Coconut Sugar- The Low GI Wonder Sweetener
This month I have been given a packet of coconut palm sugar to try-out from my lovely affiliate Raw Power. I wanted to share with you what Iâ€™ve discovered about this tropical sweetener!
How is it made?
Surprisingly coconut sugar is not from the coconut itself, but rather from the blossoms of the coconut flower. Sweet Tree Sustainable Sweeteners, tell us that Coconut Palm Sugar is made from “the sweet flower blossom nectar of the green coconut tree. The nectar is collected, boiled and granulated”.
What is itâ€™s botanical name? (Always a good thing to know when learning about a new plant food) You may Â have heard of palm sugar, but there are quite a few varieties of palm trees. This sugar is from the coconut palm. The botanical name for coconut palm sugar is not really for the sugar itself but for the plant it comes from the green coconut plant, that is Cocos nucifera.
How does it look?
If youâ€™ve ever seen rapadura sugar, it has quite a similar look. It basically looks like a fine a granulated brown sugar.
How does it smell?
It has a really pleasant smell, quite like brown sugar or molasses with a hint of caramel.
How does it taste- on itâ€™s own?
On it’s own it has a bit of a caramel taste, though not such a strong molasses taste as rapadura.
How does it taste- in food?
The great thing about coconut sugar is that it doesnâ€™t really have a specific coconut flavour so it is really versatile sweetener and can be used in many different recipes.
What is itâ€™s texture like? It is a granulated sugar. Sometimes there may be a few lumps which are made up of the blossom syrup that has been dried. If you donâ€™t like that you can sift them out (or just grind them up to make them fine).
You can use Coconut Sugar anyway you would use white or other granulated sugars on a 1:1 basis. Many of my recipes can substitute in coconut sugar. Have a look at my Recipe Index for heaps of recipes! (I’ll be posting some new recipes using coconut sugar in the coming weeks)
This table is from CoconutPalmSugar.com. It compares the macro-nutrients (though it seems to actually refer to the micro-nutrients) in certain sweeteners. From this table Coconut Palm Sugar seems to be quite high in many micro-nutrients, much higher than any of the other sweeteners in the table. Coconut Palm Sugar also seems to be touted as a low GI sugar (a GI index of 35 source) as well (although just because something is low GI doesn’t mean you can have a lot of it which can increase your glycemic load. See Glycemic Index vs Glycemic Load (external link)). Â But like all sugars used to sweeten our foods they should only be a small part of our diets compared to other foods. Please note: As more research is put out I’ll be updating this blog post.
|Macro-tnutrients (mg / 100gm)||Coconut Palm Sugar||Agave Syrup||Honey||Maple Syrup||Brown Sugar||Refined, White Sugar|
Sources:Â COMPARISON OF THE ELEMENTAL CONTENT OF 3 SOURCES OF EDIBLE SUGAR -Â Analyzed by PCA-TAL, Sept. 11, 2000.Â (MI Secretaria et al, 2003) in parts per million (ppm or mg/li). Â www.nutritiondata.com
Where To Buy Coconut Sugar:Â Raw Power are currently selling Coconut sugar (as well as many other great products).
My Giveaway (Now Closed)
If youâ€™d like to try a bag of coconut sugar for FREE (donated by Raw Power), tomorrow Iâ€™m running a giveaway to win a free 250g packet of Coconut Sugar!
Iâ€™ll supply details on how you can enter to tomorrow! Speaking of giveaways have you entered to WIN a copy of Karen Fischer’s latest book ‘Don’t Tell Them It’s Healthy’?
I’ll also be posting some recipes using Coconut Sugar in the next week so stay tuned for that!