Coconut Sugar Substitutes

Do you want to reduce your level of sugar intake? Are you watching your blood sugar level? You don’t have to stop taking sugar completely.

In this post, I’ll be showing you some substitutes for your regular sugar, read along.

 

Coconut sugar substitutes
Your regular Sugar (image: mathildelangevin via Unsplash)

Sugar is a naturally occurring substance found in plants.

It was first discovered in India and then it spread to other parts of the world.

The sugarcane plant makes sugar in its leaves through photosynthesis and stores it in the stalk as juice.

It is cut down and sent to a refinery to be processed into sugar.

In history, sugar is said to be one of the world’s oldest commodities. It was so valuable at the time that it was stored in a safe. Incredible!

Times and seasons have changed, nowadays sugar is the most common commodity you can get anywhere.

Aside from that, excessive intake of sugary substances can cause some serious health challenges.

Under classes of foods, sugar is a carbohydrate. And carbohydrates are classified into simple sugar and complex sugar.

For this post, let’s divert a little bit into biochemistry.

 

Photo

Simple sugars

These are carbohydrates with one or two atoms of sugar molecules. And they are further divided into:

1. Monosaccharides.

These are the basic forms of simple sugars from which complex sugars are built.

They are usually colorless, water-soluble, and crystalline.

Examples: fructose also called fruit sugar, glucose or dextrose, and galactose.

 

2. Disaccharides.

These are sugars formed by the combination of two molecules of monosaccharides.

They are soluble in water.

Examples:

  • Sucrose: A combination of fructose and glucose.
  • Lactose: A combination of galactose and glucose.
  • Maltose: Is combined of two glucose molecules.

With this understanding, you’ll be able to comprehend what’s to come.

Now, let’s talk about one of the most popular and important trees in human existence and its connection with SUGAR!

 

The Tree of Life

Coconut sugar susbtitues
Coconut Tree (image: Marekokon via Unsplash)

The coconut tree is popularly called the tree of life because it supplies resources that sustain human existence.

You can get:

  • Milk,
  • Water,
  • Sugar made from sap,
  • Alcohol made from sap,
  • Oil,
  • Food,
  • Leaves for thatch,
  • Fiber for ropes,
  • Shells for utensils and ornaments

from the coconut tree. And even the wood from the coconut tree can be useful when properly utilized.

Do you see why it’s called the Tree of Life?

Originally, you know sugar is made from sugarcane, well this tree also produces sugar.

When compared to cane sugar, coconut sugar has additional health benefits.

 

What is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut palm (Image: Pea via Unsplash)

Coconut sugar commonly known as coconut palm sugar is a kind of sugar gotten from the coconut palm.

Is it the same with palm sugar?

No, it shouldn’t be confused with palm sugar.

Coconut sugar and palm sugar are two different types of sugar, acquired from different plants in diverse ways.

 

How is coconut sugar made?

Coconut sugar is made from the sweet inflorescence sap of the coconut tree, also called neera.

The sap is mixed with water and boiled into a syrup, and allowed to dry and crystalize.

The producers break the dried sap into sugar granules, which resemble cane sugar or regular table sugar for people’s consumption.

The white-colored liquid is gotten from a cut made on a spadix.

It flows into a container and is taken to undergo the production process.

The production process is comprised mainly of two parts:

  • Collecting the coconut sap
  • Dehydration

Coconut sugar can come in different forms:

  • Granulated form, and
  • Liquid form.

 

Coconut Sugar Nutritional Information

First, know that this varies according to source and research.

Each tablespoon of coconut sugar weighs about 4 or 5 grams. And contains

 

Calories 16
Carbohydrates 5g
Cholesterol 0
Dietary fiber 0g
Potassium 1g
Protein 0g
Sodium 5g
Sugar 3g
Total fat 0g

 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Coconut Sugar?

For one thing, it is unrefined. Meaning no chemicals or foreign preservatives.

