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purecane sugar substitute review CAT
Courtesy of Purecane

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality & Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetic: 20/20
  • Coffee Comparison: 10/10
  • Cookie Comparison: 5/10
  • TOTAL: 91/100

If you’re trying to cut back on sugar but can’t fathom the idea of missing dessert or drinking your coffee black, sugar substitutes are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to your diet. Now, we know what you’re thinking. Another “healthy sweetener?” But as the little packet that could, PureCane is so much more.

Let’s start with the facts: Purecane is an all-natural zero-calorie, zero-carb sweetener made from “sustainably sourced sugarcane fermented to create the purest sweet” meaning it’s good for you and the environment. As a low-glycemic alternative that can be used to replace sugar in baking and beverages, the scientists over at Purecane utilized the Reb-M molecule of the stevia leaf to create this product. Never heard of Reb-M? That’s because it’s the hardest molecule to isolate from the plant. “Reb M is the sweetest molecule out of the over 40 different types of sweet molecules to naturally occur on the stevia leaf,” Dr. Gale Wichmann, Senior Director of Program Management tells us, “but it only makes up the tiniest percentage of the leaf.”

Purecane is also made using the most sustainable fermentation process available without any artificial chemicals, like sucralose. Seriously, the only ingredients listed are Erythritol (which is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol) and fermented sugarcane Reb-M. It’s also keto-friendly, non-GMO and a great alternative for people dealing with diabetes. “In the past, people have relied on sweet foods to survive,” Dr. Alex Woo, Chief Science Officer explains. “These foods provided energy and calories that we need to fuel our bodies. Purecane has developed a way to make that sweet taste with zero calories and in a way that is diabetes-friendly.”

Courtesy of Purecane

Now, on to taste. To add sweetness to your morning coffee or afternoon tea, Purecane offers two products: the packets and the newly launched spoonable canister. Both are adorable and equally functional, but if you’re the kind of person who only ever uses half the sugar packet, the canister lets you choose your ideal sweetness (sans waste). For me, the packet contained the perfect amount of sugar for my coffee, so I went for it.

I was fully expecting to taste the bitter, artificially sweet flavor my taste buds had become accustomed to with substitutes like Stevia or Splenda, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. My single cup of Peet’s Medium Blend was delightfully sweet, had no unpleasant aftertaste and was evenly dispersed from the first sip to the last. I even think it helped mask the bitter coffee taste my very old Keurig is famous for (yes, I know I need to clean it). All in all, it was a clear 10/10 and is now the only thing I’ll use in my morning coffee.

In addition to the beverage sweeteners, Purecane has a baking alternative to bring the joy of no added sugar to your favorite baked goods. With a one-to-one ratio of sugar to Purecane, the baking sweetener can be easily swapped without any confusing conversions or measurements. TBH, my baking prowess starts and ends with eggs, oil and a box of premade cake mix, but after the success of my coffee, I had to give this version a try. So I woke up early one Saturday and set out to make sugar cookies—half with real sugar and half with Purecane. Alas, three hours later I had overmixed the first batch, burnt the second and ran out of vanilla extract for the third. Nevertheless, I soldiered on (and forced my family to blind taste test along the way).

Catrina Yohay

In all honesty, the real sugar cookies were by far the better dessert, but I was surprised by how much sweetness the Purecane batch retained. Flavor-wise, they were delicious—lightly sweet with no artificial aftertaste. But texture-wise? They were thick, cakey and hard once cooled. Could this have been a result of my complete inability to control the testing variables? Absolutely. That being said, I think I'll stick to real sugar when baking and only break out the Purecane on coffee days.

As zero-calorie sugars go, this one certainly takes the cake. It’s a small win, but I feel way less guilty about my morning cups of coffee and I love that I can enjoy it at home or on the go (yes, I keep packets in my purse). And without the usual A.M. blood sugar spike, I didn’t experience any mid-day slumps or energy crashes. Making this swap was a simple change that'll have lasting effects and I love that it helps me start my day on track without sacrificing taste.

Now, who's up for a second cup?

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