Here's the problem—you need to watch your blood sugar, but you love to bake and sample your wares!. What are the best non-sugar alternatives for baking?

Sugar adds sweetness and flavor to quick breads, cookies, cakes, muffins and other baked goods, but it also affects texture, moistness and color. In some recipes, you can reduce the amount of sugar by 25% with good results. In other recipes, you can't replace or reduce the sugar at all.

You sometimes can compensate for the loss of sweetness by adding extra vanilla, almond flavoring, cinnamon, nutmeg or even bits of fruit such as raisins, diced apples, dried cherries or mashed, ripe banana, which come with fiber and nutrients in exchange for the small number of added calories.

Sugar substitutes such as aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda) aren't ideal for baking because their sweetening power is degraded by heat and they don't contribute to the texture or color of baked goods. Sugar substitutes that incorporate sugar, such as Equal Sugar Lite and Splenda Sugar Blend, make for better baking.

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