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You may know by now that not all fruit is keto friendly. However, monk fruit and monk fruit extract are not like the typical fruits you’ll find at the grocery store (in fact, you probably won’t find the whole fruit at your grocery store at all). Is monk fruit keto friendly … and what is it, anyway?
Let’s go over what exactly is monk fruit, monk fruit benefits, carbs, and whether monk fruit sweetener is worth incorporating into your keto way of eating. I’ll also show you 15+ keto monk fruit sweetener recipes that taste delicious.
Monk Fruit Table Of Contents
What Is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo or Buddha fruit, is a small tropical melon. Monk fruit gets its name from the Luo Han monks who cultivated them centuries ago in southeast Asia.
What Is Monk Fruit Sweetener?
Monk fruit sweetener is a kind of natural sugar substitute that can take a couple different forms:
- Pure Monk Fruit Extract – This type of monk fruit sweetener is the pure, concentrated extract, with no other ingredients. Monk fruit powder and liquid sweeteners are both available, and made only from the fruit. This form is often difficult to use, because it’s 150-400 times as sweet as sugar.
- Monk Fruit Sweetener With A Bulking Agent – This second kind is what most people think of as “monk fruit sweetener”, but it actually uses other bulking ingredients, such as erythritol, dextrose, or allulose, to create a blend that measures more like sugar. The bulking agent has an important impact on how the monk fruit sweetener will taste, bake, dissolve, and brown.
You might hear the term “monk fruit sugar” used to describe these kinds of sweeteners, but the term is a misnomer because it contains no sugar at all! However, monk fruit sugar can replace white sugar in equal amounts and be used like sugar in cooking and baking recipes.
Is monk fruit sugar keto? That depends on how you get your monk fruit sweetener — more on that down below.
What Does Monk Fruit Taste Like?
If you want a taste of this fruit, you’re more likely to find monk fruit powder or monk fruit extract instead of fresh picked fruit off the tree. Monk fruit spoils quickly, so you would have to travel quite far to enjoy it fresh.
Monk fruit extract tastes very sweet — in fact, it is 150-400 times sweeter than sugar. It gets this sweet taste from mogrosides, compounds that act like antioxidants in the body. Monk fruit extract has more of a fruity finish, less bitterness than stevia, and no aftertaste.
Plus, when you blend this monk fruit sweetener with keto friendly sweeteners like allulose or erythritol, you get a sugar substitute that tastes remarkably close to the real thing.
How Is Monk Fruit Extract Made?
To make monk fruit extract, monk fruit gets crushed and the resulting juice is dried into a highly concentrated powder.
Is Monk Fruit An Artificial Sweetener?
No, monk fruit is not artificial. Unlike sucralose and other artificial sugar alternatives made in labs, monk fruit is totally natural. It comes straight from real fruit – one of many monk fruit benefits!
Is Monk Fruit Keto Friendly?
Since so many other fruits are off limits for low carb living, is monk fruit keto? In general, YES – but it depends in part on the type of monk fruit you get (pure or blended with other sweeteners).
How many carbs in monk fruit sweetener?
Monk fruit carbs are the same as monk fruit net carbs: Zero!
Monk fruit sweetener with erythritol or allulose also has zero net carbs per serving.
How many calories in monk fruit sweetener?
Pure monk fruit sweetener contains zero calories. Monk fruit sweetener with allulose or erythritol is also zero calorie.
Does monk fruit raise blood sugar?
Monk fruit alone does not raise blood sugar. However, if you get monk fruit blended with other ingredients, it could impact your blood glucose.
For example, some “monk fruit sugar” substitutes use dextrose or maltodextrin as a bulking agent — both are other names for sugar, and can raise your blood glucose levels.
Is monk fruit good for diabetics?
Yes! Pure monk fruit extract is good for diabetics. Monk fruit has a glycemic index of 0, meaning it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
Is there monk fruit without erythritol?
Yes, there is! If you can’t tolerate erythritol but still want to enjoy the sweetness of monk fruit, you’re in luck.
Besti Monk Fruit Sweetener With Allulose has no sugar alcohols, uses the highest grade of mogrosides for perfectly sweet flavor, and still contains zero calories and net carbs! Plus, unlike erythritol blends, it dissolves and caramelizes just like sugar, and makes soft, moist baked goods.
Is Monk Fruit Safe?
Yes! The Food and Drug Administration has determined that monk fruit by itself is a safe sweetener — so safe, in fact, that you can enjoy it in large amounts [*].
Is monk fruit healthy?
Compared to white sugar, monk fruit sweeteners are a healthy sugar alternative. Since they won’t spike your blood sugar, you can enjoy monk fruit sweetened recipes without guilt.
Are there any monk fruit side effects?
Monk fruit alone has no known side effects. However, those who enjoy monk fruit sweeteners blended with sugar alcohols such as erythritol may experience GI distress in large serving sizes. If this is a concern for you, use monk fruit allulose blend instead.
Monk Fruit Sweetener Benefits
Monk fruit sweeteners, blended with the right ingredients, have several advantages over white sugar and other sugar alternatives:
- No sugar crash. Since monk fruit has a glycemic index of 0, you’ll feel a little better after enjoying a sweet treat.
- Fits macros. With zero calories, carbs, or sugar, it’s easy to fit monk fruit in your diet.
