Monk fruit extract is quickly gaining popularity among people seeking out sugar alternatives. It has the advantages of being low in carbs and coming from a natural, plant-based source, unlike many commonly used sugar-free sweeteners. Thinking of giving it a try? Here are five sweet reasons to make the switch.
1. Monk fruit’s sweetness doesn’t come from fructose or glucose.
To make monk fruit extract, the seeds and skin are removed before the fruit is crushed to separate the juice from the pulp. The juice is then processed to extract antioxidants called mogrosides, which is where the intense sweetness comes from.
2. It has zero calories and zero carbs.
Because the mogrosides are separated out from the juice, monk fruit extract has zero calories and carbs. That makes it an ideal sweetener for low-carb baked goods and a safe choice for people with diabetes.
3. It’s paleo and keto.
Monk fruit extract checks all the boxes for paleo and keto lifestyles: plant-based, all-natural, sugar-free and low in carbs. That’s why we use it to add just a hint of sweetness to our Grain-Free Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins!
4. Monk fruit extract is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar.
Yep, monk fruit is extremely sweet, though not quite as saccharine as stevia, which is 200-300 times sweeter than cane sugar. (If you’re wondering, sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, is 400-700 times sweeter than sugar—yikes.)
5. It really is named after monks.
Monk fruit (aka luo han guo) is a small gourd native to China and Thailand. It looks a bit like a melon. It got its name from 13th-century Buddhist monks who used it to make medicinal teas. Monk fruit is tricky to grow and doesn’t ship well, which is why you’ll typically only find it in extract form at the grocery store.