Filed under: Grocery
Peruvian yacon syrup. That’s yacon with a “Y.”
Two months ago, this dark brown syrup similar to molasses was relatively unknown outside of South America. Thanks to a famous television doctor, who we will refer to as “Dr. O” for anonymity’s sake, yacon syrup is now receiving the respect and reverence it justly deserves. This all natural sweetener contains about half the calories of honey and it barely impacts blood glucose levels, making it a great sugar-substitute for diabetics and people looking to cut calories and lose weight.
It all starts in the Andes Mountains in Peru where the yacon plant is grown. Unlike many tubers and rooty plants which store carbohydrates as a starch or glucose, the yacon plant stores carbohydrates as a “Fructo-Oligo-Saccharrides” (FOS) or fructose. The small difference in this plant makes a big difference in the human body: because our digestive systems have no way to break down FOS, it goes through our bodies with minimal caloric and blood sugar level impact. Luckily, the high amount of potassium and moderate levels of calcium and antioxidants yacon also contains do get absorbed. It is also thought that yacon syrup encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon while eliminating bad bacteria, which can lead to dramatic weight loss in some people.
The best news is that you can use yacon syrup in nearly the same way that you’ve been using honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, and plain or raw sugar. Depending on how it’s made, yacon syrup ranges in color and flavor from darker and molasses-like to lighter and caramel-like. The varieties from Essential Living Foods and SunFood, for example, are 100% organic and minimally processed and pasteurized, so they are lighter in color and have a sweeter than other brands. We highly recommend drizzling yacon syrup on your morning oatmeal and using a few drops of it in a homemade yacon salad dressing for dinner.
Be sure to check out the Get Fit Guide in your state to see other great products and recipe ideas that will nourish you, motivate you, and help you perform at your peak level!
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