Food | Sweeteners

Shields Dates

When Larry and I were driving across the USA from Florida to California, we drove right through the famous date growing region of Coachella Valley, so we had to stop for dates. Shields has 10 varieties of dates and if you stop at their date garden you can sample every one of them. They sell natural and organic dates and date products, including their own “date crystals” date sugar.

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Stubbees

Raw pesticide-free honey mixed with organic fruits to make a flavorful spread that can be used as a sweetener or an alternative to jam. Made directly by beekeepers from USA honey. “Stubbees uses only raw honey that is produced right here within the United States and only from hives located at nature preserves and farms that are free of pesticides as well. By sourcing smart we are not only able to promote honeybee health but jobs here at home as well! ”

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Coconut Secret

Delicious condiments made from the sap of the coconut tree, using raw methods aging or evaporating at low temperatures. Their Coconut Aminos is one of my favorite condiments—slightly sweet with very low carbs. They also make Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Nectar (sweetener) and coconut crystals (sweetener). Read their website for lots of information about coconut nutrition and harvesting.

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Bee Raw

A wonderful collection of raw American varietal honeys, with location of apiary, floral source, and food pairings given for each honey. They also sell complementary products such as well-paired organically-grown teas and seeds to plant in your garden to help save the bees. Also lots of recipes and information on how YOU can help save the bees.

Listen to my interview with Bee Raw CEO (and chef) Zeke Freeman..

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Savannah Bee Company

A lovely collection of pure “varietal” honeys gathered from a single type of blossom and “everyday” honeys, carefully chosen for sweetness and flavor profiles that suit an intended use. All honeys are unheated and unadulterated. Owned by a beekeeper who has loved and kept bees since childhood, this website reflects a lifetime of knowledge about bees and uses of honey. In addition to maintaining their own hives, “we buy our honey from ecologically responsible beekeepers who cherish their bees.”

Listen to my interview with Savannah Bee Company Founder Ted Dannard.

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Bare Honey

Raw “treatment-free honey…fresh from the hive,” produced without chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, or any other treatments. Further, their equipment has never been exposed to any chemicals or pesticides whatsoever. “We have chosen to join a community of beekeepers that are breeding stronger bees rather than medicating weak ones. We are following a path of sustainable honey production. Working with the natural rhythm of our bees’ life cycle, we are able to produce a honey far healthier than the supermarket alternative. Our honey is completely free from the dangerous chemical and antibiotic residues used by most beekeepers today.” They have many honey products to choose from, from 2-ounce mini honey bears to an adopt-a-hive program. Honeys in glass jars are straight from the hive, fortified with pollen, or flavored with chilis, lavender flowers, and other good things.

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Suzanne’s Specialties

A unique collection of organic natural sweeteners and sweet products made from them: marshmallow creme made from rice syrup (contains soy), a blend of rice syrup and other natural sweeteners that tastes “Just-Like-Honey”, fruit spreads sweetened with rice syrup, light and dark “rice nectar” and nectars flavored with fruits, maple or chocolate. Plus organic agave syrup, wildflower honey, barley malt syrup, and blackstrap molasses.

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Sugar In The Raw Premium Hawaiian Turbinado Sugar

“100% pure Hawaiian cane sugar from the initial pressing of the cane, allowing the natural molasses to remain in the crystals…Juice is extracted from the sugar cane, and then crystallized through evaporation. These crystals are rinsed with a very small amount of water to remove just enough stickiness to make the product free flowing…The flavor is sweet and rich. The color is natural amber…Some commercial brown sugars are made by adding coloring and flavor back to refined white sugar; this is not the case with Sugar In The Raw.” I called the company to clarify the point about the molasses. Sugar in the Raw is never refined to the point of white sugar. The sugar is crystallized, and the crystals are removed from the molasses and rinsed. So the crystals still contain some, but not all of the molasses.

