Palm Sugar

Palm sugar is commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is a natural / unrefined sugar made from the sap of palm trees. It has a low glycemic index, like agave. However, it is even healthier than agave because it has a lower fructose content. It also has a great flavor. You can put some in your tea if you prefer tea sweetened. The awkward aspect to palm sugar is that it comes in rock-hard chunks!. Traditionally, you would break it in a mortar. If you don’t have one, cut it with a sharp knife as you would cut a bone. If you cannot find palm sugar, substitute sugar or brown sugar.

Palm sugar is a sweetener derived from any of a variety of palm trees. To describe palm sugar, the terms “palm sugar” and “coconut palm sugar” are often used interchangeably. Each originates from different botanical sources and each has a slightly different chemical composition, but both are processed in the same manner and are similar in their applicaAdd Newtions.

What is Palm Sugar? Is it Really Good for You?

What is Palm Sugar? Is it Really Good for You?
Among all the things that Bengal is renowned for, the locals eternal love for sweets undoubtedly ranks at the top. Rasgulla, sandesh, mishti doi, chom chom, pati shapta and suchlike have always charmed the sweet-toothed across the planet! One particular ingredient – nolen gur or coconut/ palm sugar, is the sweet makers’ secret weapon.

What is Palm Sugar?

Palm sugar is a sweetener that is made from the sap present in the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It is known as natural sugar because it involves minimum processing and no chemicals are used. The sap from the tree is heated to wick away the moisture content until a thick syrup is obtained, and this sweet nectar is then further reduced to crystals. In the stores, palm sugar is available in the block, granular and liquid form.Palm sugar has been a common ingredient used in the preparation of traditional dishes in south and south-east Asian cuisines. The sugar has a mild caramel flavour and in its liquid form resembles honey whereas in the granular state, it is not much different in taste as compared to white sugar. It is used in making curries, sauces and desserts. What had stirred up a storm in the food scene a few years back was the creation of innovative desserts – ice creams, puddings, panna cottas and souffles – using the molten nolen gur, also known as khajur gur.

Palm Sugar – The Health Benefits

Since palm sugar is an unrefined sugar, it is known to be rich in vitamins and minerals. As a result, it has become increasingly popular as a substitute to white and brown sugar. Research studies have found that it contains minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, manganese and copper; small amounts of phytonutrients such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin; and antioxidants. It is rich in B vitamins, especially inositol (Vit8) which is needed for the formation of healthy cells, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and choline.

It contains the same 16 amino acids as present in the sap from which it is derived. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are needed for cell growth and repair.

As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons for palm sugars popularity is its low glycemic index, a method of measuring how carbohydrates impact blood glucose levels. A high GI means that the food is rapidly absorbed by the body thereby increasing the blood sugar level and causing the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin. A low GI indicates that the food is slowly absorbed, preventing the spike in insulin level. Researchers have found that;

  • the GI of palm sugar is 35
  • compared to honey at 55
  • table sugar at 68