Monday, January 10, 2011

The Skinny on Coconut Sugar

Recently I have been asked about the nutritional qualities of Coconut sugar so I did a little research and found this blog that has a ton of great information:
Below is a post that does a better job explaining than I ever could.

In My Kitchen: Coconut Sugar

by KimiHarris on November 11, 2008
I am so thrilled to be able to share about this product with you all. I know that many of you already feel that half my recipes have some unheard of ingredient (millet, quinoa, sorghum-hey, they are old friends to me!), and so I do hate to introduce yet another new product to you. But I think that you will be glad I did because….
This sugar is amazing!
What it is
Coconut sugar is a traditional sugar made from the sap of coconut flowers. It is boiled down to create either dry sugar blocks, a soft paste, or a granulated form. I should mention that the names” palm sugar” and “coconut sugar” are used interchangeably, but the sugars are different. This can cause a little confusion. For example, the brand I got was called palm sugar, but was actually made from coconut sugar tree flowers. Since I don’t know the value of palm sugar, I just look at the ingredient list to make sure it’s made from coconut trees.

What It Tastes Like
The brand I have tried (put out by J and A importers) tastes much lighter than unrefined cane sugar, maple syrup, and honey, while avoiding tasting like straight sweetness. It almost tastes like it has just a tad of maple syrup in it. It’s not quite as sweet as cane sugar. It also has the advantage of not turning dishes so brown like rapadura would. Sally Fallon recommends this sugar in Eat Fat, Lose Fat, but I hadn’t tried it until recently. I am so glad that I did! It’s wonderful.
Low on the Glycemic Index
And this is exciting, it actually has a low glycemic index! This may be a good sugar for diabetes. I know that many of you like using agave syrup for it’s low GI rating, but remain concerned about reports of the damage it’s high fructose content can cause. Others of you prefer stevia, but there are definite disadvantages to that sweetener as well (taste, for one).
This sugar’s GI index is at a low 35 (anything under 55 is considered low). Agave syrup’s GI rating seem to vary from 27-41, so coconut sugar is very comparable. And coconut sugar has the advantage of being a traditional sugar too.
I wondered if coconut sugar would have the same characteristics of agave syrup by having a high fructose content, but apparently it doesn’t (which is good news).

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