Coconut sugar also referred to as coconut palm sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. The consistency of coconut sugar is granulated and brown in color. With the appropriate measurements, coconut sugar can easily replace cane sugar in cooking and baking and provides a much higher nutritional value than standard sugar.
About Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar comes from the coconut palm tree blossoms found primarily in Indonesia. It is sometimes confused with standard palm sugar, but the two are processed from different parts of the tree.
The sap is pressed from the blossoms and once gathered it is heated to a syrupy consistency and then cooked further until the majority of the water is removed. The remaining ingredient is called “toddy” which is then further reduced through the method of heating or dehydration to form the crystal like grains that are packaged and sold.
Tastes and Uses of Coconut Sugar
Depending on your taste buds, some consider coconut sugar to be sweeter than white sugar. It is often stated that there is a slight flavor resembling caramel or butterscotch. It is a healthier alternative sweetener that contains vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Substitute for Cane Sugar
Coconut sugar resembles the flavor of brown sugar and can easily replace sugar in most dishes. This is especially important since more and more studies are indicating that standard white sugar is toxic to the body. A single teaspoon contains 15 calories and 4 grams carbohydrates, and, it offers traces of health minerals.
- Ranks Low on Glycemic Index – In recent tests conducted by the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines, it was determined that coconut sugar incurs a glycemic index of 35, which is considerably lower than the maximum recommended level of 55.
This is especially important for people who suffer from diabetes. Also, the lower glycemic index reduces the tendency for blood sugar to spike, which typically results in a sugar crash that some people experience when consuming high glycemic foods.
- Maintains Nutritional Value – Furthermore, due to the minimal processing of coconut sugar, it maintains most of the nutritional value, which includes vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, as well as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and iron to name a few. Inulin can also be found, which is a nutritional fiber proven to enhance the health of the digestive tract.
- Requires less in recipes – When baking the substitute ratio for replacing cane sugar is one to on. However, depending on your taste, many people opt to reduce the amount of coconut sugar used, stating that it has a sweeter taste.
Coconut sugar can be found in the health food aisles in stores or in the health food departments online. Because coconut sugar is harvested from varying trees and at different times of the year, and more importantly, it is refined very little, the flavor may vary slightly between packaging, but the quality always meets or exceeds our standards.