- Tastes great. This one is my favorite! Monk fruit tastes more appealing than other plant sweeteners like stevia.
- Works like sugar. You can use monk fruit in hot and cold recipes with ease. In particular, if you use monk fruit allulose blend, it replaces sugar cup-for-cup in baking and even dissolves like sugar.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. The mogrosides in monk fruit have been used as treatment for sore throats, remove inflammation, and can help with diabetes and even cancer. [*]
- Safe for kids and pets. This is a sweetener you can comfortably keep in your household.
Baking With Monk Fruit
Monk fruit extract is highly heat resistant, so it’s the perfect sweetener for low carb baking. For best results with keto monk fruit baking, keep a few things in mind:
1. Use monk fruit sweetener with the right amount of bulk.
Most recipes will not rely on monk fruit extract alone, and will call for a 1:1 sugar substitute with monk fruit instead. A sweetener that blends the extract with a bulking agent will create a better texture and flavor for baked goods.
If you use extract only (in dried or powdered form), it will mess up the consistency of your batter or dough. You cannot easily replace a blend with a pure extract in most recipes.
2. Choose the best bulking agent.
The bulking agent matters! Here is how to choose:
- Monk fruit with allulose is best for most baking applications, because it creates soft, moist baked goods. It also will not crystallize, unlike erythritol bulking agents.
- For crispy baked goods, use monk fruit with erythritol instead. Erythritol crisps up better than allulose does.
- Avoid dextrose or maltodextrin bulking agents. These are other names for sugar!
3. Don’t replace granulated with powdered.
- Granulated or crystallized monk fruit is ideal for baking. Using powdered would create a texture that is less than ideal, in most cases.
- Powdered monk fruit sweeteners are best for smooth applications such as frosting, dressing, glaze, sauce, etc. Using crystallized or granulated for these uses would make your recipe grainy.
Don’t use them interchangeably!
For more information on baking with keto sweeteners, see this full keto sweetener guide.
Where To Buy The Best Monk Fruit Sweetener
Finding the best monk fruit sweetener isn’t easy. With so many hidden ingredients, you might accidentally use an option that causes unintended side effects.
And even if you find one without questionable ingredients, the quality of monk fruit can vary.
That’s why I created Besti monk fruit sweeteners. They only contain the highest grade of monk fruit and either allulose or erythritol – nothing else.
Most monk fruit brands use cheaper monk fruit extract with 30% or 40% mogroside V, which can have some bitterness. Besti is the only brand of monk fruit that guarantees 50% mogroside V in a 1:1 sugar replacement, which creates the best taste.
Take a look at these varieties:
- Besti Monk Fruit Sweetener With Allulose — My personal favorite and the best seller! This one-of-a-kind sweetener really tastes like sugar, but even more impressive, it also bakes, dissolves, and browns like sugar. Can’t say that for other monk fruit sweeteners out there.
- Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener With Allulose — Use just like powdered sugar.
- Besti Monk Fruit Sweetener With Erythritol — A classic choice for stocking your keto pantry. This blend is what many people today think of as just “monk fruit” even though it’s actually a blend.
- Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener With Erythritol — An old favorite, in powdered form.
If you prefer Amazon, you can also get monk fruit on Amazon here.
15+ Best Monk Fruit Desserts
Now you know: You don’t need sugar to enjoy something sweet. Try these keto monk fruit recipes and see for yourself!
Keto Homemade Caramel Sauce
You won’t believe this one is sugar-free!
Keto Vanilla Milkshake
So creamy and sweet, with the perfect vanilla flavor. Top with keto whipped cream!
Keto Chocolate Donuts
Complete with a luscious chocolate glaze! Amazing taste for bare minimum effort. 😉
Keto Cream Cheese Cookies
Make something special without making a special store run. These cookies use super basic ingredients and taste delightful!
Low Carb Apple Pie
No apples here… check out how the sweetener blends with a special secret ingredient.
Keto Chocolate Cupcakes
Monk fruit and rich chocolate flavor combine for the perfect dessert.
Keto Pound Cake
The most buttery, scrumptious cake ever. Monk fruit makes it 0h-so-sweet.
Low Carb Donuts
Complete with the best cinnamon “sugar” coating.
Keto Lemon Meringue Pie
Pure perfection! This pie is loaded to the brim with sweet lemon filling, buttery crust, and golden meringue topping.
Keto Chocolate Cheesecake
This dessert blends up so smooth and creamy! It’s no-bake, too.
Keto Blueberry Bread
Have it for breakfast, or dessert, or anytime really… since it’s sweetened with monk fruit, it’s the perfect anytime treat.
Vanilla Mug Cake
When you need a dessert ASAP, this is the recipe for you.
Keto Chocolate Fat Bombs
Bump up your healthy fat intake with these chocolatey little bites.
Keto Key Lime Pie
Tart, tangy, and bursting with fresh lime flavor.
Keto Blueberry Cheesecake
Think you like cheesecake? Try it with swirls of fresh blueberry, and you’ll never go back. Monk fruit sweetener works perfectly in this one!
Keto Red Velvet Cake
Wow friends and family — they’ll think you made it with sugar!
Keto Lemon Bars
A sweet, sunny filling tops a buttery shortbread crust. Nothing better!
So, is monk fruit sweetener keto? You bet! Choose safe sweetener blends, and enjoy.