Other benefits include:

  • It has a low GI (Glycemic index).
  • It is a source of zinc, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • It supplies the body with vital minerals and vitamins.
  • It is a rich source of antioxidants.
  • It contains inulin.

Do You Know?
Coconut sugar also contains phytonutrients and can help in the treatment of diabetes.

 

Facts about Coconut sugar!

Coconut sugar is also known as coconut palm sugar or coco sugar.

It all depends on what it is called in your country. The liquid form is called “coconut sap” or “coconut nectar”.

Some people call the granulated form crystals.

NOTE: Palm sugar and coconut palm sugar are not the same.

Read that again.

Palm sugar is any sugar produced from any species of a palm tree.

Coconut sugar is a type of palm sugar.

That’s why it’s called coconut PALM sugar.

Earlier, I taught you a little about the subdivisions of simple sugars which are monosaccharides and disaccharides.

Coconut sugar is classified as a disaccharide and sucrose to be precise, meaning it is a combination of fructose and glucose.

Now, you want to purchase coconut sugar for your next batch of cookies.

However, the storekeeper tells you “sorry ma’am/sir but we just ran out of stock.”

The next store is a bit far off and you need an alternative.

What to do?

I got you.

That leads us to coconut sugar substitutes.

 

Coconut Sugar substitutes.

Wonderful, right? I know, you’re welcome.

In place of coconut sugar, you can substitute these sweeteners instead.

1. Honey (a gift from social insects).

    HoneySweet honey (Image: Art Rachen via Unsplash)

Honey is a natural sweetener produced by a species of bees called honey bees.

It is made from plant or flower nectar.

Honey has so many health benefits like boosting your body’s immune system. It is an anticancer and helps in the treatment of burns.

Using honey (in moderation) as a substitute for coconut sugar is beneficial in many ways.

It improves your overall well-being.

Did you know?

Honey can be used to fight infections.

Looking for a natural antibiotic? Honey is your best bet.

 

2. Maple Sugar.

Maple syrup
Maple sugar (image: Nadine Primeau via Unsplash)

The Maple tree or Acer is usually found in Asia, North America, and Europe.

The Maple tree comes in different species, more like different varieties of it.

Some of the varieties of Maple trees are:

  • Red Maple,
  • Sugar Maple,
  • Field Maple,
  • Norway Maple,
  • Black Maple,
  • Vine Maple, etc.

Maple sugar is a natural sweetener made from the sap of the Maple tree.

In this case, the Sugar Maple tree is the best tree to use for this purpose.

It is also a healthy substitute for coconut sugar with amazing health benefits.

If you are on a weight control diet, you might want to replace your regular sugar with maple sugar. And for males, maple sugar boosts their reproductive health.

 

3. Stevia.

Stevia
Image: Pixabay

Stevia is a different acceptable substitute for coconut palm sugar.

This sugar-free sweetener is all-natural because it comes from the leaves of the Stevia plant, unlike all the other alternatives.

Since stevia has no calories, it is a healthy alternative to refined sugar and coconut palm sugar.

Even while it won’t have an impact on your blood sugar levels, it should still be used sparingly.

4. Date Sugar.

Date Sugar
Image: American Heritage Chocolate via Unsplash

Dates sugar have gained popularity as fantastic sweeteners in recent years due to their inherent sweetness and high nutritional content.

They are delicious in everything from smoothies to savory appetizers.

Dates that have been dried and processed into sugar granules are used to make date sugar.

Date sugar has a distinctive flavor with hints of butterscotch despite having a brown sugar-like appearance.

High in fiber and minerals, date sugar is best consumed (in moderation) in savory rubs or straightforward baking methods.

5. Sucanat.

Sucanat
Image: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

Sucanat, a French term for “natural sugar,” is produced by extracting the juice from sugar cane, heating it, and then dehydrating it to produce granules.

Because it is less processed and more natural than white sugar, it is regarded as a sort of raw sugar.

