Coconut Sugar: The Substitute No One is Talking About!
In this day and age there are substitutes for just about everything: Meat, cheese, eggs, flour… you name it, and some genius has probably thought up another concoction replace a food, thus creating a new health craze or substitute for an allergy! The substitutes people have found are impressive.
A handful of recipes I wanted to make throughout this autumn called for coconut sugar. Instead of spending my money on something I worried would just sit in my pantry, I thought it best to just use regular sugar.
Well, I was going to do that before my OCD came in yelling “You can’t alter the recipe the first time you try it!” Lo and behold, I ended up purchasing coconut sugar. The last package of it in my local Whole Foods, nonetheless.
I knew that if I were going to spend money on this, I would have to keep using it throughout the week. So that’s what I did! I replaced all sweeteners with coconut sugar, and I have to say… it was actually quite successful!
The best times I used it were when I made my fresh fruit bake featured on my instagram, and as a sweetener in my tea.
I don’t normally sweeten my tea, but when I do, it’s English Breakfast… with Coconut Sugar.
(I tried to be funny there. I don’t think it worked. #MemeQueen?)
Coconut Sugar comes from the sap from the Coconut Blossom. The collected sap is transferred into woks and heated until the moisture is evaporated. The evaporation of the moisture causes the sugar to turn into a thick, syrupy substance where it is then reduced more into its crystal form or whatever form the farmers see fit… sometimes it stays as a syrup, though I bought the granules.
I was surprised to find that the production of coconut sugar is actually quite sustainable! The coconut palm tree produces 50-75% more sugar per acre than cane sugar. It also only uses about 20% of resources takes to produce cane sugar. Less energy for more product? I’m in!
Coconut sugar is more nutritious as well! It contains naturally occurring nutrients such as Amino Acids, B Vitamins, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Potassium. EVEN SO: Remember that you would need to eat large amounts of this sugar to get some sort of health benefit from these nutrients. It’s always better to just receive these nutrients from real foods rather than processed sugar.
In most cases, you can replace coconut sugar as a 1:1 ratio from other sweeteners. Here is a link to a chart that shows you all proper equivalencies.
Friendly sugar reminder: Though this may be healthier than table sugar, and more sustainable, sugar is sugar. Eating too much is never a good idea.