Outstanding Natural Sweetener-Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is the latest darling of the alternative sweetener world, but what is this exotic fruit, and how does it compare to sugar and other substitutes?
The monk fruit is a small, sweet melon native to China and Southeast Asia. Legend has it that Buddhist monks cultivated the lemon-sized fruit in the 13th century. In China it's known as luo han guo and has traditionally been used in herbal medicine. Now monk fruit-derived sweeteners have entered the Western market, where they are thought for having zero carbs and low or no calories.
Monk fruit sweeteners such as Monk Fruit In The Raw and Nectresse are made from monk fruit extract, which is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. The consistency of these products is similar to granulated sugar. They are heat stable and can be used in cooking and baking, but they are so much sweeter than sugar that a 1-to-1 substitution is generally not recommended.