Alternatives to Sugar and What The Old Timers used

If you believe everything the media and our government says, then there isn’t anything to worry about. Right?

I think we all know better. While doing some research, I ran across an interesting story about the sugar shortage during World War 1.

It seems that the world or at least the United States depended on France for most or all of the sugar that the citizen’s consumed. I say most of the citizen’s, because we all know that the hills and mountain people had n alternative already. But, for the ones that don’t have the mountain knowledge, I thought I would share some knowledge with you and tell everyone what the American’s used as an alternative to granular sugar.

First a little history on how the sugar shortage came about:

During the war, the farms and fields in France became battlegrounds and for this reason the beet crops couldn’t get harvested. So, what are we going to do for sugar in America? The United States and others invested heav’elly in building processing mills and sugar cane farms in Cuba. This made Cuba, King of sugar. I think we all know how that turned out.

For the common folk and at least for a while, a alternative had to be found. The people of America came up with the answer. If you are old enough to remember when granny put honey on your cornflakes or sorghum molasses on your biscuit, then you are ahead of the game here.

Some of the alternatives were, Maple Syrup, Honey and Molasses.

These were used in deserts and other dishes that required a sweetening. When a cup of syrup or honey was used to replace a cup of sugar, the liquid in the recipe was about a fourth of the amount of sugar that would have been used and that one-third of a cup of sugar is equivalent to one-third cup of Honey, One-half cup of Syrup and about one-half cup of Corn Sugar is the same equivalent to a cup of sugar.

One tablespoon of sugar is equal to one tablespoon of Honey and about one and one-half tablespoons of syrup and one and one-third tablespoons of corn sugar.

There was even another alternative way of saving sugar. You could save sugar by using raisins, dates, figs, dried pears and fruit pastes on breakfast cereals.

Fruit marmalades, butters and jellies were used to take the place of the ordinary sweetening at the meal time and not as a accessory. Fruits could be preserved without sugar and was added when sugar was available or at the time of use.

Also, when preserving fruits, they used a thin about of syrup instead of a heavy syrup. The rule of thumb was, when you wanted to use sugar on something, cut it in half and replace that half with one of the alternatives.

Apples, Cherries and strawberries could be preserved by drying them. The mountain people will remember granny or mom putting a sheet on the car hood and spreading out the Apples in the sun to dry. This was a way of preserving them. When they were ready to make a cake(remember those apple stack-cakes, um um) they would add the necessary sweet’ner in the form of a syrup. When sugar was abundant, the fruits were made into jellies and jams.

I can remember, that you could go to any farm and find apple or pear tree’s. Everyone had their own fresh supply of fruits. It might not have been the best or biggest apples, but they have their own supply.

I know that I have jumped around on the subject a lot, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m trying to say. No one knows what the days have ahead for us, but remember this. God loves you and with the way the world looks right now, you better get to know him and soon.

Thank You

Rick Cooper

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