I have a bad track record with alternative sweeteners in the past...
I have tried anything and everything (even the bad stuff!) -- from aspartame to stevia, from agave nectar to sucralose, from corn syrup to saccharin and so many in between.
My body revolted in a variety of ways. I got headaches. I was nauseous. On one occasion, I broke out in hives.
Refined sugar didn’t seem to bother me all that much, so I resigned to the fact that refined sugar was possibly going to be the only sweetener for me. (Despite all the evidence that refined sugar is an unhealthy addition to my diet.)
So you can imagine my skepticism when I heard about inulin...
A couple of months ago I tried inulin. I was ready for the worst to happen. I was prepared for headaches and nausea, yet I braced myself and gave it a try anyway.
An hour went by; 2 hours went by. By the time dinner rolled around, I was still feeling great!
I have been experimenting with inulin on a regular basis ever since.
What Are The Benefits Of Inulin?
Inulin is one of those ingredients with multiple potential benefits. In fact, it's one of our top 7 naturals sweeteners that are healthier than refined sugar
It’s high in fiber and is a source of resistant starch. Resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in your gut, potentially improving overall gut health and promoting healthy digestion. Cassava flour and green plantains are also prebiotic sources, but they can sometimes be difficult to source.
Inulin is low on the glycemic index. It adds sweetness to recipes without skyrocketing blood sugar.
Finally, inulin is water-soluble. This is especially important for the right sugar alternative. Agave inulin completely dissolves in water! It is easily used in recipes without a resulting strange texture.
10 Ways To Use Inulin Everyday
#1 --Add inulin to coffee or other hot drinks.
Since it's water-soluble, inulin will dissolve straight into your hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate without clumping or leaving a funny texture.
You simply must try this delicious High Fiber Apple Cider
with, you guessed it, inulin!
This is an excellent and easy way to get your resistant starch every day -- without even noticing!
#2 -- Add inulin to a smoothie.
For an extra gut-healthy punch, try adding inulin to a kefir smoothie
#3 -- Replace corn syrup.
Stir 2 cups of agave inulin into 1 cup of water and warm slowly over low heat until the mixture becomes slightly thicker. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
#4 -- Partially replace sugar in baking.
You can replace up to 50% of sugar in recipes with inulin when you bake. This is helpful for 2 reasons. First, you can break a sugar habit by learning to appreciate less sweet foods. Second, inulin adds bulk without much sweetness, so you don't have to re-calculate wet ingredients, especially in baked goods.
Try inulin in these Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Cranberry Prebiotic Cookies
#5 -- Sprinkle inulin on fruit.
This is any easy way to add prebiotics and fiber to a fruit salad.
#6 -- Use inulin to glaze meat.
Inulin gives ham, turkey, and chicken that sticky, finger-licking good texture without tons of sugar. Here's our delicious inulin glaze recipe
#7 -- Glaze carrots with inulin & butter.
Steam half a pound of carrots and toss with 2 tablespoons of inulin syrup (see #3 above) and 3 tablespoons of melted butter.
Or you can use our Inulin Meat Glaze
over other roasted vegetables.
#8 -- Add inulin to cold drinks.
For a refreshing fiber and prebiotic boost, inulin can be added to iced tea, spritzers, and other cold drinks. Try adding it to our Cranberry-Lemon Mocktail
#9 -- Eat inulin for breakfast.
Ok, well, not by itself... ;)
Sprinkle a bit of agave inulin on cold cereal or oatmeal before adding milk.
You can also try these fiber-rich Busy Morning Breakfast Bars
. With lots of protein and fiber, you can be sure that you and your family are starting your day off on the right foot.
#10 -- Use it as a medicine chaser.
My children hate to take any kind of medicine or supplement that doesn't taste good (I do, too!). So we usually let them chase it with something sweet, like a spoon of honey. Last week, I tried a spoonful of inulin after a particularly nasty-tasting vitamin. It dissolves into a sticky and distracting texture in your mouth. Maybe not something you'll need daily, but at least you know it's there when you do!
I can’t wait for you to try these 10 delicious ways to use inulin.
If you have a wonderful way to use agave inulin, share it with us in the comments!