Coconut Sugar: Is This Alternative Sweetener Really Better For Your Health?
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ve no doubt heard about coconut sugar by now. It’s fast become a hot topic and recommended ingredient. With claims that it’s a ‘superfood’ and a ‘super healthy’ cane sugar replacement, does it actually live up to all the hype? Let’s take a closer look at coconut sugar as an alternative sweetener:
What Is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is made from coconut trees—not actual coconuts. In a process sort of similar to maple syrup collection, coconut sap is tapped from the tree. The sap is then gently heated to remove moisture. And you’re left with coconut sugar crystals—aka coconut sugar.
Coconut sugar is unique in that its sap is sweet straight out of the tree! Other alternative sweeteners like maple syrup require lengthy heat times to achieve that sweet, sweet taste.
Is Coconut Sugar Healthier Than Cane Sugar?
While any sweetener should be enjoyed in moderation, coconut sugar is healthier than cane sugar in several ways. Here’s why it’s a better option for your baked goods:
Coconut Sugar Has A Lower Glycemic Index Than Cane Sugar
Cane sugar causes blood sugar to spike. And then crash. Why? Because it has a high glycemic index. This cycle is no big deal for some people, but can greatly affect mood, energy levels, and more for others.
The higher a food’s glycemic index, the faster it causes blood sugar levels to spike—enacting the cycle. Low glycemic foods, on the other hand, affect blood sugar levels more gradually and gently. Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index—that helps you keep your body balanced!
Coconut Sugar Contains Vitamins, Minerals, And Nutrients
Cane sugar contains almost nothing—except for carbs. Coconut sugar, on the other hand, has a nutrient breakdown you can feel good about.
Because coconut sugar is made from tree sap, it retains many of the nutrients found in the coconut tree. These nutrients include good-for-you minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. It’s rich in antioxidants that boost the immune system. Plus, it contains inulin fiber—which works to keep blood sugar levels balanced and is the reason coconut sugar has a low glycemic index.
Now that's a better-for-you sweetener, for sure!
Coconut Sugar Is Unrefined And Less-processed
Because coconut sap is naturally sweet right off the bat, coconut sugar requires very little in the form of processing! With a little heat, moisture is evaporated, leaving a natural, unrefined product behind. Other sweeteners require a much more intensive processing, process. Plus, many include additives, coloring, and other artificial additives you don’t need.
How To Use Coconut Sugar As An Alternative Sweetener
The nutrient benefits of coconut sugar aren’t the only reasons we include coconut sugar in many of our recipes. It also makes an excellent alternative sweetener because:
It’s Easy to Bake With Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar looks and acts a lot like cane sugar. This makes it super simple to bake with! There’s no need to adjust recipes and substitute other ingredients. Just do a one-to-one swap. What’s more, coconut sugar has a very ‘normal’ sugary texture. Your baked goods won’t come out grainy or otherwise altered.
Coconut Sugar Tastes Great!
While this may seem like a given, it needs to be said! Coconut sugar has a distinct taste—that’s a little different than straight-up sugar. But we think it’s delicious. It adds dimension to our recipes and compliments the other fresh-from-our-kitchen ingredients for truly tasty cookies!
Don’t just take our word for it, though! Shop our coconut sugar-sweetened cookie recipes here to taste-test for yourself.