Coconut Sugar (Nectar): Myth Vs. Facts
Wondering why you’ve been getting flooded with coconut products in your local health food store, or even while scrolling through Instagram? Maybe you’re a little like us at CoViCo and have fallen victim to this coconut-craze. Or maybe you’re wondering what all this buzz has been about and now you’re here (Muaw-hahaha)!
Well coconuts are no trend, and the love is here to stay, so better get your facts straight when it comes to these delicious fruits! So sit back, relax, sip your coconut nectar-sweetened coffee, and let us separate fact from fiction for you.
Coconut Sugar (Nectar) Comes from the Coconut: MYTH
What? I bet most of you had no idea that Coconut sugar (nectar) has nothing to do with the coconut. In fact, it shouldn’t even really be called sugar. That’s right, that yummy sweetener’s real name is Coconut Nectar. The term “coconut sugar” has really only caught on because of its familiarity, and since then has caught a bad rep. Ready, say it with me, “Neeectarrr”.
Well then, where does this deliciously sweet ingredient come from? And why the confusion with the names? That’s because it comes from the flower of the coconut tree, which is the yellow, spiky flower you see right before the palms on a coconut palm tree (see picture below for the yellow, spikey thing). To clear up any confusion - Before the coconuts have even developed on the tree, the Coconut Flower has already bloomed. Farmers then tap the flower to drain a sweet liquid nectar. Here is where the CoViCo magic touch and craftsmanship comes in. Once tapped, the nectar is heated and boiled into a syrup. After that, our very own super-cool technology is used to evaporate it into granules! The granules are hand-separated with the utmost care, and then sent off to be used in our different products!
Most coconut sugars (if they’re made right!) are 100% coconut nectar. And in case you’re wondering: Does tapping the Coconut Flower early on harm the tree? The answer is no! Tapping the flower does not harm the lifespan of our beautiful coconut trees.
Coconut Sugar (Nectar), a Better Alternative to Cane Sugar? FACT
Okay, the truth is that both still are sugars and it is important to keep an eye on the sweets you eat! But, if you are going to sweeten your coffee, baked goods, or otherwise, you should opt for a better alternative. Queue the coconut sugar (nectar)!
So, what sets coconut sugar (nectar) apart from other, more processed sugars and sweeteners? It’s rich in vitamins and minerals like Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Potassium, Calcium, and Vitamin C (just to name a few). Whereas its cane sugar counterpart has no vitamins and minerals and is really just empty calories. Next time you reach for that sweetener, why not include some vitamins and nutrients as well?
If that wasn’t enough to make you ditch the table sugar, coconut sugar (nectar) also has a lower glycemic index than other processed sugars. Lower what? Basically, it’s the stuff that spikes your blood sugar levels. It just keeps getting better and better, huh!
Coconut Sugar (Nectar) is an Allergen Because it is Made of Coconut: MYTH
Coconuts are only considered an allergen (tree nuts) in the United States and Canada - bizarre right? Coconuts are not actually a nut, but a fruit and there are almost no documented cases of coconut allergy. You should always be cautious with what you put into your body, especially regarding allergens. However, having a tree nut allergy does not necessarily mean you can’t enjoy delicious coconut sugar (nectar)!
Unfortunately, being labeled as an allergen has given coconuts quite the bad stigma. The important thing to remember about coconut sugar (nectar) is that it’s made from the flower, and not the coconut. Actually, there aren’t even any coconuts on the tree when the nectar is tapped from the flower! So if you’ve been missing out on all the enjoyable products made using coconut nectar, it’s time to bring this yummy sweetener into your life!
Coconut Sugar is Less Healthy Than Coconut Nectar: MYTH (They Are the Same)
Hold on – you’re telling me this sugar is just as nutritious as when it’s freshly tapped from the coconut tree? That’s right. This is because the process of turning coconut nectar into the coconut granules you’re used to seeing at the store is minimal. Let’s go through the entire process, from the tree right into your kitchen.
Imagine a local farmer in a (typically) far away, tropical land filled with beautiful greenery and wildlife. Can you hear the birds chirping? The farmer goes outside, climbs the coconut tree, and taps the flower for the sweet nectar hiding inside. Once the nectar drizzles out, all it takes is for it to be boiled. Once the hot nectar turns into a syrup, our team can evaporate it. Once this is done, the granules are then separated by hand to be used in our products, and wa-la! There you have it, from the coconut nectar inside the flower, to it becoming the delicious sweetener in your kitchen. Throughout this process the nutritional value stays the same, but it does result in quite the difference in taste!
Coconut Sugar (Nectar) is Environmentally Friendly: FACT
Woah, a better alternative sweetener for you and good for the environment? Yes, you did read that right! Tapping coconut flowers is an age-old tradition and is in no way deteriorating the plentiful amounts of coconut trees throughout the world! Rather, producing coconut sugar (nectar) has even helped to lift up local farmers in countries where coconuts are abundant! If you needed to hear more, the Food and Agriculture Organization has even gone as far as saying that coconut nectar production is the most sustainable way to produce any sweetener!
How Can I Get More of this Tasty Coconut Sugar (Nectar)?
You’re probably wondering: All of this is great, but how can I add coconut sugar (nectar) into my diet? Don’t fret, coconut sugar (nectar) can be used just about anywhere regular table sugar is. In most recipes, it’s even a one-to-one substitute. For comparison, it’s similar to brown sugar with its unique but not overpowering flavor. Here are some recipes to even help you get started:
- Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Raw Coconut Bok Choy Spicy Soup
- The Most Delicious Chocolate Granola
Whether you love to bake sweet and delicate treats or whip up fabulous cocktails for you and your friends, coconut sugar (nectar) can be switched into your recipe and won’t noticeably change the taste or texture!
Should You Throw Away Your Alternate Sweetener for Coconut Sugar (Nectar)?
You choose what sweetener works best for you. For us, it seems pretty obvious to that coconut sugar (nectar) is a better alternative to other sweeteners. Opting for coconut sugar (nectar) is a natural sweetener that also comes along with vitamins and minerals like Iron, Magnesium, and Vitamin C. Don’t forget about the lower glycemic index either, which won’t spike your blood sugar!
If there was one thing that could make coconut sugar (nectar) even sweeter, it’d be that it’s sustainably sourced. Starting from the CoViCo farmer tapping the coconut palm, to the nectar being boiled, granulated, end evaporated into powder, there is minimal harm being done to the planet! And don’t worry, there are still more than enough coconuts for piña coladas out in the world!
Mix all of these super qualities together and boom! You have a better and a more sustainable alternative to your traditional cane sugar: Coconut Sugar (Nectar).
Well then, hopefully that separated myth from fact for you. It’s been known for some time now that there are better options when it comes to processed and refined foods. CoViCo sets out to solve just this problem. That is, providing artisanal, handmade coconut products that leave everyone feeling good.
Photo Credits: Coconut Flower Photo by ASSY on Pixabay, Tape Measure Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash, Coconut Trees Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash.