Coconut Sugar

I’m no stranger to sweet treat cravings. Luckily, both my daughters love baking “sugar-free” and gluten-free treats: cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and everything else you can think of. And once they discovered coconut sugar it seemed like it was open game for any baking frenzy they wanted to go on as long as they used coconut sugar over refined sugar.  

I decided to look into exactly how much better coconut sugar was for you and I found out some interesting things.

  • Coconut sugar has more nutritional value compared to the zero nutritional value that sugar has. This is why sugar is sometimes called empty calories. Coconut sugar on the other hand contains nutritional value through several minerals such as sodium and iron. It also contains trace amounts of antioxidants. It might not be a lot, but here are the numbers:

    • Coconut Sugar - 625mg of potassium and 125mg of sodium per 100 grams

    • Table Sugar - almost zero minerals per 100 grams  

  • Coconut sugar also has inulin, which is a type of prebiotic fiber that is really healthy for your gut and slows the spike of blood sugar.

  • The glycemic index is of coconut sugar is quite different - on a scale of 1-100 (100 being high) this is how fast your blood sugar goes up after eating a certain food.

    • Coconut Sugar - 35

    • Table Sugar - 100

  • Coconut sugar is very close in its chemical compounds to sugar and breaks down in a similar way. It’s still high in carbohydrates and high in calories just like table sugar.

    • Coconut Sugar - 375 calories per 100 grams

    • Table Sugar - 387 calories per 100 grams  

As you can see, there is a slight benefit to using coconut sugar for baking, BUT really you should limit your intake to 6 or less teaspoons of any type of added sugar. In our house we have now tried to switch to using stevia extract when baking. It’s all natural, doesn’t spike blood sugar and has a glycemic index of zero!

Here is one of our favorite summer desserts using stevia.

Watermelon sorbet

What’s your go to summer treat?

Aaron Leventhal