Move over stevia… there’s a new all-natural, calorie-free sweetener in town! Monk fruit, or lo han guo, is a small gourd-like melon native to parts of China and Thailand, named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. The health benefits of the fruit have been well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine for decades, but its sweet little secret is finally making it into the wellness mainstream.
Monk fruit sweetener is derived from the extract of the dried fruit, and processed into crystal form. It is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar, due primarily to naturally occurring antioxidants known as mogrosides, which give it a cleaner and more intense sweetness, with no bitter aftertaste. Monk fruit has zero calories and carbs, and does not raise blood glucose levels — making it a good choice for diabetics and popular with the Keto community.
Sweeten your coffee, sprinkle on oatmeal, or mix into cocktails (Swoon simple syrup), monk fruit is stable at cold or hot temperatures, and can be used in baked goods too. Just be sure the monk fruit sweetener you buy has no other sugar additives, as some do.
With no known side effects, and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration, Monk Fruit is the new sweetener of choice for the weight-watching, health-conscious, and wellness set.