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What is coconut sugar?

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Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar, is a type of sugar that is produced from the sap of the coconut palm. It is very common in areas of South Easter Asia, where coconut palms are abundant, but is growing in popularity as an alternative to cane sugar and is now becoming much more widely available. It is produced by harvesting the sap from the stems of the blossoms of a coconut tree. The sap is heated and reduced until it is a thick, dark-colored syrup in a process similar to the maple syrup production process. The finished syrup can be further reduced into a granulated form that is similar in appearance to brown sugar.

Coconut sugar has a high mineral content and is classified as a low glycemic index food, and both of these traits are why coconut sugar is appearing on more shelves. It has a toasted smell to it that is reminscent of molasses, and a flavor that is similar to brown sugar. It can be used for baking, cooking and just for sweetening up tea and coffee. It is just as sweet as sugar, so it can be used in a 1:1 substitution for it in recipes. That said, since it has a distinct flavor, it is a good idea to use it as a substitution for brown sugar if you are looking for a more subtle effect in the finished product.

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9 Comments
  • Kate @ Coffee with Kate
    January 7, 2014

    I’ve been eager to try coconut sugar after reading up a lot on it lately!

  • Susan
    January 7, 2014

    Thanks, Nicole, I have asked in several stores, but no one knew. Now I can go to Trader Joe’s, get that coconut sugar, and make that recipe that I have been meaning to try. Appreciate your “what is” blog entries.

  • Katy
    January 11, 2014

    Hmmm… I’ve never heard of coconut sugar. But I’m always looking for different alternatives to just plain white sugar. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for it in the stores and give it a try. 🙂

  • Joan
    January 30, 2014

    Is.cocoanutsugar good for diabetes I have been using for the past one year. I was told it is not good for Me but I am hooked

  • Nick @ Bakingbeardy
    January 31, 2014

    I’ve heard there are some ethical issues with coconut sugar, though?

  • lanettdking
    December 28, 2014

    Lanett King

    Hey guys my son is doing a project based on coconut sugar and I was wondering if you guys knew some places in Houston,TX that sales coconut sap or sugar and could you post this on your page to start a thread
    Any help is appreciated This is due next week

  • Sunny
    May 10, 2015

    You can buy coconut sugar in Asian supermarket
    Also Asian we use plan sugar as well it come in a big block u need to smash it yourself but it was very cheap 🙂

  • Nicole
    August 15, 2017

    There is less controversy over coconut sugar production, as many of the producers tend to be small and it is a sustainable industry where the trees are not cut down, but used all year round (without harming them. As to whether or not coconut sugar it is a “safe” alternative to cane sugar for those on restricted diets. I have to say that you might want to consult your doctor if you have any dietary questions, guys. 🙂

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