It seems that Americans just can't get enough of refined sugar. According to the USDA, the average US citizen consumes around 150 pounds of sugar per year! Crazy, right? And unfortunately, refined sugar has nearly no nutritional benefits, but the negatives are off the charts -- too much can contribute to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and can lower pH levels in the body, making blood more acidic.

The best way to combat these ailments is to, of course, cut back your intake of sugar. But that doesn't mean you have to remove it entirely from your diet! Marcia Pelchat, PhD, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, says "We're born to like sugar". Sweetener substitutes abound, but many are chemical laden and can taste a little weird. So sticking with an all-natural alternative is the optimal way to give into your sweet tooth. At Organic Avenue, we really love Coconut Blossom Nectar from Divine Organics. It's made from the sap of those yellow blossoms that grow on the top of coconut-bearing palm trees. Coconut Blossom Nectar is considered a superfood, rich in minerals like magnesium, zinc, and potassium. It also has an extremely low glycemic index, which means it's digested more gradually which will the slow the rise in the body's insulin level.

Despite it's name though, Coconut Blossom Nectar doesn't taste at all like coconut. It's thicker than maple syrup and while it is definitely sweet, it's not so cloying as to make your teeth hurt! At breakfast, drizzle it over pancakes or oatmeal or pour a little into hot tea for a cozy autumn pick-me-up. It can also be used as a vegan alternative to honey when making dessert toppings and mixing up cocktails. Like all Divine Organics products, their Coconut Blossom Nectar is sustainably-farmed and with their adherence to a "beyond fair trade" agreement, they help support local communities in Thailand.