Roasted vegetables. Picture: Supplied
Roasted vegetables. Picture: Supplied

7 ways to add sweetness to food without sugar

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Mar 5, 2020

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When preparing a blend, sugar is commonly added to help balance and round out a flavour. 

It contributes to your nutritional label’s sugar totals, but what if you wanted to add it to your blend and it’s not there? Or that you just don’t like it? 

According to blogger and author of I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson, below are some sweeteners that you can try. 

Crushed berries. Picture: Lisa Romerein

Crushed berries

Instead of jam, crush some fresh or frozen berries (perhaps with a little stevia) and spread on toast.


Instead of sugar in your coffee. Try adding a dash of it to coffee as it brews. Toss it into the coffee maker and let it infuse into the grinds.

Coconut flakes. Picture: Supplied

Coconut flakes

Use coconut flesh and flakes to sweeten porridge.

Licorice root tea

Use this tea in chocolate treats and baked things. A small teaspoon of the root (ie not after it’s made up into tea) adds instant sweetness.

Cooked onion. Picture: Supplied

Cooked onion

Use a cooked onion to sweeten pasta sauces. Many savoury foods have loads of sugar added. This is especially true for foods with a tomato base due to tomato’s acidity. Sweeten with lots of cooked onion instead. Let them caramelize on the stove top until they’re deeply golden, their sugar oozing out. 


Use applesauce to sweeten muffins. Apples still contain fructose, but in moderation, they’re fine and can substitute for sugar in muffins, etc.

Roasted vegetables. Picture: Supplied

Roasted vegetables

Roast vegetables instead of dessert. Eat the roasted vegetables at the end of the meal and you will be far less in need of a sweet. The most desert-like ones are sweet potato, squash, beets, and carrots. 

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