Try the below sugar-free cherry syrup recipe to avoid commercial syrups that contain half the daily required amount of sugar intake in just one tablespoon!
Your choices in what you are consuming daily can vastly affect your health. Cutting sugar from the daily diet is one of the most important habits that many people still don’t follow. While some might make a conscious choice in not adding any sugar to their meals, it is not always easy to cut it off completely. Even a lot of the processed foods that we eat regularly contain sugar which many of us are unaware of. Therefore, it is essential to understand the nutritional composition of these processed foods before adding them to our diet. If cutting sugar entirely is not something that seems plausible to you, then looking at other alternatives for sugar is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Talking about processed foods, syrups such as maple syrups, chocolate syrups, corn syrups are commonly used as sweeteners in drinks, baking goods, pancakes, etc. The cherry syrup is one such popular syrup that you can add to lemonades, sodas, yogurts, waffles, pancakes, etc. But like any other syrup, the cherry syrup has a lot of sugar which can negatively impact your health. You can avoid this by processing a homemade cherry syrup with the following sugar-free cherry syrup recipe. Keep on reading to find a sugar-free cherry syrup recipe.
Commercial Cherry Syrup
Most commercial syrups have large amounts of refined sugar. On average per 100g or half a cup of cherry syrup contains about 17g of refined sugar. Recommended doses of sugar for adults are around 24 – 30 g a day, including all the sugar we intake in natural forms such as fruits. Hence, if you pour a few tablespoons of cherry syrup on your waffles or yogurt or drinks, it is already covering most of the recommended values, and that too in the form of refined sugar, which is the most harmful for your health.
If you still want to enjoy the delicious cherry syrup, we have a few recipes to make cherry syrup without any preservatives and healthier alternatives to refined sugar. You can use jaggery, coconut sugar, and/or other natural sweeteners to process a sugar-free cherry syrup at home.
Sugar-Free Cherry Syrup Recipe
Recipe 1: With Jaggery
- 1 – 1 ½ cups cherries (whole and unseeded)
- ¼ cup Jaggery
- ¼ cup Water
Cut the cherries in halves and ensure that you de-seed them properly before cutting them. Add jaggery and water to a pan and let it boil for about 5 minutes. This will give you a sweet syrup. Next, add the cherries to this mixture and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. You can also mash the cherries if you do not want the chunky bits. Let it cool, and the sauce is ready to eat.
Why Use Jaggery Instead of Sugar
Jaggery is a kitchen ingredient made with sugarcane and is the source of brown sugar. It is rich in minerals and vitamins, making it a great alternative to refined sugar. Here are a few of the reasons why you should use jaggery instead of sugar:
- Jaggery has more nutrients than refined sugar.
- It helps in detoxifying the liver and maintaining gut health.
- It may help in purifying blood.
- Jaggery may help to lower blood pressure and treat anaemia.
- It takes longer to process by the body, which can help you feel fuller for longer and prevent overeating, unlike refined sugar.
While jaggery is a healthier alternative, anything consumed in large quantities is not beneficial to health as it essentially is a type of sugar only. You can use it to replace sugar but in nominal amounts.
Other Sugar-Free Cherry Syrup Recipe
Recipe 2: With Coconut Sugar
- Coconut sugar
Start with removing the pits of cherries as it is the most time-consuming task. Now take the cherries in a pot, add some sugar, with about half a cup of water, depending on how thin you want your sauce to be. Add a pinch of salt to bring out the taste of cherries. Let it cook on simmer for 5-10 minutes and stir well. Mix one tablespoon cornstarch in 2 tsp water and add the mixture to the mix to achieve a sauce-like consistency. Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat and your fresh cherry sauce is ready.
Recipe 3: With Any Other Sweetener
- 1 cup cherries (clean and pit them)
- Two tablespoons of water
- Sweetener of choice
- Almond extract
In a pan, add cherries and water and let it cook on low heat. You can even add a few tablespoons of fresh orange juice to this liquid consistency. Now, add a sweetener of your choice like stevia, monk fruit, etc. Cook for about 15 minutes until it becomes soft and juicy. Add a little bit of almond extract or a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor.
Why Avoid Sugar?
Sugar is one of the most common reasons for obesity and chronic diseases and can negatively affect various body parts impacting their proper functioning. Here are a few of the reasons why you should avoid consuming sugar.
1. Weight Gain
Excess sugar consumption can accelerate weight gain and even cause obesity. Consuming sugar does not curb hunger and does not help you feel full, further leading to snacking or overeating.
2. Skin Aging
Sugar can cause accelerated aging as the sugar molecules attach themselves with collagen fibers, making them lose their flexibility. This in turn causes wrinkles and fine lines, thereby making the skin look old and dull.
3. Cause Skin Acne
Sugary foods, especially processed sugars spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased oil production and inflammation. These can lead to the development of acne.
4. Increases Stress Level
Even though sugar is generally consumed to reduce stress, it can have the opposite effect on your health. It may help temporarily to reduce stress, but sugar consumption can affect insulin levels, increasing stress within the body and overall mental health.
Like stress levels, sugar can provide an instant boost of energy, but as its effects decrease, it can make you feel even more sleepy and lazy. Sugar consumption is usually linked to lethargy.
6. Increased Oxidation
Fructose in sugars accelerates the process of oxidation in our cells, which can cause damage to organs and increase the risk of numerous health conditions, such as liver disease, kidney failure, and more.
7. Damages Immune System
Sugar consumption can lower the efficiency of our immune systems and can make us prone to infections and other diseases.
8. Liver Damage
Sugar contains fructose which is metabolized by the liver. Excessive consumption can affect the metabolism rate, store fat in the liver, and cause damage.
9. Affects Cholesterol Levels
Refined sugar can lower the good cholesterol in the bloodstream, thereby causing damage to the arteries. It can negatively impact heart health and cause heart diseases.
These are just a few reasons why you must avoid sugar, especially refined sugar. Natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables do not have harmful effects, but everything should be consumed in nominal quantities.
People of all age groups should avoid added or refined sugar, as it can negatively affect your body’s overall functioning, leading to diseases. Saying this, even though all this implies to people of all age groups, if you have a medical history of any other illness, such as heart diseases, or are at risk of diabetes, then sugar is a complete no. It can cause adverse effects leading to long-term illness. Further, you should not give excessive sugar to even children as it causes hyperactivity, which suddenly dips, leading to lethargic behavior over time.