Is Coconut Sugar Actually a Healthier Alternative?
You would have noticed a lot of hype out there about sugar, it’s everywhere and with the release of the movie ‘That Sugar Film’ and the work that Jamie Oliver is doing, there is even more awareness. One of the reasons I created the ‘21 Day Marvelous Lunchbox Makeover’ cookbook was to help you as parents discover how to remove refined sugar from your children’s lunchboxes and replace with healthier options, one of those being coconut sugar.
But what are the health benefits?
For starters, coconut sugar’s nutrient content is far richer than other sweeteners; it is especially high in potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron due to minimal processing. Whereas white sugar has been stripped of nutrients during processing.
Not only is it nutrient dense, coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index of only 35 points, compared to that of table sugar at 60. This means it has a gentler impact on your blood sugar levels. The lower, the better so your blood sugar level remains stable and isn’t ‘spiked’, causing you to make unhealthy food choices and have the ups and downs of your mood.
Coconut sugar originates from the flowers of the coconut palm. The sap from the flower buds is collected and heated until the moisture evaporates leaving a thick paste, which solidifies and is ground into granules.
At the end of the day though, sugar is sugar so even if it is a healthier option, it doesn’t mean you can go free reign on it as it does have the same calorie content as white sugar. So it doesn’t mean a biscuit a day, but if you want to treat yourself, it makes sense to choose healthier ingredients that still taste amazing.
What does it look and taste like?
It’s got a dark caramel colour and looks like a fine raw sugar, but it tastes similar to brown sugar.
How do you use in baking?
You can make a complete swap with white sugar; however I even suggest halving the sugar content in recipes, or at least reducing them by ¾ of the amount.
To get you started, try this Feijoa & Banana Loaf recipe using coconut sugar as the alternative.
Have you made the swap to coconut sugar? I’d love to know your thoughts?