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St. Dalfour Rhapsodie de Fruits

“Gifts of nature elevated by French chefs into all natural ‘Rhapsodie de Fruits’…St. Dalfour ‘Rhapsodie de Fruits’ are made in the heart of the French countryside to an old recipe from the Loire Valley. They are pure fruit. No sugar is added. Only the natural sweetness of concentrated grape juice is used. This natural sweetness produces a taste which is much fresher and more delicious than the heavy taste of sugar.” Standard flavors plus exotics, including 4 Citrus Fruits, Fig Royal, Kumquat, Mirabelle Plum, Orange & Ginger, and Pineapple & Mango. Website does not sell the product, but it is sold in many natural food stores and can be ordered online through ShopNatural (type “St. Dalfour” in site search box).

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Stevia-Plant.com

Live stevia plants you can grow yourself, plus stevia extract powder from their plants, and certified organic whole and cut stevia leaves and stevia leaf powder.”These new Stevia plants are the result of 8 years cross pollination and selection to produce a crop with very low Stevioside content and a very high Rebaudioside A content…Thus we have eliminated the bitterness or after taste as well as improving the sweetness. Super Sweet Stevia has a cleaner sweetness.” The website doesn’t say that the plants are organic, but here is what the owner had to say about his growing practices in an email to me: “Our Stevia plants can not be considered “certified organic” because we use chemical fertilizers on them. The Stevia plants in our plant production cycle never get planted in the ground. They are grown in pots on elevated benches outside during the summer and brought into the greenhouse for the winter. Outdoors they are not bothered by insects so we have no need to spray. However indoors, during the winter, white fly is a problem and we do spray with “Pyreth-It”. This pesticide is made from the Pyrethrum Daisy and is approver for use on organic crops. We use Pyreth-It only as needed as our first line of defense is Lady Bugs and other beneficials that we have been selling for years. At no time would I ever stop one of my grand kids from going out to the greenhouse and eating a leaf from the Stevia plants. Of course they have been tough to watch out for Lady Bugs and not eat them.”

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Really Raw Honey

“Totally unprocessed honey…still contains pollen, propolis, honeycomb and live enzymes–all the goodness the bees put in…gathered from fields of wildflowers planted by nature, without pesticides or fertilizers.” This is the honey I use for my “everyday” honey. It’s smooth and creamy and has “cappings” on the top–“crunchy bits of pollen, propolis, and capping wax…[they] have the highest concentrations of pollen and propolis, which are known for their healthful properties.”

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Rapunzel Rapadura Sugar

Organically grown, whole, unrefined cane sugar harvested from sustainable family farms in Bolivia and through the Hand in Hand™ fair trade program. It has a unique caramel flavor and fine grain texture. It is closest to the natural whole cane because the molasses is not separated out during the squeeze-dried processing.

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Kahiltna Birchworks

Syrups, sauces, and confections made from birch syrup. Similar to maple syrup, birch syrup is “rich and spicy sweet, with a wonderful caramel-like flavor…produced on our homestead in Alaska’s Susitna Valley, the vast river valley of the Alaska Range. Each spring we collect the sap from the paper birch and evaporate it to syrup in much the same way pure maple syrup is produced. It takes approximately 100 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of birch syrup; maple by comparison is approximately 40:1.”

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Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar

“The juice is pressed from sun-ripened sugarcane, washed, filtered and crystallized-all right on the farm” on the day of harvest. This is evaporated cane juice with the molasses removed, so it tastes almost like white sugar, but is less processed. They also have conventionally-grown sugars that are naturally milled–their natural demarara sugar has a bit of molasses added. Click on “Our Products/Inside our Natural Mill” to see how their sugars are processed and on “Our Environment” to learn how the company utilizes sustainable agriculture and is part of a program to protect the Florida Everglades.

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Ambrosia Honey Products

Raw honey from “high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. There in the unspoiled high country, for a mere 80 days, the bees have the joyous opportunity to forage on over 30 varieties of lush, alpine wildflowers.” Read the description of their process. It’s wonderful.

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