Shelf Help: This plant-based product is a low-sugar alternative to other sweeteners

A syrup that’s ideal if you want to add a touch of sweetness to food or drink

What is it? Homespun Chicory Root Syrup (€4.99, 200g), a plant-based product that is an alternative to other sweeteners including granulated sugar, honey and agave syrup.

What’s good about it? The claims made for the product include that its low glycaemic index helps keep blood sugars low and prevent blood sugar spikes, and that it is high in prebiotic fibre, supporting gut health. Erica Sheehan, whose background is in media, PR and communications, and who now sells it as part of her Homespun food brand, says: “For me, the best part is the taste. Chicory syrup has a gentle sweet taste and it is ideal if you wish to add a touch of sweetness to a dish or a drink, rather than intense sweetness.” It is low in natural sugar, 14g per 100g, making it a good choice for those watching their sugar intake.

How do I use it? As you would other sweeteners – such as in hot and cold drinks and when cooking. It can also be used in home baking recipes. There are some interesting ones on the Homespun website, As it is a high fibre food – the ingredients list is only “100% chicory root fibre” – the jar has a note recommending a maximum daily intake of 15g, which is about three teaspoons.

Where can I buy it? In selected branches of SuperValu and Tesco, in Nourish at Dunnes Stores, as well as in health food shops, independent food stores, and from


Anything else? Sheehan launched her Homespun brand with Quinoa Crunch, a range of low-sugar alternatives to granola; later this year she is introducing a range of oat bars that are made with the syrup, which she imports from a Belgian co-op and is bottled in Co Laois.

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