Yacon is a natural sweetener. It comes from a root vegetable from Peru similar to a sweet potato, but much sweeter. It comes in the form of flakes or syrup.

Why use yacon?

Yacon has three main advantages over sugar:

  1. It has a very low glycemic index (GI). Foods with a high GI release their energy quickly, resulting in an unhealthy blood sugar spike. The lower the GI, the better: whereas glucose has a GI of 100 and table sugar has a GI of 65, Yacon has a GI of just 1! Releasing energy slowly throughout the day.
  2. It contains natural prebiotics. Yacon contains fructo-oligosaccharides which nourish intestinal bacteria.
  3. It is high in fibre, in both flake and syrup form (about 30% fibre).

Use in smoothies

Yacon syrup is simple to use, and can be added to smoothies and other drinks for instant sweetness. It is child-friendly due to its low glycemic index. Seen here is a rich green tea smoothie, sweetened with yacon.

Add to muesli

Yacon flakes can be used in muesli, to add sweetness. Because of its low GI, it’s preferable even to sugary fruits, as well as being better than sugar or syrup. It’s also a great way to boost your digestion.

Use as a substitute for molasses or brown sugar.

Molasses are often used as a sugar substitute in tea and coffee, as in numerous dessert recipes. One of the advantages of molasses over sugar is a lower glycemic index; however, the GI of molasses is still around 55, whereas yacon has a negligible GI (of just 1). Your morning cuppa can thus release energy slowly, throughout the day.

Use as a pancake topping (via

Yacon syrup can simply be drizzled onto pancakes or other desserts, as an alternative to maple syrup (maple syrup has a GI of 54).

Add the flakes to trail mixes

Yacon flakes are little sweet treats that can be added to trail mixes, fruit-and-nut mixes, childrens’ desserts or even eaten on their own as a snack. Yacon is high in fibre, so even if eaten on its own, is a nice fruity treat.

Use in baking recipes instead of sugar or syrups (via

Yacon is a straight substitute for sugar or syrup in almost any baking recipe. It has a rich, caramely taste similar to that of a rich syrup such as molasses.