Welcome to What is it? Wednesdays! Every other Wednesday, we’ll explore a different ingredient or product in depth. We’ll be covering the benefits, uses and common misconceptions about each. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments and we’ll work them into the schedule.
What is it? Coconut sugar is made from the nectar of coconut palm tree blossoms. It is an alternative sweetener that can be used in many recipes as a one-to-one replacement for white sugar or brown sugar. It’s more coarse than conventional refined white sugar, but the crystals dissolve perfectly in hot drinks and baked goods.
How is it made? Nectar is harvested from the coconut palm tree and, essentially, cooked down until most of the moisture evaporates, leaving behind a thick syrup. This can be dried and made into sugar crystals or left as a syrup. Watch a great video on the entire process here. An interesting tidbit I picked up while researching this was that the flower used to harvest sugar will never become a coconut. A decision must be made as to whether you want to use the flower for sugar or if you want it to produce a coconut. It makes sense, when you think about it, but interesting nonetheless.
How do you use it? Coconut sugar can be used in place of refined white sugar or brown sugar in most recipes. It’s wonderful sprinkled on hot cereal or used to sweeten your coffee. It has a lightly caramel flavor that blends well in most applications.
Is Bob’s Red Mill coconut sugar vegan? Yes.
Is Bob’s Red Mill coconut sugar gluten free? No, while coconut sugar is naturally free from gluten, we do not produce our coconut sugar in our gluten free facility or batch test it for gluten.
Is coconut sugar suitable for diabetics? We’ve read some varying information regarding how safe coconut sugar is for those with diabetes. Coconut Sugar should be treated like table sugar. Individuals will have to see how it affects their blood sugar, but we do not recommend its use by diabetics.
Does it have a coconut flavor? No, coconut sugar does have a mild caramel flavor, but it does not have a strong coconut flavor.
Recipes we love using Coconut Sugar
- Coconut Sugar Coffee Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes from Keepin’ it Kind
- Blueberry Crumble Bars
- Cranberry Apple Mini Pies from The Nourishing Gourmet
- Flourless Brownies from Homemade Mommy
- Rum Kissed Coconut Granola from The Bojon Gourmet
- Caramelized Peach Cornmeal Skillet Cake from The Nourishing Gourmet