A: Coconut sugar is derived from the sap of the coconut flower buds. These buds are what provides the nutrients to the growing coconut. You may have heard all the wonderful nutritional benefits of coconut and its by-products such as coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut water.
Also known as palm sugar, this sweetener is natural, and not concocted in a lab. It is made purely from the sweet watery sap of the flower buds of fresh coconut. Because it is unrefined and minimally processed, it is a great alternative to other sugarcane based sweeteners such as refined white sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugar, sucanat sugar and molasses.
According to tests in Philippines, USA, Japan and Australia, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than sugarcane-based sweeteners which means it will not trigger a dramatic spike in blood sugars. It is classified with a 34-54 GI (glycemic index) which is considered the LOW end of glycemic range.
The vitamins and minerals contained in the sugar include calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus – all important for the body’s proper functioning. Maple syrup another natural sap-based alternative, contains important nutrients such as these but may have a slightly higher GI. Note that coconut sugar is also rich in amino acids, making up proteins, the building blocks for your bodies cells, organs and structures. Thus it is not a completely empty-caloried food. But because it is not a fruit, and only the sap from the plant, it is considered an added sugar. According to the American Heart Association, women should limit added sugars to 6 tsp / day. So it is important to use in moderation.
Nutso-Sweet Tip: Cut the sugar in recipes by half and substitute refined white sugar or honey (both higher in the glycemic index than coconut sugar) with coconut sugar. I’ve already done that for this Morselicious Gluten-Free Carrot Cake recipe. Enjoy!
I enjoy Mac-n-Mo’s morsels – they are delicately sweet, but not too sweet and contain nothing but wholesome ingredients. With no added salt or sugar (or sugar alcohols), these treats definitely are a “Nutri-Savvy’s Pick“! You can buy the ready-made morsels at health food stores such as Lassens and Erewhon, or make your own using the Morselicious Mix.
Because the mix is so versatile, I often refer to it as the “Bisquick of Good Health”. But make no mistake, there is only quality whole-food based ingredients in this mix and none of the junk. NO salt, NO added sugar, It’s Gluten-Free, GMO-certified and Kosher!
A Baking Experience with Mac-n-Mo’s
I’ve already used the Morselicious Mix to make my own morsels. It’s easy. Just add water, applesauce or pumpkin puree, and your sweetener of choice (recipe is on the back of the package). They always come out great! Now I wanted to do a little something different. So I decided to make a Morselicious Carrot Cake – well muffins, to be exact.
Below is the yummy Gluten-Free Carrot Cake recipe inspired by glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com. Of course I made some revisions, most notably that the “flour replacement” is Mac-n-Mo’s Morselicious mix. I also cut the sugar amount in half. And I used a “star” ingredient – my new fav spice –Star Anise.
I love Mac-n-Mo’s! I highly recommend you try the morsels and the mix. Visithttp://www.macnmos.com
Now onto the recipe:
Morselicious Carrot Cake with a Star Ingredient
- 1 egg* (NOTE from Mo: for “FLAX” egg, use 3 Tbsp flax meal & 9 Tbsp water)
- 2.5 Tbsp of Coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp of Coconut Sugar
- 2 Tbsp of applesauce or pumpkin puree (or non fat Greek yogurt)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp star anise (ground)
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup of Carrots
- 3 Tbsp of Raisins
- 3 Tbsp of Pecans
- 1 cup of Mac-n-Mo’s Morselicious Mix
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (NOTE from Mo: if you want to avoid the sodium, don’t add)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour coat a mini muffin tin.
Mix egg*, coconut oil and coconut sugar together until well blended. Beat in applesauce (or pumpkin puree) and spices. Add Morselicious Baking Mix, coconut flakes, carrots, raisins and pecans. Combine well.
Scoop batter into muffin tin and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, anise or pistachio. Enjoy!