Sugar Free Sunday & Coconut Palm Sugar Part 2
Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! We host Sugar Free Sunday every week to exchange incredible sugar free recipes to inspire everyone to start the week right!
Last week I wrote my first post about Coconut Palm Sugar. Honestly I was quite disappointed about my ability to get more information for you on this topic. So I dug around some more and here are my findings:
1. Coconut Sugar has a glycemic index of 35
As I mentioned last week, the Food and Nutritional Research Institute of the Philippines found that Coconut Palm Sugar has a very low glycemic index. As you can imagine, this makes it an ideal sweetener for diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels. Looks like coconut sugar will not cause the dreadful sugar spikes that refined sugar is infamous for.
2. Sometimes called Jaggary or Gur or Gud but they are not always the same
You’ll see Jaggary used in many indian dishes. It’s quite a typical sweetener in dishes like mithai (sweets) and sauces like the traditional brown date sauce you’ll find in just about every indian restaurant. However not all jaggary is coconut sugar! Some jaggary is made of coconut sap but most jaggary is made of unrefined cane or date juice. So don’t get confused — definitely read the labels about the source. Also most jaggary has invert sugar which is about 50% fructose. This means that it will definitely have have higher glycemic index than traditional coconut sugar.
3. Sometimes called palm sugar but that is different as well
As if the world of sweeteners wasn’t confusing enough, now we have to deal with the fact that coconut sugar (or coconut plam sugar) is not the same thing as palm sugar. BUT as all things confusing, you’ll see these terms being used interchangeably. Sigh right? Palm sugar is made from the sap of the tree itself as opposed to being made from the sap of the blossoms. Anyhow, this is something to keep in mind if you see a recipe calling for palm sugar.
4. There is some controversy around the sustainability of the coconut sugar industry
Since coconut sugar is created by extracting the sap from the flower buds, that flower bud can no longer become a coconut. This means that as coconut sugar increases in popularity, the number of coconut farms that actually produce coconuts might decrease. Coconuts themselves are used for coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water etc.
Coconut sugar is about a billion dollar market. The main producers of coconut sugars are Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. [Source] Supposedly many of the farmers and entrepreneurs in these countries are converting their coconut farms into coconut sugar production facilities. Some consider the industry unsustainable with a potential to diminish other coconut products. Others consider this as a great way for farmers to escape poverty and a great sugar alternative. Some even report that it is “the single most sustainable sweetener in the world”.
5. Coconut sugar can be found in paste or crystal form
And finally I’d like to leave you with a great info graphic from Square Bar.
How do you participate in the virtual potluck?
- Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
- Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text. It’s a great way to invite your readers to the fun!
- Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.
- See all the details on our Sugar Free Sunday page.
We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!
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