Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Coconut Sugar

I talk about coconut sugar often in my recipes but I am getting emails like......What is coconut sugar and why do you want to use it?

First off, it is a very low glycemic sugar which is very important. It won't cause those sugar highs and lows like regular sugar. 

Second, it isn't bleached and refined like white sugar. It is the sap of the coconut tree or flower that is then boiled and dehydrated. They don't ruin it with bleach and other chemicals. The body will know what to do with this sugar.

Third, it tastes great and can be used like sugar. 

Stevia is probably the best out there but to be honest, I don't like the taste. I use the coconut sugar when possible although it is a bit costly. I don't trust agave one bit so I stay away from that. Honey is my second choice.

I have been testing out my recipes with coconut sugar and they have been wonderful. It has a more Caramel flavor to it as natural sugars usually do. It has a low melt and burn temperature so you don't need to wait for it to boil down for long. 

This week, I healthified the ever popular Buttermilk Syrup recipe. It made it taste like I was putting caramel on my waffles, just a whole lot less guilt. 

Kefir-milk Syrup

1 stick butter
3/4 cup coconut sugar crystals
1/2 cup kefir

Melt together over medium high heat , stirring often. Careful not to burn.

As soon as it start to barely boil, remove from heat.

Add in:

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Stir and serve hot.

I also put some coconut sugar with cinnamon on good Sprouted, homemade bread . I put some butter on, sprinkled the coconut mixture and broiled it until it was bubbly. It was super yummy cinnamon toast. Still a treat but much better than the other options. 

I order my coconut sugar from Azure Standard but you can find it on the web as well. If you have found it in a store, let me know. If it is light in color, it is usually not pure or is refined. You want the real stuff. It is used in many eastern countries so I am going to try an Asian market to see if I can find it locally. It may be more expensive than white sugar but you can solve that by not using as much sugar. I find that I can use almost half as much sugar in many recipes and be just fine. We are all better for that!


Terri Burges Hirning said...

I use it for just about everything! I have to admit, I even tried using it in my buttercream frosting recipe!! It is my go-to sugar when I am baking anything! I LOVE it! For everyday stuff, I definitely use stevia (KAL brand tastes best I think) but for baked goods or cooking, I will always reach for coconut sugar!

Shari Goodman said...

I need to buy that kind of Stevia. I do use stevia for my sweeteners also but just not for baking. Thanks for introducing me to coconut sugar in the first place!

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari Goodman said...

As far as agave is concerned, there is not a lot of trust from many of the big wig health nuts. The way it can be processed is not much different than how corn syrup is processed. They use a chemical which is bad for the body. Also, they have found that in some brands, they actually have put High Fructose Corn Syrup in there. Of course, there is probably a few companies that are better than others but since I don't know for sure and don't feel I can trust them, I don't buy it. It is fairly new to the market so I always sit out the new things until the evidence is out.

The Lees said...

They have it at Sprouts, sold as Raw Coconut Crystals. But it's a pretty small can. Looks like a better deal online.

kami said...

Yum! I made this the other night. I usually do it with 1/2 cup honey but it was tasty with coconut sugar as well. I don't know why I'd never thought of using my kefir for it! Instead I always made sour milk. Thanks for the idea :)

*Whole Foods has coconut sugar in their bulk section for $4-5/lb. Also, I read on the Sprout's newsletter that they'll be adding coconut sugar and flour to their bulk section this year. Last week, my Sprout's (Higley) didn't have it but I am hoping they'll get it soon (they were getting their new shipment the following day).

Anonymous said...

I love coconut sugar and have used it in many of my recipes. However, I just recently found out that my son is allergic to coconut. Now, because the sugar is taken from the sap and flowers, it's not considered part of the coconut and therefore he will able to eat it??

Shari Goodman said...

sometimes they can still be allergic to it as it is part of the coconut tree. I wouldn't risk it for now. If he stays away from coconut for a while, he will probably become unallergic to it in the future

Caroline said...

I had rapadura sugar and by process of elimination and numerous relentless tests including a Brain MRI and Neurologist Visits (AKA a lot of $$$) that the icepick headaches were from the rapadura.
I switched to Coconut Sugar, and again through a processes of elimination I found out that the massive cramping I was having where I felt like I wanted to pass out from the pain was from the Coconut Sugar.
I have been having stomach pains again over 6months down the path and thought what on earth is causing this ! Turns out that the Organic Drinking Chocolate powder I was putting on my Nespresso Caps (3 a day) has coconut sugar in it !!!! (which I didn't realize)
After doing some research it would probably appear that these products are extremely high in Fructose because they are completely unprocessed and my body can't process such naturally occurring sugars
So be mindful of these two sugars and any sudden change in your body

Kat said...

I get TresOmega coconut sugar at Sam's club for about $10.00 for a four pound bag.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon, with allergic-coconut kid...

I myself am not allergic to actual coconut (milk/cream/water/flesh) but I am seriously allergic to palm oil (get infected hives and migraines). My son is seven years old and has had serious allergies to coconut sap in a soy sauce replacement from Coconut Secret. His face gets extremely scary pustules. He can eat coconut sugar. Go figure. Just pay attention to your own reaction to any product, and beware the possibility of an ever worsening allergy that could become anaphylactic. In my sons case, the first break out was so serious, he looked like a burn victim. His skin took 2.5 weeks to recover... The more recent one that has me looking on-line and writing this now just stared. If you're attentive (and lucky) you'll realize these things after 2-3 occurrences, unlike it taking me ten years to get a clue on the palm oil thing.