You may think sugar is a simple ingredient used only for making things sweeter. While sugar does sweeten everything from coffee to fresh strawberries, there are also other uses for this baking staple. Sugar can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, around the house and outdoors.
Sugar is known as a sweetener to most people. However, sugar also has many other qualities with which bakers and cooks are probably familiar. Sugar attracts moisture and therefore, reduces the amount of gluten in a recipe. Because of this, batter will be lighter and baked goods will rise fully when sugar is creamed together with other ingredients. Since sugar holds moisture, it prolongs the shelf life of baked goods. The cause of that golden browning on top of cupcakes or cakes is the sugar reacting to the proteins in other ingredients.
Plants and Flowers
Adding about 1 tbsp. of sugar to water in a vase will feed the flowers and keep them fresh longer. You can also use sugar on your plants outside. If your plants do not look healthy and you notice small lumps at the roots, they may have nematodes, worms that attack tuberous plants. Mix sugar into the soil. This will increase the bacteria that fight off the nematodes.
Sugar can be used as an effective wasp trap. Mix about 2 oz. of sugar and about 1/4 cup of water and boil it until it becomes a sticky paste. Put it in a jar or other container and place it outside. Wasps and bees will be attracted to the sweet mixture but won't be able to get out of it once they are stuck in it. Once full, remove and dispose of the container or wash it out to reuse. Sugar can also be used if you have a cockroach problem. Mix equal amounts of sugar and baking powder and leave out for the pests to find. They will consume the mixture and die. This also works if you mix sugar with the detergent, borax.
Health and Beauty
Sugar is an effective way to wash your hands if they are oily or greasy. You can use sugar alone or add it to liquid hand soap. Your hands will be soft and supple. Sugar also offers quick relief if you burn your tongue while drinking hot liquids or eating hot foods. Rub sugar on your tongue to get rid of the stinging pain.
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