What is Monk Fruit?

Many probably do not know about or much about Monk fruit, also known as “luo han guo” or the “Buddha fruit.” It is a small, round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. Monk fruit has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, but the FDA didn’t approve its use as a sweetener until 2010. Monk fruit sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit, crushing it and collecting the juice, which is then dried and turned into a concentrated powder or granules.

Mogrosides, Potent Antioxidants

Monk fruit extract gets its intense sweetness from unique antioxidants called mogrosides. Mogrosides are metabolized differently by the body than natural sugars. That’s why, despite their very sweet taste, these fruits contain no calories and have negligible effects on blood sugar. During processing, mogrosides are separated from the fresh-pressed juice of the monk fruit. Therefore, monk fruit sweetener does not contain fructose or glucose. Depending on the amount of mogrosides present, monk fruit extract can provide a level of sweetness around 100–250 times greater than table sugar. This is why many manufacturers mix monk fruit sweetener with other natural products such as inulin or erythritol to reduce the intensity of the sweetness. Monk helps fight against free radicals in the body thanks to the potent antioxidant affects of these mogrosides. In fact, studies have shown that mogrosides “significantly inhibited reactive oxygen species and DNA oxidative damage.”11

Monk Fruit Can Also Aid Weight Loss and Decrease Risk of Cancer

Monk fruit has also shown to work as a natural obesity treatment.12 Using monk fruit sweetener to replace sugar or other sugar substitutes such as aspartame. Can help those already suffering from obesity and diabetes from furthering their condition. Natural sweeteners contained within monk fruit have proven in multiple studies to have anti-carcinogenic effects. Which is ironic because other sweeteners are proven to increase the risk of cancer, while monk fruit sweetener has the power to decrease the risk of cancer.13,14,15,16

  1. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09637480701336360
  2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814607009314
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11205869
  4. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0206320
  5. http://www.cancerletters.info/article/S0304-3835(03)00285-4/abstract
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3759486/

No sweat recipe of the week

Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet Potato (medium sized)
  • 3 Eggs (preferably pasture-raised)
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup Monk Fruit sweetener (I recommend the Lakanto brand)
    • Note: You can also use 1/3 cup of Raw Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 TBSP Coconut flour
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened Cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • ¼ tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Ceylon cinnamon (or organic cinnamon)
  • Pinch of Sea salt
  • ½ cup Dark Chocolate chips (Pascha Brand or Lily’s Brand)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  2. Use a fork to puncture holes all around the sweet potato
  3. Throw Sweet potato on an oven safe dish and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes
  4. Once your sweet potato is soft and cooked through, wait for it to cool a bit, then peel off the skin and mash it up in a bowl
  5. Turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
  6. To the bowl with mashed sweet potato add your wet ingredients: eggs, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla to the bowl and mix together
  7. Then add your dry ingredients: coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips
  8. Mix well
  9. Line an 8×8 glass baking dish with oven-safe parchment paper
  10. Then add sweet potato brownie mixture to glass baking dish
  11. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes

Let rest to cool a bit