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Another Use For Coconuts: Sugar

 

Now, it is obviously no secret by now how much I love coconut. Its true. I love it so much I might even marry it. Between coconut macaroons, coconut water, coconut chips, coconut milk, coconut in my oatmeal coconut coconut coconut.

And now coconut sugar is making a sweet splash on the sweetener scene.

Palm sugar and coconut sugars. When did these guys appear on the scene?  The names of these sweeteners are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing.  Palm sugar comes from the palmyra or sugar palm and coconut sugar comes from the coconut palm,but  both are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds. It's like the maple syrup of the palm tree.  Like maple syrup, the sap is collected boiled down in huge woks on the plantations until a sticky sugar remains. As is not highly processed like brown sugar, the color, consistency, flavor and level of sweetness can vary from batch to batch, even within the same brand. I love that. This means there is still some nature left in it. Much  of this depends on the type of palm trees, time of year when the tree was tapped, and also the heat that was used to reduce the nectar into sugar.

Now, I know you want some benefits. You want this sugar to be the saviour sweetener. My research has revealed that it does have a relatively low glycemic index and an extremely high nutrient content. As far as natural sweeteners go, it is also pretty affordable. All great things, yes?  The flavour is similar to brown sugar. One manufacturer describes it as having  a hint of butterscotch and caramel with a round smooth flavor curve. But come on now, to me it taste sweet, though I was never one to slurp my wine and declare grapefruit undertones with thought of strawberry and tickle of Tuscan Sunshine so who knows- maybe I am just not that refined.

Now, according to Navitas, one of my all time fave super food companies, they explain that this sweetener is  ecologically friendly: "coconut palms produce an average of 50%-75% more sugar per acre than sugar cane, while using only a fifth of the resources". The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recognized palm sweeteners as the single most sustainable sweetener in the world.

It can be used in a 1:1 ratio to replace can sugar in recipes but at the end of day, do you know what it is? It is still sugar! No matter what the same, sugar is sugar and if you are susceptible to blood sugar swings, sweet cravings, though the natural sweeteners are a great option, might be safer to stay away a little while.

Photo credit: FotoosVanRobin's

10 Responses to “Another Use For Coconuts: Sugar”

  1. Kelly Michelle said…
    thanks for sharing. I have heard of coconut sugar but have never sought it out or tried it. I have also heard of a liquid coconut sweetener, coconut nectar. Do you know anything about that? I occasionally use agave but had been thinking about replacing it with all honey/ blackstrap molasses as better options (I am confused by the controversy surrounding agave at the moment as both sides of the argument sound compelling and I have not read the studies myself and I am concerned about the high fructose) but anyways I am wondering if this coconut nectar might be a good occasional alternative as well.
  2. I've never heard of this stuff before so thanks for the info. I always love trying new types of sugar ;)
  3. Jill said…
    I've never heard of it either. Thanks for the info.
  4. Jill said…
    I'm starting your 5 day eating plan tomorrow. Better late than never ! You've included just loads of information and it's all I hoped for and more ! Thank you so much. And I love the extra input from twitter ! I've not toally figured this whole thing out yet, but I'm so excited about learning. Fantastic job Meghan !!!
  5. Thanks for your post. I understand that sugar is sugar but coconut sugar works better in baking than other natural sweeteners such as stevia. I choose to use coconut sugar over agave as I have heard some bad things about agave and I personally feel that I don't react to coconut sugar like I do to agave or other forms of sugar.
  6. Emily said…
    Sugar, da da da da da-da, oh- honey honey! Bum bum bum bum bum! All this sugar talk has got that song stuck in my head :)
  7. Alisa said…
    I just posted a recipe up using palm sugar. It is some GF cookies that use palm sugar and maple syrup for sweetening - yes, still sugar! It definitely imparts a different taste than brown sugar. I find it has an almost coffee-like flavor. I am doing a post on it for my new blog and will certainly link to this post. Thanks Meghan!
  8. Hannah said…
    Really appreciate the info- I had seen "coconut sugar" listed on a few shopping sites, but wasn't really sure what it was. Always happy to learn about new sweeteners!
  9. Charles Chan said…
    Wow, more and more people producing and have the knowledge about coconut sugar. It is nice that more people are now more conscious about their health--- well coconut sugar is not at all--- all for diabetics, it is good for everyone as it has number of vitamins and minerals packed in those little pieces--- you can get your daily serving of calcium from coconut sugar too. Using coconut sugar in your food, is like hitting two birds at the same time, you reap all the benefits, plus you reduce additional expenses from having really expensive synthetic supplements. Plus, of course proper diet is advised--- prevention is better than cure. Come to think of it, table sugar (now processed with lots of anti-pest formulation, and other chemicals to increase production) is now expensive than ever--- you don't get anything from it--- not that healthy, or not healthy at all--- Coconut sugar is expensive but you get a +++benefits. We have this product at SNMC--- Glow Coconut Sugar--- we are pro-health, join our community at Facebook (Healthy Me: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Healthy-Me/106744519362627)
  10.   Thanks for sharing the great post. I understand that white sugar is not good for our health. Coconut sugar works better in baking than other natural sweeteners. I choose coconut sugar because it is very useful for our body.

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