Calling all sweet teeth. If you read our Guide to Healthy Sweeteners, you’re now equipped with an arsenal of sweetener-shopping-savvy. You know the best sugar alternatives for your lifestyle and dietary needs, but do you know where to track down these sugary substitutes; especially if you live in a food desert with limited resources? Fear not, I have you covered.
Whether you’re flying on a plane, traveling in an Uber, or vacationing in a tiny house, this should help you navigate the most practical sweetener choices for daily life and travel with some help on where to purchase them.
Where to Buy
Maple Syrup: Maple Syrup is probably the simplest healthy sweetener to find. Heck, you can tap it straight from a Maple Tree if you find yourself lost in the woods. However, it takes a drill, spout, heat, optimal temperature, and an older tree. Therefore, I say, hit the local grocery — or even a convenient store — and you’ll have no problem finding 100 pure maple syrup that is a dark in color (Grade B for higher antioxidants) like Field Day that’s USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified. Just promise you won’t get a sugar-free version laced with artificial sweeteners or those containing high fructose corn syrup.
Raw Honey: Honey is easy to find, but raw, organic honey might be a little trickier. You’ll easily find this at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and health foods stores. I even managed to find a few organic brands including the Madhava USDA organic raw honey at Walmart.
Organic coconut sugar: You can find the USDA certified organic, non-GMO verified Nutiva brand in one pound bags as well as the Now brand, an organic, non-GMO brand sold at Walmart. Walmart carries other brands, but I advise choosing USDA certified organic and non-GMO versions.
Natural stevia: Thanks to this miracle sweetener becoming so mainstream, Stevia in liquid and powder form, can be found at most major grocery stores. Look for USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified brands made from whole leaves like Sweet Leaf Organics at Whole Foods or the Trader Joe’s organic brand.
Monk fruit sweetener: The Now Foods brand offers a USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified liquid monk fruit sweetener. You’ll have to check their store locator to find a health food near you that carries this.
Raw agave sweetener: There is myriad of agave sweeteners today. Make sure you buy a raw version of Agave Nectar and, ideally, a brand like Now Foods, that is USDA certified organic and non-GMO verified.
Brown rice syrup: Often referred to as rice malt syrup, non-GMO and USDA certified organic versions of brown rice syrup could be a bit trickier to find. I found the Lundenberg and Keystone Pantry brands which both qualify.
Xylitol: You can find numerous brands of one-pound bag options at Walmart, Amazon, Whole Foods, and in various sizes from Now Foods.
Best Healthy Sweeteners for Travel
- Natural stevia: I recommend keeping a few packs of these in your purse or suitcase when traveling. While Starbucks now offers this option, their Whole Earth brand is non-GMO verified, but not USDA certified organic; it’s also made with erythritol. If you’re in a bind, Stevia is relatively easy to locate today due to its popularity In addition to the packets like the Better Stevia from Now Foods, you can also find this sweetener in convenient tablet form.
- Monk fruit sweetener: The Lakanto brand of monk fruit packets are USDA certified organic but are made with erythritol. The In the Raw brand isn’t organic but contains no erythritol. You may have to compromise on this one.
- Organic coconut sugar: Madhava, an organic, non-GMO verified brand, is surprisingly sold at Walmart as well as Amazon in convenient packets.
- Raw honey: Yes, these do exist in packet forms like those from Nature Nate’s. I was surprised to find these available at most of my local grocery retailers via their store locator.
- Xylitol: I found a convenient 50-count box of packets at Walmart as well as a 75-count box of packets from Now Foods and Amazon.
Not Ideal for Travel
It’s best to avoid transporting liquid sweeteners when flying; especially with convenient solutions available. I say skip the drip unless you’re planning to head to Carlos Bakery in New Jersey to film a Cake Boss bakeoff episode. To avoid a sticky situation with airport security, yourself or Buddy Valastro, omit traveling with these liquid sweeteners all together:
- Maple syrup
- Raw agave sweetener
- Brown rice syrup
With a little preparation and online-ordering, you can satiate your sweet cravings without compromising your health, regardless of where you reside.
Feature image by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash