Have you taken a look in the baking section at the grocery store lately? There are more options for sweeteners than ever before. Whether you're looking to cut back on refined sugars or just want to play around with recipes, the Columbus Dispatch has a handy guide to get you started.
The sweetener we're most curious about is agave nectar. We've used it for sweetening tea and the occasional cocktail, but haven't done much experimenting with it in our baked goods as of yet. This article recommends treating it like a cross between honey and maple syrup and says to reduce the required amount of sweetener by one-fourth when substituting it in recipes.
The guide also covers honey, stevia, and a variety of raw sugars. There is a background description of each sweetener and then recommendations for how to use it and substitute it in recipes. We'll definitely be saving this guide to use as a baking reference.
• Get the Guide: Sweet Surrender by Kathy Hunt, Columbus Dispatch
Have you done much cooking with these alternative sweeteners?
Related: Baking with Whole Grains: Muscavado Sugar Cake from Good to the Grain
(Image: Flickr member kthread licensed under Creative Commons)