Coconut palm sugar, a natural sweetener that is becoming more and more popular, has good nutrients and a relatively low glycemic index. Let's find out better.
> 1. What is coconut palm sugar
> 2. Properties and nutritional values of coconut palm sugar
> 3. How the extraction takes place
> 4. Curiosities about coconut palm sugar
What is coconut palm sugar
Coconut palm sugar it is also called coconut sugar. It should not be confused with palm sugar, which is something else, that is, this sugar is extracted by hand from the flowers of the sugar palm, another plant compared to the coconut palm, from the botanical name Arenga Pinnata.
Coconut palm sugar, on the other hand, is obtained from sap or nectar of the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, a plant of the Arecaceae family, typical of the coasts of tropical and warm countries.
Today the main spreading areas of the coconut palm are located between the XNUMXnd parallel north and south. The palm can be cultivated beyond these limits of latitude, exported here and there by Europeans, but the crops lose commercial importance.
In fact, palms are generally grown on the coast, but their growth is not limited to coastal environments; nothing is thrown away from the coconut palm: in addition to obtaining sugar, coconut oil and coconut milk, the fibers and leaves are used and intertwined by local populations to produce baskets and coatings for the home.
Properties and nutritional values of coconut palm sugar
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations considers it the most sustainable natural sweetener on the planet.
The sugar is in fact obtained and processed by hand by local farmers, who get horny on the tall trees to collect the precious sap, which is then boiled by the women of the villages and molded into blocks.
It is, as mentioned, a very rich sugar: the average values for 100 g of product show:
- an energy value of 400 kcal,
- 90/100 grams of carbohydrates,
- zero protein or grass.
Minerals and vitamins are present, we find: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iron and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. It contains enzymes that allow a slow absorption of sugars into the blood, moreover its glycemic index (equal to 35) is lower than common white sugar.
Also discover the properties, calories and nutritional values of coconut
How does sugar extraction take place?
Coconut palm sugar is made from nectar or sap from the blossoms of mature treesi (it takes about 6 to 10 years), the sugary fluid that circulates in the coconut palm.
This nectar is first boiled to avoid fermentation then dried to air to form the crystallization of the sugar which is naturally brown in color and rich in a series of important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
It is not bleached and refined like brown sugar, the flavor is aromatic and rather fruity, which at times reminds of caramel.
With the sap extracted by carving the young inflorescences, as well as sugar, the so-called "palm wine", palm vinegar and palm brandy are also obtained.
Coconut Palm Sugar Curiosities
Whole and organic coconut sugar, from sustainable agriculture, is what you have to look for if you want to try this product. Work and harvesting are a precious tradition, which is handed down from father to son, who work four hours in the morning and the same in the evening, climbing long bamboo ladders to empty the bampongs, the glass containers into which the sap pours. .
It can be found both online and in shops specializing in natural and organic products. The price is quite high, due to the type of processing behind it: you pay even 7 euros for half a kilo of coconut sugar.
You also pay double if you decide to buy it raw coconut sugar, in which evaporation takes place at temperatures below 40 ° C, requiring slower processes, but which keep the precious nutrients unaltered.
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