I thought it would be fitting to share about this video from Dr. Oz considering that Easter is this weekend. We have made Easter, like many other holidays, a day to eat a lot of candy and sweets. Well, Dr. Oz would recommend that you stop eating refined sugar for a lot of reasons, and in this video he recommends a substitute: coconut sugar.
I have used coconut sugar for quite a while now. I learned about it a year or two before you could even find it in its granulated form in the health food stores. I had to search Asian food stores for this lovely sugar. I have found it to be a tasty substitute for its more refined counterpart, white sugar. As Dr. Oz points out, coconut sugar doesn't put stress on your blood sugar levels the same way that white sugar does. Check out the graph he shares! It is pretty impressive. Because coconut sugar is unrefined, it retains all of its natural minerals and vitamins.
The only part I thought was odd in the video is when Dr. Oz explained that he was pleasantly surprised at coconut sugar because he thought it might have a "chemical" taste, but it didn't. Why, Dr. Oz, would you think that sugar made simply and naturally from coconut nectar would taste like a chemical? The process to make coconut sugar is quite simple. The nectar from a coconut flower is collected and then boiled down and granulated — no chemicals needed.
Like other unrefined sweeteners, the granulated form is much more coarse than white sugar. Because of that I like to give it a minute or so in a blender or food processor (I call it powdering), which makes it fine enough to use in recipes like buttercream frosting. It has a caramel, butterscotch flavor, which pairs especially well with chocolate. In some recipes you will notice a slight change in flavor when compared to white sugar, but that change is not necessarily negative.
You can use it as a one-to-one replacement for both white and brown sugar, which makes it simple to use instead. Really, you can use it in the majority of your normal recipes easily.
All in all, I personally love coconut sugar and have since before it was a popular health food item. I still often choose to use other naturals sweeteners that were produced closer to home, such as pure maple syrup and raw honey, but for this cane sugar-sensitive family, coconut sugar has been a real blessing.
Related on MNN: 10 delicious recipe using coconut sugar