We set out to make a “better for you” green tea products, and part of that vision was to find a viable alternative to refined sugar, HFC, or even the not-so-bad sounding, “evaporated cane syrup.” You’re probably thinking that sugar is just, well, sugar, but some sweet stuff is better than others. Case in point, coconut sugar. Its sweet, decadent, and even a little nutritious.
Coconut sugar, sometimes known as coconut palm sugar, is made from the sap of the coconut plant in a relatively simple two step process.
Step 1- The coconut flower bud (not the actual coconut) is cut and the sap drained.
Step 2- The sap is boiled at a moderate temperature until most of the water evaporates.
And that’s it. The final result is a caramel-colored sugar that tastes and smells a bit like brown sugar or molasses. No additives or extensive processing.
Low Glycemic Index
Coconut sugar has a glycemic index of about 35, compared to that of table sugar, which hovers somewhere in the ballpark of 60-75. A quick note- the glycemic index is the number associated with a food depending on how it affects a person’s blood sugar levels. This important factor makes coconut sugar safe for diabetics, and has been given the OK by the American Diabetes Association. Word to the wise, be sure to read the ingredient list if you purchase coconut sugar for yourself; some sneaky brands out there are cut with regular table sugar.
Naturally Occurring Ingredients
Coconut sugar contains inulin, a fiber that helps slow glucose absorption (hence, that low GI score) and also functions as a prebiotic, a non-digestible fiber compound that facilitates the growth of good, probiotic bacteria in the stomach. You’ll also get some basic nutritional standbys, like Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Potassium, as well as some antioxidants.
You would need to consume quite a bit of coconut sugar in order to reach your recommended daily values- but we think its better to use a sugar that has more to offer than the promise of tooth decay.
Sourcing & Sustainability
Coconut Palms produce an average of 50-75% more sugar per acre than Sugar Cane and use less than 1/5th the nutrients for that production. Organic Coconut Palm Sugars are not produced from the same palm species as is used for the production of Palm Oil. Our coconut sugar comes from our friends over at Big Tree Farms. We really admire both their products, and their commitment to sustainability. Check out their website- www.bigtreefarms.com for more info.
How It's Used
Coconut sugar can be used as a replacement for white or brown sugar in many recipes. It caramelizes and has a low melting point, much like regular sugar, so its perfect for making cakes, cookies, or whatever else satisfies your sweet tooth. It gives our matcha lattes a extra something; rich notes of butterscotch and brown sugar complement vegetal green tea for a truly unique drink mix.