What's the Difference Between Coconut Sugar and Coconut Palm Sugar?
It might look like coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar are two different types of sweeteners, when in fact, they are basically the same thing. The moniker "coconut" identifies this is the same identity sugar while if the sugar label says only "palm sugar," this means it is a different type as it can be made from multiple palm tree types and is generally the sap only.
Coconut sugar is extracted from the nectar of coconut palm flowers most often. Coconut sugar is the most interesting choice for natural sweeteners because of the flavor and nutritional profile. It can be a great sugar alternative for people looking for possibly a healthier option than regular white sugar.
On the other hand, strictly palm sugar (sap from palm trees) is not the same as coconut palm sugar, contrary to what the names themselves might suggest.
Palm sugar is obtained from the sap of palm trees, specifically from the trunks of the tree. The tree source and tree type are factors that come into play in the differentiation of these two sugars.
The most significant difference between coconut sugar vs palm sugar is their taste! Coconut sugar has a similar flavor to brown sugar, with strong hints of caramel and butterscotch. Pure palm sugar made from the sap is characterized by a more smokey taste.
Coconut palm sugar can be found in our organic dark chocolate, which is in our opinion, the best combination of quality cacao and natural sweetener.
What Are the Benefits of Using Them in Your Cooking?
Healthier replacements for table sugar are always worth considering in our diet. If we can enjoy delicious, homemade cakes, cookies, or chocolate that not only taste amazing but are good for us, why wouldn’t we? Coconut sugar and palm sugar can be an excellent solution for people interested in white sugar and refined sugar alternatives. What are the possible coconut sugar benefits?
Coconut palm sugar has generally a lower glycemic index. This means it can potentially be healthier for people with diabetes or other health issues. Coconut sugar is a good substitution for other popular natural sweeteners, like honey or maple sugar due to the more cost effective and vegan nature.
It’s also seemingly one of the most nutritious out of all natural sweeteners. Coconut palm sugar contains minerals like potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
The great thing is also the fact that it is easily accessible. You can easily find and buy coconut sugar in stores like the type we use in our organic dark chocolate sweetened with coconut palm sugar to use in home recipes. This way, you don’t have to worry about adding any additional sugar when baking.
It’s worth mentioning that, although coconut sugar is a great product to use in the kitchen, one should still limit intake. Too much of any sweetener is not recommended, and essentially every type of sugar can become harmful when consumed in large quantities.
How to Choose the Best Type of Sugar for Your Recipe
There are many types of sugar available, so it’s easy to get lost in options. Every sweetener has its flavor, texture, and specific properties under heat like when baking, so choosing the best one is an interesting task. You can easily find the general classifications of sugars according to the level of refining they have been subject to, the potential health benefits they might be providing you, or the source of extraction (i.e. palm sugar sap or coconut sugar crystals or molasses even).
There’s officially no best sugar for cooking and this comes down to personal taste. Because of the many different categories that you can take into consideration when choosing the best one, you should ask yourself, what is your main priority (flavor and health are our 2 main aspects we look at when choosing)?
Do you care most about the taste or the potential health benefits? Are you looking for natural sugars, or are you fine with artificial ones or combinations of synthetic sugar with real sugar? Sometimes the choice of the best sugar option will depend on what you are cooking or baking too (we have had issues with date sugar in very high heat baking for example). First consider your needs and then look into the array of options available.
The most common types of sugar in stores are white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, agave syrup, stevia, maple syrup, molasses, and coconut sugar. Each has a benefit. FYI, generally for plain cane sugar the brown sugar option offers the same experience as white sugar but is likely more beneficial with some minerals.
Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes to the best sugars for cooking, coconut palm sugar and palm sugar are the two types of sweeteners worth your attention (we feel coconut sugar is the better option though). Coconut sugar is our first pick because it is interesting in flavor and nutritional value, and has a lower glycemic index than most refined sugar sweeteners.
If you’re looking for a natural sweetener that is easy to use in the kitchen, very accessible and presents some beneficial properties, try coconut palm sugar. Remember that some producers use the terms coconut palm sugar and palm sugar interchangeably (which is incorrect), so always check the ingredient composition before buying it to ensure you’re getting the right sugar.