Production, Origin & Features
A couple of years ago, almost nobody knew about it, but today it is a trend: coconut blossom sugar. Of course you've heard of it before, but how precisely can you visualise it? Is the sugar related to the coconut? Does it even taste like coconut? Why is everyone all of a sudden going crazy about it and why is it so much more expensive than normal sugar?
Let's start at the beginning of the production process. Coconut blossom sugar is extracted from the juice of the coconut palm blossoms. The plant sap is boiled down and crystallised afterwards. This takes place mainly in Southeast Asia, but it also happens in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
The sugar, by the way, does not have the slightest taste of coconut, as you probably would imagine. It tastes a bit malty and has a delicate caramel-like taste.
But what separates coconut blossom sugar from normal household sugar? One of the biggest downsides of conventional sugar is its high glycemic index. The higher the glycemic index, the quicker the blood sugar level increases (which results in a strong release of insulin) and the quicker it decreases again. It is considered that this rapid decrease in blood glucose levels is linked to the well-known cravings.
Consuming sugar would therefore cause a new feeling of hunger after a brief period of time. White, refined household sugar (sucrose) has a glycemic index of around 70. The general definition is given below:
• High: 70 or higher
• Medium: Between 56 and 69
• Low: 55 or lower
However, according to a Philippine study by the Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute, our coconut blossom sugar has a glycemic index of 35! Almost unbelievable, but now you understand why the sugar alternatives are so popular. Coconut blossom sugar also contains more minerals than conventional sugar. It is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Nutrients per 100 g:
Energy: 382 kcal
Protein: 1.2 g
Carbohydrates: 93 g
Fat: 0.6 g
Potassium: 930 mg
Calcium: 420 mg
Usage & Responsibility
Yes, coconut blossom sugar is considerably pricier than conventional sugar. So why is that? In contrast to many other types of sugar, coconut blossom sugar continues to be produced traditionally by hand. It is not advised to use cheap coconut blossom sugar because of the high prices, since the cheap ones are often diluted with palm or cane sugar. It is worth taking a special look at the organic seal for yet another reason: Because coconut blossom sugar is still extracted and produced by hand, it is necessary to make sure that workers are paid fairly. However, the production of coconut blossom sugar is generally seen as particularly sustainable unlike other types of sugar.
Coconut blossom sugar can be used to sweeten tea, coffee or also cold refreshing beverages. Its sweet caramel flavour makes it perfect for baking. You can use this sugar alternative in a ratio of 1:1 to conventional sugar. But coconut blossom sugar can also be used for breakfast cereals in the morning or as a topping for desserts, providing a special sensation of taste.