It has bigger crystals and is the same shade of brown as coconut sugar.

Because it contains natural molasses, there are also a few traces of caramel flavor in it.

Coconut sugar and sucanat have the same sweetening capacity.

 

6. Agave Syrup.

  Image: Alexander Mils via Unsplash

The agave plant is used to make agave syrup, also known as agave nectar or maguey syrup.

After the plant’s sap has been collected, it is treated using heat and enzymes.

Because the agave sap’s fructans are converted to fructose during heating and/or enzyme action, agave syrup has a lower GI index.

Sugar is 1½ times sweeter than agave syrup!

Use 1/4 cup of agave syrup for every cup of liquid coconut sugar you require, much as other replacements.

7. Turbinado Sugar.

Turbinado Sugar (Image: Fotocitizen via Pixabay)

Pure cane sugar extract is used to make turbinado sugar.

The process used to make this sugar gives rise to the name “turbinado.”

A turbine or cylinder is used to spin the sugar.

Turbinado sugar has a molasses flavor and a brown appearance similar to brown sugar, however, it is lighter in color.

The molasses left behind from processing also provides antioxidants, albeit the quantities are quite small.

 

8. Cane sugar.

Image: Victoria Priessnitz via Unsplash

Cane sugar contains the same amount of nutrients and calories as coconut sugar and it is also similar to regular sugar.

It carries the same about of calcium, potassium, zinc as well as soluble fiber insulin, which helps to reduce blood sugar increase.

It has an identical taste to regular sugar, the difference is that it’s richer in color.

But it has an aroma just like coconut sugar.

To substitute for coconut sugar, use a 1:1 ratio.

That is a cup of cane sugar for every cup of coconut sugar.

 

9. Palm Sugar.

Image: josemdelaa via pixabay

Palm sugar is another great switch to coconut sugar.

It is another sugar that works well if you’re trying to avoid health complications associated with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

for can be gotten from various palm trees.

This particular sugar. has a more active fragrance than coconut sugar, and it is accompanied by a smokier taste.

You can switch coconut sugar to palm sugar in both cooking and baking recipes.

For substitution ratio, it is advised to stick with a standard 1:1 ratio when making the switch between both sweeteners.

 

Can you use maple syrup for coconut sugar?

Yes! you can.

Maple syrup is a smart alternative to coconut palm sugar.

Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees and it contains various nutrients such as potassium, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

It is a sweeter choice too.

Additionally, the smoked caramel taste of this sweetener will suit well in different recipes where needed.

Maple syrup is also easy to find in different supermarkets and can sometimes be an affordable solution if you don’t want to spend much.

Remember, this sweetener is liquid, and so depending on what you’re making, the other ingredients should also be adjusted.

That way, you can keep your recipe as it is supposed to be without any visible differences.

As such, use ¼ cup of maple syrup for every cup of coconut sugar needed in your recipe.

 

Can coconut sugar be replaced with brown sugar?

Yes!

But you don’t have to, below is why?

This sugar is much easier to find in the US, making it an awesome switch for coconut sugar.

When they are kept together, they have a similitude in color and texture to coconut sugar.

They also have a strong caramel taste because of the molasses it contains.

Brown sugar is slightly sweeter than coconut sugar, so it would be recommended for your health to reduce the sugar required in the recipe.

You can use about 2/3 cup of light brown sugar for 1 cup of coconut sugar.

 

Is Coconut sugar good for baking?

Yes!

You can use coconut sugar for baking and it is an alternative to white sugar baking.

 

 Conclusion

Coconut sugar is an amazing natural sweetener that can be used in many different recipes.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that coconut sugar is still a natural product, so you may need to experiment with different brands to find the substitutes that you like the best.

Enjoy the sweet taste but don’t go overboard.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand more about coconut sugar and how you can use it in your recipes.

If you found this post to be helpful, we would love it if you like, comment, and share it using the share button below.

Thank you for reading and we hope to see you again soon!

 

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