Coconut Palm Sugar- The Low GI Wonder Sweetener

by Michelle on May 21, 2010 · 19 comments

in Information

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 I’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 it’s botanical name? (Always a good thing to know when learning about a new plant food) You may  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 you’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 it’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 doesn’t really have a specific coconut flavour so it is really versatile sweetener and can be used in many different recipes.

What is it’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 don’t like that you can sift them out (or just grind them up to make them fine).

Culinary Uses

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)

Nutrition Information

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)).  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
Nitrogen (N) 202 NA NA NA 10 0
Phosphorus (P) 79 7 4 2 3 0
Potassium  (K) 1,030 1 52 234 65 2.5
Calcium (Ca) 8 1.5 6 67 24 6
Magnesium (Mg) 29 1 2 14 7 1
Sodium (Na) 45 1 4 9 2 1
Chloride (Cl) 470 NA NA NA 16 10
Sulfur (S) 26 NA NA NA 13 2
Boron (B) 0.6 NA NA NA 0
Zinc (Zn) 2 0.2 0.2 4.2 .2 0.1
Manganese (Mn) 0.1 0.1 0.1 3.3 .2 0
Iron (Fe) 2 1 0.4 1.2 1.26 0.1
Copper (Cu) 0.23 0.1 0 0.1 0 0
Thiamine 0.41 0 0 0 0 0
Vitamin C 23.4 0.5 0.5 0 0 0
Sources:  COMPARISON OF THE ELEMENTAL CONTENT OF 3 SOURCES OF EDIBLE SUGAR -  Analyzed by PCA-TAL, Sept. 11, 2000.  (MI Secretaria et al, 2003) in parts per million (ppm or mg/li).  www.nutritiondata.com

Where To Buy Coconut Sugar: Raw Power are currently selling Coconut sugar (as well as many other great products).

My Giveaway (Now Closed)

If you’d like to try a bag of coconut sugar for FREE (donated by Raw Power), tomorrow I’m running a giveaway to win a free 250g packet of Coconut Sugar!

I’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!

Submitted to Fight Back Fridays May 21st & Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Michelle

Health Food Lover is Michelle Robson-Garth. A student-naturopath-in-training, writer, recipe-creator and all-round foodie from Melbourne, Australia. © Copyright: 2009-2012 Michelle Robson-Garth. Please ask permission first when using any text or images on healthfoodlover.com. Read the disclaimer here. Have a look at the recipe index for more health food lovin’ recipes. Join the Facebook page & follow Health Food Lover on twitter.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites May 21, 2010 at 2:32 am

Coconut palm sugar seems so cool and the fact that they are low GI makes them that much more attractive. Too bad they aren’t available in Canada, I’ll love to try some!
.-= Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites´s last blog ..Food Challenge: Beets =-.

Reply

Michelle May 21, 2010 at 2:38 am

It does seem pretty cool doesn’t it! I may make my giveaway worldwide, so you can enter too :) Just depends on international custom laws (I sometimes I can’t send certain food things overseas- So I have to check the rules).

It is pretty nice, Coconut Sugar, I just made a pumpkin latte with it- so delicious!

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Marie August 11, 2013 at 5:02 am

Coconut Sugar has been available in Canada for a little while now. You can find it at Bulk Barn, Tau, and Walmart. I am sure that there are other places as well but those are the ones I know of.

Reply

Melodie May 21, 2010 at 4:40 am

I’ve never heard of this before but I’m always game to try a new kind of “healthy” sugar. Too bad it isn’t available in Canada indeed! I have a vegetarian linky happening today that you might want to link this to. I think it would make a nice addition. Thanks!
.-= Melodie´s last blog ..Vegetarian Foodie Fridays: Yogurt Sundaes or Parfaits =-.

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Cricket Saunders May 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm
vincent May 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Hello,

We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on “Add your site”

Best regards,

Vincent
petitchef.com

Reply

Antoni P. Uni June 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

Thanks for sharing the info! Here are some photos to get an idea how it has been produced on small scale in Thailand:
http://www.antoni-uni-photography.com/Thailand-Asia-Antoniuni/Thai-food/Production-of-Coconut-sugar/12590071_2Zbkf#904217957_Ztcuh

Reply

Michelle June 18, 2010 at 4:39 am

Hi Antoni
Thanks for sharing that. Did you take these photos? If so I would love to post them in the article (with back links of course)!

Reply

Antoni P. Uni June 18, 2010 at 4:50 am

Hi Michelle.
Yes, all photos I published are under my copyright, so made by me. You are welcome to use these of course!

Reply

Monique June 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

Hi Michelle – thanks again for drawing me as the winner of the sugar!! I love it and will definitely use more in future… plus I shared the Muesli Slice recipe and linked to this post in regards to the sugar. Monique xx

http://yourcheekymonkey.blogspot.com/2010/06/delicious-muesli-slice-recipe.html

Reply

Michelle June 27, 2010 at 4:25 am

Hi Monique.

I’m so glad you like it! Looking forward to reading your recipe!

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Tonya August 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Michelle,
I have been trying to find out the most info I can on this product. Specifically the low glycemic index. Do you have any new info? I read somewhere that the sugar is sucrose and that it is half fructose and half glucose therefore the GI is more than what it is claimed to be. Have you found anything information you trust?

Reply

Michelle September 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Hi Tonya, unfortunately since this post I haven’t searched for much information on it. But if I do find some more information I will be sure to add it to the post.

Reply

Sophie December 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

I only use unrefined coconut sugar lately ( the past 5 months ) in my cooking & baking & I also love to use unrefined coconut oil!
I also use coconut sugar but more thinner & lighter in colour like powder sugar, it is more easy to use.

Reply

Albert July 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

I have purchased many brands of palm sugar and none have any vitamin C and many other vitamins. How can I verify that the chart of contents above is correct?

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Clint Bauer September 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for doing the research and blogging about coconut sugar! When my clients aren’t on a sugar detox I recommend coconut sugar to them so it’s nice to be able to direct them to easy-to-read info like this so they can learn about it themselves and not just take my word for it!

I love the taste of coconut sugar and could easily eat a teaspoon of it by itself (shh don’t tell anyone!)!!

I’m glad to see more food stockists are selling it now as well, that’s great.

Thanks again!

Reply

Michelle September 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Thanks Clint! So glad you like my article. :-)

Reply

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