Here's a quick list of natural sweeteners that you can use in place of refined sugar. :)
Raw Honey. Be sure the label reads “raw,” this means the enzymes that digest carbohydrates are intact. Do not feed to infants, they lack sufficient stomach acid to deactivate bacteria spores. Honey can be used medicinally. Since it has been pre-digested by the bees, it is absorbed ultra-quick. Any herbal tea you drink with honey will act faster. Milk sweetened with honey is a great sedative.
Maple Syrup: the concentrated sap of deciduous trees. It is rich in trace minerals. Beware of overdosing on most commercial maple syrups as they use formaldehyde. There are organic syrups available for a price. www.maplesyrup.com. Grade B has the most trace minerals.
Rapadura: this is the commercial name for dehydrated cane Sugar juice. It is basically Sugar that has not been refined, so it still has its minerals. It can be used in baking!
Stevia Powder: a sweet powder made from a South American herb. A little goes a long way – a pinch is worth a spoonful of sugar. Good for people who have blood Sugar issues. Not enough bulk to be used in baked goods, but can sweeten salad dressings, smoothies, whipped cream.
Date Sugar: made from dehydrated dates, it does not dissolve easily. High in tryptophan, so it’s a good sweetener for hyperactive children. Delicious on hot cereal!
Molasses: a “waste” product from the production of refined sugar. Strong taste and moderate sweetness. High in phosphorous tho, so not as alkaline as it could be.
Malted Grain Syrups – usually barley or brown rice – these syrups have been used for thousands of years. They contain very little fructose so have the least amount of ill effects on the body. The syrup is rather thick, like honey. Excellent on hot cereal.
Sorgum Syrup – made from sweet sorghum, a grain related to millet. High in B vits, iron, calcium, phosphorus. Can be used in place of maple syrup.
Read Labels and Avoid: Fructose or High Fructose Corn Syrup; Concentrated Fruit Juice; Raw – natural – turnbinado – sucanat sugars.