Whether you want to bake healthy muffins, chocolate coconut sugar cookies, or sweet rice balls, your local grocery store may not have coconut sugar on hand. As a result, it’s helpful to know that there are coconut sugar replacements available, such as light brown sugar, maple syrup, maple sugar, or raw honey, that may be used in lieu of coconut sugar in recipes.
Coconut sugar, also known as coconut palm sugar, coconut flower sugar, or coconut crystals, is often used in Asian meals and delicious sweets like klepon and sago gula. Coconut sugar may be used in lieu of white sugar in many recipes since it does not taste like coconut but rather like brown sugar with caramel undertones.
It is also gaining a reputation as a healthy sugar because, although white refined sugar and coconut sugar have identical calorie and carb content, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (GI) of 54, compared to white sugar’s GI of 60. Since coconut sugar has a lower GI, it does not induce the same spikes in blood sugar levels after eating. Since coconut sugar includes a fiber called inulin, it is likely that this is what slows sugar absorption in the body.
Coconut sugar also includes trace amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as antioxidants, while white sugar does not.
The sap or nectar of the flower buds of coconut palms is heated to enable the water to drain and leave behind a syrup, which is then crystallized into coconut sugar with extra heat.
In terms of color and taste, coconut sugar is similar to brown sugar. Nevertheless, unlike brown sugar, coconut sugar has a coarser structure with irregularly sized grains or crystals.
There are currently a variety of recipes prepared for use with coconut sugar, and if you haven’t tried it before, it’s a good idea to start with them to get acclimated to cooking with it.
If you prefer to substitute coconut sugar for white sugar in an existing recipe, you may typically do so in the same quantity, i.e. one tablespoon of coconut sugar for one tablespoon of white sugar. Be careful that recipes adapted to use coconut sugar may not be as moist as those adapted to use white sugar. This is because the chemical composition of coconut sugar differs from that of white sugar.
When replacing coconut sugar, keep in mind the sort of baked goods or food you’re cooking, since this, combined with what you have in your pantry, will determine which of the following substitutions you use in lieu of coconut sugar.
In some circumstances, the alternatives may be used in equal quantities, but in others, you may need to add more or less, so having a set of measuring spoons on hand can be useful.
Substitutes for Coconut Sugar
1st sub: light brown sugar
Since light brown sugar is commonly accessible and has a comparable color and taste to coconut sugar, it is typically the ideal option to use.
Brown sugar is white sugar that has been colored and flavored with molasses. The more molasses a brown sugar contains, the darker it is. While brown sugar lacks the inulin (fiber) that coconut sugar possesses, it may easily be replaced in equal amounts. Nevertheless, since light brown sugar tastes somewhat sweeter than coconut sugar, you may wish to substitute two-thirds of a teaspoon of light brown sugar for every one teaspoon of coconut sugar required.
2nd Substitute: Maple Syrup
This is a simple substitution since most of us have maple syrup on hand. Since it has a maple taste, it may not be ideal for all recipes, and because it is a liquid, you must modify the other liquid proportions in the recipe to ensure the mixture is not too moist. Substitute a quarter spoonful of maple syrup with one tablespoon of coconut sugar.
3rd Substitute: Maple Sugar
Maple sugar, like maple syrup, is made from the sap of the maple tree. Unlike syrup, maple sugar is produced after the syrup has been reduced to crystallization, rather than after the syrup has been collected.
Maple sugar has a moderate maple taste, so if your recipe is more sensitive, evaluate if the maple flavor will overshadow other flavors; otherwise, the caramel hints from the maple sugar suggest maple sugar may substitute coconut sugar in an equal quantity.
4th Substitute: Raw Honey
While honey has a stronger taste, one quarter spoonful of raw honey may substitute one tablespoon of coconut sugar. But, like with maple syrup, you will need to alter the amount of liquid in the recipe to accommodate for the liquid honey.
Because of the increased risk of botulinum poisoning, honey should never be included in diets intended for young children.
Sucanat is a 5th substitute.
Sucanat is a sugar that is classified as raw sugar since it is not as refined as white sugar. Sucanat is more correctly defined as pure dried sugar cane juice. Sucanat not only has a natural light brown hue due to the restricted processing, but it also has some of the caramel tastes of coconut sugar due to the natural molasses. Since the sweetness is similar, you may use the same quantity of Sucanat as you would coconut sugar.
Sucanat, on the other hand, has a harder texture than other sugars, which means it may not dissolve as effectively. If you wish to utilize Sucanat, you need ground or combine it before adding it to your mix.
6th Substitute: Date Sugar
Date sugar is comparable to coconut sugar in that it contains micronutrients such as zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorus, but its GI value is greater. It also has a coconut sugar flavor.
Date sugar, on the other hand, is not a sugar; it is dried dates that have been finely crushed.
This also means that date sugar does not dissolve like sugar, making it inappropriate for use in several recipes. If you do use date sugar, you should be able to replace it with coconut sugar in an equivalent quantity.
There are other coconut sugar alternatives available, but light brown sugar is the ideal coconut sugar substitute since it is simple to buy, acts like sugar in cooking and baking, and has a similar taste and color to coconut sugar. Nevertheless, since it is a bit sweeter, use less light brown sugar in instead of coconut sugar.