Everything you need to know about coconut sugar

October 22, 2015 17 Comments

Everything you need to know about coconut sugar aka coconut crystals | NotEnoughCinnamon.com

What is coconut sugar

Coconut sugar, also called coconut crystals or coconut palm sugar sometimes is a great alternative to refined sugar. Coconut sugar is obtained by heating the sap of the coconut flower until most liquid has evaporated. In other words, it’s hardly processed. Now, does that make it an “healthy” alternative? Let’s have a look.

Coconut Sugar vs White Sugar

Everything you need to know about coconut sugar

As you can see from the chart, coconut sugar and granulated sugar have a very similar nutritional profile. One tablespoon of coconut sugar has 45 kCal and 12 grams of carbs, while one tablespoon of white sugar has 48 kCal and 12.6 grams of carbs. Pretty much identical. If you’re just looking to reduce your calorie or carb intake, coconut sugar might not be the good choice for you.

But what these numbers don’t tell you is that coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than white sugar. It means that it won’t make your blood sugar spike, like normal sugar does. It’s also a bit more nutritious. When white sugar basically provides empty calories, coconut sugar contains a small amount of minerals like zinc, iron, calcium and potassium.

The takeaway here is that coconut sugar is probably not your friend if you’re trying to lose weight, but is still a better choice than refined white sugar because it’s less processed and more nutritious.

How to use coconut sugar

Using coconut sugar is quite similar to cooking and baking with brown sugar. It has a light but distinctive flavor, close to brown sugar or molasses. Keep in mind that it will make your batter brown, so it’s not ideal for some recipes.

If you’ve never tried coconut sugar before, start with a recipe that has been developed using coconut sugar, try it and see how you like it. Then you can start replacing it in your favorite recipes.

To replace white sugar with coconut sugar in your recipe, the ratio is usually 1 for 1 (use 1 cup of coconut sugar for 1 cup of granulated sugar). You might need to play around with your recipe, adjust the other ingredients and the baking time but I found the substitution pretty easy to do.

Everything you need to know about coconut sugar aka coconut crystals | NotEnoughCinnamon.com2

Where to buy coconut sugar

-In the “health food” aisle of your supermarket, or sometimes even in the “baking” aisle, next to the white sugar. My local supermarket (Coles) carries different brands in both aisles (one is organic, the other is not).

-In an health food store

-If you can’t find it in stores, Amazon has a great selection of brands and it might be your cheapest option. Browse the different brands here.

Everything your need to know about coconut sugar - {Healthier} Apple Pie Oatmeal Bars

Recipes using coconut sugar

Now that you know everything about coconut sugar, let’s get to the actual cooking! Here’s a selection of my favorite recipes. And watch out this space, there’s plenty more coming your way!

{Healthier} Apple Pie Oatmeal Bars (pictured)

Apple Pie Spice Muffins (Gluten Free)

Healthy Blueberry Muffins (Gluten Free)

Lemon Pie Bars (Gluten Free)

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free)

Cherry Oatmeal Bars (Gluten Free)

Japanese Miso Eggplant

And for the most recent recipe using coconut sugar, click here.

Still have questions about coconut sugar and how to use it? Ask below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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Clean Eating Healthy Living Misc. Recipes Refined Sugar Free Tips & Tricks
  1. Great post, Marie! I knew that coconut sugar was healthier, at least insofar as it is less refined. But I didn’t know about the lower glycemic load. Very interesting. We’ve been using evaporated cane juice instead of refined granulated sugar, because it’s less processed. Around here, the coconut sugar is harder to find (until we get our Sprouts grocery on our side of town), but I will probably be using it more in my cooking now.

  2. Coconut sugar is a natural and healthier sweetener.Like table sugar, coconut sugar is a blend of glucose and fructose.We have studies showing fructose contributes to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.I like this blog.

  3. In my world, people looking for a good substitution for white sugar, is also looking for a worthy substitution for all purpose flour. True there is gluten free all purpose but it is sooooo processed. I would love some of your delicious recipes to use almond, coconut or even einkorn flour. Those of us who do alternative baking also usually can’t tolerate corn, gluten, soy and a lot of times dairy. Gratefully I can get away with raw dairy! Thanks for your input!

  4. Hi!

    I am following a recipe that calls for light brown sugar, however, I only have coconut palm sugar. Would the ratio be 1:1?

  5. I’m making plum butter (overnight crock pot recipe) and I’m short on brown sugar. Will using some coconut palm sugar change the taste much?

  6. I just found my coconut sugar in the pantry (I forgot I had it) and it is as hard as a rock, do you know any way to soften it?

    1. Yes it happens to me too sometimes and I just try to “hammer” it a little. If this doesn’t work, you could try to pulse it in your food processor.

  7. Well actually this is the first time I hear about coconut sugar! I often use brown sugar when making sweets, but I am now excited to try coconut sugar instead, especially that I love coconut sweets!

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