Nutritional Information > NOURISHING SWEETENERS
Sweeteners are not all created equal.
As a matter of fact there is only a very short list of sweeteners that are reasonably healthy, and even among those, most carry some downsides.
Therefore, rule number one is to use very little sweetening. Rule number two is to only use natural sugars originating from living organisms in their raw or unprocessed form.
At HNINA we have narrowed down our search to three sweeteners in their natural, raw and unprocessed form.
When combined with our organic fair trade single origin raw cacao, sprouted nuts and seeds and pure vanilla, they yield the ultimate healthy chocolate.
Our raw dark chocolate is sweetened with raw honey and our sprouted organic nuts and seeds are coated in the natural strong dark brown pure syrup which comes from the Maple tree. Both are unprocessed. At HNINA we believe in nature when untouched and perfect. (Note: In our Vegan line, we only use Maple syrup and in our vegan spread we use dates.)
Unpasteurized raw dates is our number 1 choice
Dates are loaded are very sweet and loaded with nutrients. Dates contain minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. They are amazing for energy boost (and help with anemia), constipation, digestion, bone health and nervous system.
But they are also very sweet. Their glycemic index is 42: so a little goes a long way. That’s why we use it very sparingly.
Raw honey is our number two choice.
Raw honey is by far healthier that coconut sugar or agave nectar which are processed sugars although not considered vegan by pure vegan standards. Raw honey does not cause a sugar spike and elevated insulin release like refined sugar.
The honey must be raw. It cannot be radiated or pasteurized because when you heat honey, it becomes sugar. Commercial honey is often heavily processed and may even have been chemically refined. Excessive heat destroys its natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
Filtering and processing eliminates many of the beneficial phytonutrients including pollen and enzyme-rich propolis.
The honey we chose is raw and certified organic. It is extremely challenging to find such honey. We found only three places in the world where organic raw honey is available: Mexico, Canada and New Zealand.
Raw honey is so good for you.
It is actually considered a “functional food”, which means it is a food with health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Raw honey indeed contains natural antioxidants, enzymes and minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium and calcium.
Vitamins found in raw honey include riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, thiamin, and niacin.
In addition, the nutraceuticals contained in honey help neutralize free radical damage. Raw honey also promotes the growth of good bacteria in the intestine and reduces homocysteine levels to maintain a healthy heart. Still despite the fact that it is so good for you, you need to not eat too much of it.
The honey glycemic index for one tablespoon equals to 55.. Raw honey is 30. This is the reason we choose to only lightly sweeten our raw chocolate.
Our third sweetener, the one we use for our vegan line (no honey is used in our vegan line) but also to make our ganache is Maple syrup.
Our maple syrup is from Vermont and is a very intense dark brown with very strong caramel flavors.
Our maples syrup is also certified organic. Maple syrup is not raw though because it is extracted with heat. The good news is that you can heat maple syrup without losing its health benefits. Pure maple syrup is also unprocessed and pure even if not raw.
Health benefits of maple syrup comes from to the presence of various vitamins and minerals that is contains: in terms of minerals, it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc. Vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6.
The glycemic index for maple syrup is about 54.
This means that one benefit of maple syrup nutrition is that it impacts your blood sugar levels a bit less drastically than sugar does.
Maple syrup has the following health benefits: it is loaded with the antioxidants such as gallic acid, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, and various flavanols such as catechin, epicatechin, quercetin and rutin. It is also anti-inflammatory (polyphenol antioxidants) and like honey it is amazing for the skin.
Maple syrup has a low fructose content.
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