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.