Monk Fruit- the Longevity Fruit
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Monk fruit is a wonderful natural alternative to sugar. I use it regularly in many of my recipes. I love it’s sweet flavor and it has so many health benefits too. This perennial pod is native to southern China and northern Thailand. The plant is grown for its extremely sweet fruit extract, which contains a powerful antioxidant called mogrosides. This juice is 250 times sweeter than sugar with no calories, and it does not create a glycemic reaction, so it is safe for people with diabetes and healthier to consume than sugar for everybody. Monk fruit has anti- inflammatory properties which protect the body against free radical damage. Monk fruit has anticancer properties which suppress the growth of cancer cells. The antioxidant effects of monk fruit reduce DNA damage. Monk fruit has antibiotic properties which fight all forms of infection. Monk fruit can lower and balance blood glucose levels which may lead to weight loss. Monk fruit lowers blood pressure which has heart healthy effects and helps reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
Mogrosides extract has been used to sweeten baked goods and drinks and in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. 13th-century Chinese monks were the first to record using luohan Guo, or translated, meaning The longevity fruit.
The fruit grows on a vine in the form of 2 to 3-inch pods. It is yellow to brown when ripe. The inside of the fruit contains an edible pulp, which, when dried, has a brittle shell on the outside that makes a golden sweet powder when ground. The inside of the dried fruit creates a white crystalline powder that is extremely sweet with no aftertaste. Monk fruit sweeteners are made by crushing the pulp, collecting the juice, and using it fresh or drying the liquid in slow ovens. This extract contains zero calories but is 250 times sweeter than sugar and loaded with powerful nutrients. The dried fruits are sold in China to make a sweet tea that is believed to relieve any cold or cough symptoms and aid longevity.
In commercial preparations of monk fruit powder, erythritol is added. Erythritol is a zero-calorie natural sugar alcohol made by fermenting corn. It is all-natural and about half as sweet as sugar. Monk fruit companies have added erythritol to monk fruit powder to temper the extreme sweetness of the monk fruit to be more like the sweet flavor of sugar. Home cooks can use the monk fruit sweeteners on a one-to-one ratio like you would with natural sugar. This makes the product highly measurable for most recipes and creates a simple way to translate sugar recipes by swapping equal portions with monk fruit.
I have not used any sugar in my recipes here at High Vibe Time. I believe that sugar is an unnecessary harmful addition to anyone's diet, and I prefer to use the nutrient powered monk fruit. You will see all my desserts, and some of my savory dishes contain monk fruit.
Monk fruit is more expensive than sugar, but all healthy ingredients run a little higher than cheaply prepared additives. The monk fruit is all-natural and carefully cultivated with a tricky grow process that develops many of the nutrients found in the sweetener. Hands down, the benefits of monk fruit outweigh any cost.
You can buy all kinds of monk fruit at Amazon.com.
They have liquid sweetener, which is an extract containing only monk fruit juice and no erythritol, or you can get powdered versions that have erythritol added for tempered sweetness. They have golden and brown monk fruit, which is similar to light and dark brown sugar. These brown monk fruits are created from the skin and seeds of the monk fruit and have a caramel tone to them.
Here is one of my favorite recipes, which is in the recipe files at www.highvibetime.com.