Coconut sugar adds flavor to your baking

 Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar's popularity is surging, thanks in part to its reputation as a healthier substitute to processed cane and beet sugars. While health claims for the product are mostly unsubstantiated, Gourmet Traveller reports that it is more environmentally responsible than granulated cane sugar. The yield for coconut sugar is at least 50 percent more for the same planting area than sugarcane, and the palm trees use fewer soil nutrients.

The process for making coconut sugar is similar to that of maple syrup. Sap from the flower buds of the coconut palm is heated to evaporate excess water, then boiled until the syrup is reduced to coarse, caramel-colored granules.

Substituting coconut sugar in your baking can lead to delicious results. Gourmet Traveller says that it adds a "rich toffee flavour" to baked goods.  According to indexed blog Baking Bites, you can use coconut sugar in place of either brown or white sugar in a 1:1 ratio by weight. Coconut sugar falls somewhere between the two in terms of moisture content, and is suitable for most baked goods. It should be used with caution for candy making, as it burns at a lower temperature than cane or beet sugars. 

Photo of How to use coconut sugar in baking from Baking Bites by Nicole Weston

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