Coconut sugar (also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar, coco sap sugar or coconut blossom sugar) is a palm sugar produced from the sap of the flower bud stem of the coconut palm.
Other types of palm sugar are made from the Palmyra palm, the date palm, the sugar date palm, the sago palm or the sugar palm.
Used as a sweetener in many countries, coconut sugar has no significant nutritional or health benefits over other sweeteners.
Culinary Use of Coconut Sugar
In Indonesian cuisine coconut sugar is called gula jawa (Javanese sugar) or gula merah (red sugar), while gula aren refers to palm sugar specifically made from aren palm. Some Indonesian foodstuffs are made with coconut sugar, including kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce) and dendeng (a meat preparation).
Gula melaka is a Southeast Asian name for palm sugar or “malacca sugar”, probably named for its origin in the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It is usually derived from coconut palms, but sometimes from other palms. It is used in savory dishes, but mainly in local desserts and cakes of the Southeast Asian region.
Use coconut sugar at a ratio of 1:1 in any way you would regular sugar, including in tea or coffee or baking and cooking.
Taste and Flavour of Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is subtly sweet almost like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. The flavour and sweetness is usually similar to table sugar or brown sugar. However, since coconut sugar is not highly processed, the colour, sweetness and flavour can vary depending on the coconut species used, season when it was harvested, where it was harvested and/or the way the “sap” or “toddy” was reduced.
Nutrition and Health Claims
Although its use as a sweetener has become more common in developed countries, there is no scientific evidence that coconut sugar is more nutritious or healthier than any other sweetener. The nutritive value is similar to the empty calories found in table sugar or brown sugar. The principal carbohydrates of coconut sugar are sucrose (70–79%), glucose, and fructose (3–9% each).
Unlike traditional table sugar, due to the simple collection and production processes, coconut sugar retains a significant amount of the nutrients from that sap, which include zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, polyphenolic compounds, specialized fibre, vitamin C and other antioxidants, rather than the basic “empty calories” of traditional sugar. However, coconut sugar is still very high in fructose, which is potentially bad for a number of health conditions. Essentially, coconut sugar is considered to be healthier than normal sugar, but it must still be consumed in moderation.
- Mix 1 cup dark brown sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses
- Panela (Piloncillo)
- Brown sugar
- Maple sugar
- Date sugar
- Servings Per Container1
- Serving Size100g
- Amount per serving
- Energy333 kJ
- Standard DV% Daily Value*
- Total Fat0 g78 g0%
- Saturated Fat0 g20 g0%
- Trans Fat0 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat0 g
- Cholesterol0 mg300 mg0%
- Sodium0 mg2300 mg0%
- Total Carbohydrate98 g275 g35.64%
- Total Sugars100 g
- Added Sugars100 g50 g200%
- Protein0 g50 g0%
- Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)0 mcg15 mcg0%
- Calcium0 mg1300 mg0%
- Iron0 mg18 mg0%
- Potassium1067 mg4700 mg22.7%