Bring a whole new flavor when you bake with coconut sugar! Not only is it healthier and more sustainable than regular white sugar, but coconut sugar also adds a unique taste and texture to your recipes. In this guide I'll show you how to use coconut sugar in all kinds of different treats, from cakes and cookies to sauces and glazes.
What is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener made from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has a caramel-like flavor and is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. It also has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, so it won't cause your blood sugar to spike as quickly. Finally, it's vegan friendly and more sustainable than regular white sugar.
What Does It Taste Like?
It tastes nothing like coconut! Since it comes from the flower bud of the coconut palm, and not the coconut itself. To me, it tastes a lot like a subtle tasting brown sugar. Others I've talked to that have tried it 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 makes it a low glycemic food. It also has several health benefits to it. It contains B vitamins and a high mineral content with potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It also contains glutamine. It is also FODMAP friendly!
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 Buy It?
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.Buy Coconut Sugar Online
Tips for Baking With Coconut Sugar
Substituting Coconut Sugar for White or Brown Sugar in Recipes
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. With the brown sugar type taste, so you will want to use it in recipes that you could interchange white or brown sugar in.
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.
Caramelizing coconut sugar is an amazing way to use the natural sweetness of this sugar substitute. To make caramelized coconut sugar, mix equal parts of melted butter and coconut sugar, then heat for about 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Make sure to stir continuously to avoid burning the mixture or bringing out a bitter note from the butter. After you’re done caramelizing, you can use it as a topping for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts – yum!
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.
Allow Coconut Sugar to Dissolve in Liquid
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.
Easing Into Using Sugar in Recipes
Are you still 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.