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In many ways, I like to think of fruit as nature’s candy. One might ask, if fruit contains sugar, is there a difference between eating fruit and just eating a piece of candy? But there is an important difference. The sugar found in fruit is intracellular, meaning that it is trapped in plant cells. This includes the natural structure, fiber, which aides digestion and provides a protection to our microbiome. The steps in processing of sugar (sucrose) from sugarcane or sugar beets frees it from its cells, and allows it to be purified into a crystal. As opposed to refined sugar, fruit sugar (fructose) has less of an impact on our metabolism and can actually promote weight loss when accompanied by a healthy diet (Michael Gregor, MD has a lot of information available on this concept in his website).
Here is a recipe for a healthier option for marmalade using coconut sugar. Like beet sugar, it is also processed so is altered from how it would be found in nature. You can make it even healthier just by reducing the amount of sugar, though it may be less firm.
Chia seeds are a wonderful, healthy addition. They are packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and have a gelling property that is useful for this recipe. Thanks to Lucia Jaramillo founder of Lalu, INC. She is building a website of useful tips and delicious recipes, that I am sure you will enjoy.