry Cobbler

2 c. mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.)
3-4 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. low-fat milk
2 tbsp. softened butter
2 tbsp. sugar (set aside)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine berries, honey, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently toss until berries are coated. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in milk and butter until mixture is smooth. Butter bottom of a baking dish and pour in berry mixture. Pour batter over fruit and sprinkle top with set aside sugar. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and crust is golden brown. When finished, remove to a cooling rack.

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