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How to make fresh fruit sweeter (without adding sugar)

Posted by Didi Gorman on

Fresh fruit is great for quick snacks and for making light desserts and exquisite treats.

Its natural sweetness makes it an excellent alternative to highly-processed, factory-made desserts.

For those of us with a sweet tooth however, the natural sweetness of fresh fruit might not taste sweet enough.

There are several easy tricks we can apply in order to enhance the sweetness of fresh fruit without adding sugar.

Before we dive into the list though, it is important to bear in mind that the resulting sweetness will not be as concentrated as refined sugar is. The following tips aim to intensify our perception of the fruit’s sweetness, but will still taste milder than a sugar-laden dessert.

If you’re looking for simple fruity recipes, check out my book Fresh Fruit Anyone? Easy Homemade Fruit Treats from Scratch.

Now let’s look at the list.

homemade fruit jello

1. Ripeness is key. Very ripe fruit is naturally sweeter. (Very ripe bananas and very ripe mangoes are nature’s ‘sweeteners’ and they’re creamier too).

2. Unsweetened dried fruit is very sweet, and can be chopped and added into a fruit salad, for example, to add sweetness. The chopping will help blend the dried fruit’s sweetness with the rest of the fruit.

3. Speaking of fruit salad, squeeze a very ripe orange over it as a natural sweet sauce.

strawberry nectar

4. Chopping fruit small will intensify our perception of sweetness (and so will shredding, puréeing, mashing, grating, and blending). This is due perhaps to the release of the fruit’s natural juices or to the exposure of more fruit surface to our taste buds per bite.

It’s the same principle which makes blended fruit taste sweeter than the whole fruit.

If you’re making a fruit salad, chop even the small fruits such as grapes, raisins, and small dried fruits.

5. Baking, sautéing, and cooking fruit down into a compote (without adding water), reduce its water content, thus concentrating flavors and increasing sweetness.

Still not sweet enough?
Allow me a personal observation: In order to fully and truly enjoy the pleasant sweetness and vibrant flavors of fresh fruit, one might want to cut down on gratuitous, highly-refined concentrated sugar, often found in various processed store-bought products.

I have written over 30 easy fruit recipes to make from scratch at home!
All the recipes are in my book Fresh Fruit Anyone? Easy Homemade Fruit Treats from Scratch, where you will find fruit-based snacks and desserts, mango porcupines, unique lemonades and smoothies, berry slushies, banana ice creams, orange-strawberry popsicles, peach jelloes, apple compotes, pear and berry jams, awesome no-bowl fruit salads, and much more!
I invite you to explore, enjoy, dig in, and be inspired by this fruitilicious feast!

Comment on sugar in fruit:
Fresh fruit is a wholesome food containing beneficial nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, fiber and water, as well as NATURAL sugar, which is friendlier towards our body -if I may use my own phrasing- and is not as concentrated as refined sugar found in so many processed products. Of course, the quantity you consume matters, and also which other foods you eat. That said, if you’re seriously sensitive to sugar, you might need to watch your fruit intake too. ‘All in moderation’ is a good general guideline, I find.

The material in this article represents its author’s opinion, and is not a medical, nutritional, or professional advice.