What Is Apple Sugar? (Benefits & How to Use It)

In the ever-evolving quest for healthier alternatives to traditional sweeteners, apple sugar has emerged as a promising contender. 

This liquid sweetener, derived from the natural sweetness of apples, offers a unique combination of versatility and health benefits that sets it apart in the world of natural sweeteners.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly what apple sugar is and dive into its nutritional benefits, as well as where to buy it and how to use it.

What is apple sugar?

Apple sugar is a liquid sweetener made from concentrated apple juice. It is touted as a healthier alternative to traditional sweeteners like table sugar and honey.

Surprisingly, apple sugar doesn’t taste like apples at all. It has a sweet, neutral flavor that blends seamlessly with other ingredients and won’t affect the way a dish tastes.

Apple sugar dissolves easily in both cold and hot beverages, making it a versatile and convenient sweetener. It is often used to sweeten coffee, tea, smoothies, dressings, and baked goods.

Apple sugar nutrition

Apple sugar is low in calories and mainly consists of carbohydrates.

The nutrition facts vary between different apple sugar products, but in general, a 4-gram (½ teaspoon) serving of apple sugar provides the following nutrients (1):

  • Calories: 10
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 0-10 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Sugars: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 0 mg

Here’s how apple sugar nutrition compares to other popular sweeteners, based on a 4-gram serving size (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6):

Apple sugar103 grams
Table sugar164 grams
Coconut sugar134 grams
Maple syrup103 grams
Honey123 grams
Agave nectar123 grams

Compared to table sugar, apple sugar has 25% fewer carbohydrates and is nearly 40% lower in calories (1, 2).

Nutritionally, apple sugar is most similar to maple syrup — both have 10 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates per 4-gram serving (1, 4).

However, we weren’t able to find any information about vitamins and minerals in apple sugar.

Benefits of apple sugar

1. May help manage blood sugar

Apple sugar may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, due to its low glycemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking system that measures how quickly and how high a carbohydrate-containing food causes blood sugar levels to rise (7).

Foods with a low GI cause a gradual rise in blood sugar, while high-GI foods increase blood sugar levels very rapidly.

Musselman’s claims that their apple sugar has a glycemic index of 22.5, which is considered low (7). However, we couldn’t find any independent studies to confirm this.

We do know that apple sugar is made from apple juice, which has a glycemic index of 46 (8). It’s possible that the apple juice is processed into apple sugar in a way that lowers its glycemic index.

Either way, apple sugar likely has a glycemic index that’s lower than most traditional sweeteners and can be a good choice for people who want to lower their blood sugar levels (8).

2. Vegan alternative to granulated sugar

Navigating the world of vegan alternatives can be a complex journey, particularly when it comes to finding substitutes for common sweeteners like granulated sugar and honey. 

While granulated sugar itself is plant-based, many brands use bone char (a black powder made from charred animal bones) during processing to remove color from the raw cane sugar. 

Similarly, honey is produced by bees and is often excluded from strictly vegan diets due to ethical considerations around animal exploitation. 

Apple sugar, on the other hand, is vegan because it is derived solely from apples. It is a great choice for those seeking to sweeten their food without compromising their commitment to a vegan lifestyle.

Where to buy apple sugar

Apple sugar is available at many health food and supplement stores, as well as online. It can also be found at some supermarkets, depending on your location.

Here are some of the most popular apple sugar products you can buy online:

How to use apple sugar

1. In beverages

Apple sugar is a versatile sweetener that works well in a wide variety of beverages.

It dissolves easily in both hot and cold liquids, and its neutral flavor won’t interfere with other flavors in your favorite drinks.

Try stirring it into your morning cup of coffee, adding a touch of sweetness to refreshing iced teas and cocktails, or blending it into a nutrient-packed smoothie.

2. In sauces, dressings, and marinades

Apple sugar is an excellent choice for adding a touch of sweetness to sauces, dressings, and marinades. 

With a neutral flavor, apple sugar won’t interfere with the flavor of the other ingredients.

Try adding a teaspoon to your favorite vinaigrette, whisking it into a flavorful teriyaki marinade, or stirring some into homemade tomato sauce for a hint of sweetness.

3. In baked goods

Apple sugar can be used to replace granulated sugar or other sweeteners in baked goods like cookies, cakes, bars, and muffins.

Musselman’s recommends using 1/2 teaspoon of apple sugar for every 1 teaspoon of table sugar, when substituting apple sugar for table sugar.

However, it’s important to note that apple sugar is a liquid sweetener, so it may alter the consistency and texture of your baked goods. 

4. On pancakes, waffles, and more

If you’re looking for a lower-glycemic alternative to pancake syrup, apple sugar is a great option. 

Apple sugar’s syrupy consistency makes it ideal for drizzling over pancakes and waffles, as well as oatmeal and yogurt bowls.

Keep in mind that apple sugar has a neutral flavor, so it won’t taste the same as maple syrup and other flavored breakfast syrups. If you need a flavor boost, try stirring a few drops of vanilla or maple extract into your apple sugar before using it.

Final thoughts

Apple sugar is a liquid sweetener made from concentrated apple juice. It is often used as a replacement for traditional sweeteners like table sugar and honey.

Compared to table sugar, apple sugar is lower in calories and carbohydrates, and it has a lower glycemic index, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes.

Apple sugar has a neutral flavor and dissolves easily in both hot and cold liquids. It is ideal for use in beverages, dressings, marinades, and baked goods.

Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today.  Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.

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