Cooks are discovering that agave nectar, Indian jaggery and other natural sweeteners have nuanced flavors that white sugar doesn’t; plus, unprocessed sweeteners may be richer in minerals and less likely to cause spikes in blood-sugar levels. Plus, some F&W recipes (right) that use the natural sugars listed below.

Christine Quinlan
January 01, 2009
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Turbinado Sugar

Crunchy, light brown raw sugar that’s good for baking and melting. $13 for 4 lbs; sugarintheraw.com.

Recipe: Berry Brioche Bread Pudding

Muscovado sugar

Moist, richly flavored brown sugar. Look for the India Tree brand. $5.25 for 1 lb; dcimports.com.

Agave nectar

Mild liquid sweetener made from agave plants. $23 for six bottles by Wholesome Sweeteners; amazon.com.

Recipe: Cinnamon-Banana Bread

Jaggery

Earthy cane sugar from India sold in dense clumps for grating. $7 for 7 oz; kalustyans.com.

Sorghum

Mineral-rich syrup made from sorghum grain is great on pancakes. $8 for 6.75 oz; bourbonbarrelfoods.com.

Recipe: Grandma Kirk’s Baked Beans