Originally published May 31 2010
Azukar Organics' amazing organic coconut sugar
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The coconut is a highly versatile food that is loaded with an array of diverse nutrients that result in amazing health benefits. Coconut milk, cream, oil and flour are some of the most common coconut superfoods available on the market. But did you know that a healthy, superior form of sugar can also be obtained from coconuts?
Azukar Organics, a specialty commodities company based out of Los Angeles, produces a delicious, certified organic coconut sugar that is rich in vitamins and minerals and is safe for diabetics. The company claims that its coconut sugar actually helps people who use it to manage proper weight and maintain proper insulin levels. Even those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can safely use coconut sugar in moderation.
When I first stumbled across Azukar's coconut sugar, it piqued my interest because it was the first time I had ever heard of coconut-derived sugar. Though common in East Asia, it is fairly new to the Western world, so naturally I was curious about it. How is coconut sugar different from other kinds of sugar? How does it compare to other natural, low-glycemic sweeteners?
Many people are probably familiar with sweeteners like agave syrup and stevia, which are two of the more popular low-glycemic sweeteners used by health-conscious individuals. Stevia is great, but it seems to work best in beverages rather than in solid foods and baked goods. And agave syrup has taken a lot of heat lately for having a very high fructose level and for not necessarily being all that healthy, depending on how it is extracted and processed. But rather than put down these other two sweeteners, which I happen to believe are both excellent alternatives to conventional refined sugar, I would like to add a third contender into the mix that is one of my new favorites.
When I first tasted Azukar's coconut sugar, I was impressed by its complex and rich flavor. Its color is similar to some lighter brown sugars, but the crystals are larger and the flavor is much more elaborate. It is unlike any other sugar I have ever tasted, and in the best possible way.
I just so happened to taste Azukar's coconut sugar in some delicious organic, gluten-free coconut brownies that the company made with its organic coconut flour, coconut sugar and cacao. It was a deliciously healthy sweet treat that deserves an article of its own! But the way the coconut sugar mingled ever-so-gently with the other flavors really sets it apart from other sweeteners. There are no strange flavors or aftertastes, and no spike in blood sugar levels. And I am not exaggerating when I say that they were the most delicious brownies I have ever tasted.
Which brings up another interesting point about coconut sugar: when used in proper amounts, it does not over-sweeten foods, but rather perks them up while highlighting its own unique flavor and the flavor of the food. More often than not, baked goods are over-sweetened with conventional sugar that is not only simple in taste but very unhealthy. Coconut sugar is a welcomed, more subtle alternative.
Coconut sugar has long been a staple in East Asia where it is extracted from the sap of coconut flower buds. And when compared to brown cane sugar, coconut sugar contains more than 20 times the amount of nitrogen, 26 times the amount of phosphorus, nearly 16 times the amount of potassium, four times the amount of magnesium, 26 times the amount of natural chloride, and nearly twice the amount of iron. It is also very high in natural B vitamins.
Coconut sugar is also one of the most sustainable sweeteners in the world. Coconut palms, which are different from the type used to make palm oil, produce up to 75 percent more sugar per acre than does sugar cane. Coconut palms are also considered to be the "tree of life" by many because they can produce over 100 different products and they work well for small farmers who are able to make livelihoods because of them.
Naturally, excessive sugar intake should be avoided since too much of any form can lead to bad health, but when you are making something with sugar and want to use the healthiest form, coconut sugar is a great option and Azukar Organics is a great brand.
To learn more about Azukar Organics and its line of coconut products, please visit www.azukarorganics.com.
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