Coconut Sugar & Nectar 101

Coconut sugar and nectar come from the sap of unopened coconut flowers, which is then boiled down to produce the thick, rich syrup or granular sugar. Although the creation of this sweetener requires processing, it does not strip out all the nutrients. Coconut sweeteners have become more popular recently as a healthy alternative to cane sugar because it’s lower on the glycemic index (less intense blood sugar spikes and crashes) and has a surprising amount of health benefits!

Specific Health Benefits of Coconut Sugar and Nectar

  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients
  • Supplies inulin fiber, which is believed to decrease the absorption of glucose (thus reducing the effect on blood sugar) and boost the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
  • Low Glycemic Index rating of 35. It’s good to eat foods that are lower on the GI scale of 1 – 100 because “your body performs best when blood sugar is kept relatively constant. If your blood sugar drops too low, you become lethargic and/or experience increased hunger. And if it goes too high, your brain signals your pancreas to secrete more insulin. Insulin brings your blood sugar back down, but primarily by converting the excess sugar to stored fat. Also, the greater the rate of increase in your blood sugar, the more chance that your body will release an excess amount of insulin, and drive your blood sugar back down too low”.

How Sweet?

The level of sweetness is comparable to cane sugar (and can be used as a 1:1 replacement), thus making it an easy swap for baking and cooking. Keep in mind, that although it’s better than white or brown sugar, it is still sugar and should be used sparingly.

Kinds to Buy

Unbleached and unrefined varieties; like this or this granular sugar, or this nectar.

How to Use It

The options are really endless, try it in anything you’d typically sweeten with honey, sugar or stevia! Our favorites ways to use it, plus recipes include:

Images by HonestlyFIT and HonestlyYUM