Coconut sugar is produced from the sap tapped from the unopened coconut palm flower head (inflorescence). It’s also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar, coco sap sugar. Coconut sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in the south and south-east Asian regions.
Farmers make a cut on the immature flower head (spadix) and the sap starts to flow from the cut. The sap is then collected in bamboo containers. Each tree can yield 1-3 litres of sap per day. About 8 litres of sap yields 1kg coconut sugar.
The sap contains about 80% water so it’s boiled to evaporate the water and a thick syrupy liquid called ‘toddy‘ is left behind. The syrup can be sold as sugar syrup, or reduced into crystals or blocks.
Coconut sugar comes in crystal or granule form, block or liquid form. It’s sweet like brown sugar but has a slight hint of caramel. Since this sugar is not highly processed, the colour, flavour and sweetness can vary depending on the processing method used.
The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70–79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3–9%) each. Table sugar is 99% sucrose. Coconut sugar provides 16 calories per teaspoon.Coconut sugar is different from palm sugar, which is made from the sap in the stems of several species, namely, the palmyra palm (Borassus sp), the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), the sugar date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), the sago palm (Cycas revoluta) or the sugar palm (Arenga pinnata). The sap can also be tapped from the immature flower heads (inflorescence).
Table Sugar Calorie Guide
Table sugar is made up of 99% sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide sugar made up of fructose and glucose. Glucose is responsible for blood sugar level. It’s also called blood sugar. Apples and pears have a lot of fructose; and mangoes and bananas have a lot of sucrose.
1 level teaspoon (4g) 15 calories
1 heaping teaspoon (6g) 25 calories
1 cup 770 calories
average (1 cube) 25 calories
1 average tablespoon (12g) 48 calories