Baking with coconut sugar is a little different than regular sugar. This article will teach you all that you need to know about this unique sugar and how to bake with it.
What is coconut sugar? The sugar is made from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm.
What does coconut sugar taste like? It tastes nothing like coconut since it comes from the flower bud of the coconut palm, and not the coconut itself. It tastes a lot like a subtle tasting brown sugar. Some say that it has a slight caramel taste to it.
What are the health benefits of coconut sugar? Coconut sugar has many health benefits, the first being that it is considered a natural sweetener. It has a glycemic index of 35, which is considered a low glycemic food. Coconut sugar has several benefits to it. It contains B vitamins, a high mineral content (potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron). It also contains glutamine.
Are foods made with coconut sugar considered sugar free desserts? No. Coconut sugar is actually made up of sucrose, with small amounts of glucose and fructose. It is considered an acceptable sweetener for those with diabetes because of the way that it breaks down in the body. One teaspoon of coconut sugar contains 15 calories and 4 carbohydrates. One teaspoon of brown sugar contains 11 calories and 3 carbohydrates compared to white sugar that contains 16 calories per teaspoon and 5 carbohydrates.
Is coconut sugar gluten free? Yes, coconut sugar is gluten free and there are several organic non GMO varieties available as well.
Where can I find coconut sugar? You will be able to find it at most health food stores. It is usually sold in bags but several stores have now started carrying it in the bulk section which helps save money.
Tips for Baking With Coconut Sugar
1. Coconut sugar can be substituted for white or brown sugar in a recipe. However, I have not had much luck using it with recipes containing lemon. Remember that it has a brown sugar type taste, so you will want to use it in recipes that you could interchange white or brown sugar in.
2. Use coconut sugar on a 1:1 basis in recipes. For every one cup of white or brown sugar in a recipe, use one cup of coconut sugar.
3. Coconut sugar is more coarse than white or brown sugar, so if the recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar, the recipe will have a speckled look to it after baking and will appear more porous.
4. For recipes using melted butter or liquids like milk or water or semi liquids like oil, yogurt, or applesauce, allow the coconut sugar to dissolve for approximately five minutes in the liquid. Stir occasionally. After five minutes, add the mixture to the rest of your ingredients in your recipe. When your recipe is cooked, it will have a very smooth texture similar to cooking with white or brown sugar. This works well for recipes like bread, muffins and brownies, or cookies using browned butter.
5. If you are unsure about switching over completely to using coconut sugar, decrease the amount of sugar that you use slowly. In a recipe using 1 cup of sugar, use ½ cup white sugar and ½ cup coconut sugar until you become used to the taste and can adjust to using more of the natural sweetener in your foods.
If you have any questions about baking with coconut sugar, you can always send me an email and I would be happy to respond. You can also find a link to buying coconut sugar in our store.