Thanks for the comments and questions yesterday. I hope to post some thoughts on beverages later today, but I wanted to go ahead and answer the Sucanat questions.
First, Sucanat looks like very tiny brown pebbles. They are not crystals and are not uniform in size. You can find Sucanat at any health food store in the baking aisle in pound and two-pound bags, and in the bulk section for a bit cheaper (around $2-2.50/pound). Some grocery stores carry it in their Natural Foods Section. You'll have to check your local store. You can also buy it in bulk from Amazon or from Country Life Natural Foods. At Amazon, it is 3.32/pound, with free shipping. At CLNF, it is 1.75/pound plus shipping. I buy from CNLF, but I also purchase nuts, seeds, pasta and other items at the same time so the shipping is worth it to me.
Would I use Sucanat to sweeten tea. Nope. It has a brown sugary taste which works fine in Banana Bread and Granola but would be way to obvious in tea. I use honey in my tea. But honestly, I have found no natural sweetener that doesn't have a strong taste. Even stevia has a distinctive flavor.
Is Sucanat just sugar with vitamins? Good question. It is a sugar and will effect the body's blood sugar levels. They key is moderation. It is different than white sugar since it is a food which the body recognizes and can use. White sugar in its crystallized form is no longer a food but rather a toxin to the body. I call this an anti-nutrient because not only is it void of any benefit, it also robs the body of other nutrients in efforts to rid itself of the toxin. While Sucanat and other Natural Sweeteners are of little benefit to the body besides satisfying a sweet tooth, they are not toxins or anti-nutrients.
Hope this helps clarify!
Also, by way of note for subscribers who read my RSS feed, I post our dinner plans in a sidebar box each weekday. I have yet to figure out how to include this content in my feed. If you are interested in knowing what we eat from day to day, please check out my actual blog. Thanks!