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Not All Sugars Are The Same!

Right On Time for Your Valentine’s Giving!

The differences of sugar!

When I created our COCORAU line one of my main purpose was to not use any refined sugar.

So I am working continuously to design products that taste great but are healthier for all of us.

In the end, sugar in our body is still sugar.

But there are differences I would like to tell you about my experience: 

Raw Honey

Raw Honey is one of my favorite sweeteners. The question is not how it is extracted the ethical question is when? If the honey is taking in the spring after bees have eaten what they needed to survive the winter, it will not harm the bees. If the honey is taken in Autumn it is going to be hard for bees to have enough to survive the winter. 

Commercial farming does take the honey in Autumn and replace that with artificial sweeteners for the bees to survive. That has no nutritional value and will make bees weaken their immune system. 

This is the reason why commercial honey cost only $2.00.

You are way better off buying honey from local beekeepers or you buy organic honey. To be able to certify the organic honey you need to use pollen from organic sources with not much pollution. The beehives have to be built organically not synthetically. 

The bees must always have enough reserves to keep going. It must be harvested naturally. No generic bees are permitted. 

For the best value on nutrients and health make sure the honey you buy is raw. You can test how pure your honey is by dropping a tablespoon of honey in a glass of water. Pure or raw honey will drift slowly to the bottom. Artificial honey (produced industrially) will dissolve in water.  Regardless if you consider honey to be vegan we can all improve our environmental impact and tighten our awareness of the honey we buy to protect our bees.

You can test how pure your honey is by dropping a tablespoon of honey in a glass of water. Pure or raw honey will drift slowly to the bottom. Artificial honey will dissolve in water.

Coconut nectar/sugar isn’t made from the meat, water, or milk of a coconut. It’s actually made from the nectar of coconut palm flowers. Coconut sugar is lower (almost half)  in glycemic index than convention sugar. It will help to keep your blood sugar balanced more effectively.

It is more similar in process to honey, though it’s a granule, not a syrup. The nectar is simply heated until all the liquid evaporates. Coconut sugar is very lightly processed. It doesn’t taste like coconuts but it is slightly nutty, a little bit of caramel, and not nearly as sweet as refined white sugar. Coconut sugar retains trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other healthy plant-based materials.

Agave syrup

It’s a syrup derived from the agave plant (the one that is used to make tequila. It’s about as sweet as honey, but with a slightly thinner consistency.

Nutrient wise agave doesn’t have much to offer, and it’s slightly higher in calories than white sugar, with 21.4 per teaspoon.The fructose disrupts normal liver metabolism. Avoiding agave when possible. And some argue that after the complex refinement process (), agave isn’t really that “natural” at all.

Maple Syrup

It is made of sap from the maple tree that’s been boiled until thick. Maple syrup has a rich, distinct flavor that’s delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Maple syrup contains minerals like zinc, calcium, riboflavin, and magnesium, as well as a range of antioxidants. But you’ll only get tiny amount in a spoonful, so it’s not exactly a health food. It has  about the same calories than white sugar, and because maple syrup is an equal split of glucose and fructose. 

“You are deceptively tasty, maple. It is still sugar.”

Monk Fruit Extract

For our COCORAU Elixirs I decided to use monk fruit extract as a sweetener.  Monk fruit may be a healthy sugar substitute if you try to use a non calorie sweetener. It is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar. It has no harmful side effects. Just be aware that commercially available monk fruit extracts have  been processed to some extent and may contain other sugars or sweeteners always make sure to check the label.

Monk fruit sweeteners have an aftertaste. If you’re sensitive to that type of flavoring, be aware of  it when you use it for cooking and baking.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is made from either cane sugar or sugar beets, just like white sugar. Many common brown sugars are simply white refined sugar that have added back in molasses. It’s the same processed than white sugar with one extra step.

You can find unrefined brown sugar which has never had the molasses removed. This will be the most natural of brown sugars. Unless you can read on the package you can assume it is white sugar and it s just as refined as white sugar.

These are some of the sugar options I wanted to really know the difference among.

I hope it’s a little bit easier for you to decide how you like to sweeten the life you live.

Sugar Bites from Konstanze 

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