Coconut is the main ingredient in the majority of cuisines of inhabitants of coastal regions in India. Coconuts are used in various forms starting from grated fresh coconut, fresh coconut milk, and desiccated coconut as an ingredient in cooking. Cold pressed coconut oil is the traditional cooking medium and Coconut toddy and feni made from fermented coconut sap are also commonly used as part of many traditional food delicacies. A lot of us might have not heard about coconut Sugar. But it is widely used in Kerala to Goa, the Malabar, and Konkan coastal belts. It is quite distinct in its color, flavor, aroma, and shape and is made from traditionally tapped coconut sap.
How is coconut sugar made?
Coconut sugar is also called as coconut jaggery, and coconut palm sugar. It is prepared by continuously boiling strained unfermented traditionally tapped coconut sap and transferring it into suitable moulds. The semisolid jaggery solidifies gradually by the cooling effect of the atmosphere into a crystallized hard substance. The recovery of jaggery from sap is approximately 15%. The coconut jaggery powder is made by crystallizing the coconut jaggery. Coconut jaggery is considered a healthy alternative to cane sugar owing to various health benefits attributed to it. Coconut sugar tastes much sweeter than other forms of suagr.
Step by step process of making coconut sugar / coconut jaggery powder?
- The farmer cuts the coconut inflorescence and places specifically designed chilling containers to collect the sap to avoid fermentation. The sap is collected on a regular basis, filtered, and preserved under chilled conditions till processed.
- The sap is boiled on low flame with constant stirring so as to concentrate and formation of jaggery. The sap is removed from the flame once it turns into a brown liquid with a sticky consistency. This is done carefully by trained operators to get the best flavor and aroma to the product.
- The Jaggery is either poured into moulds or further dried to get the Jaggery powder.
- The jaggery is continued to be stirred and heated on low flame till the powdered jaggery is obtained and it may take up to 6 hours of stirring to go from sap to Granulated Sugar powder.
- After drying, the Coconut Palm Jaggery Powder is packed and sealed.
- The entire process of collection and handling is done under expert supervision and under hygienic conditions.
- Organic Express Organic Palm Jaggery Powder is Now Ready for Shipping
Apart from using coconut jaggery in traditional sweet dishes, it can also be a great and healthy choice of sweetener in tea and coffee.
Health benefits of coconut Sugar
Full of nutrients:
Coconut jaggery is a rich source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron and is known to have high anti-oxidant properties. Thus, it has more nutritional value than sugarcane jaggery and is a better option as compared to refined sugar, as coconut jaggery is not the usual cup of sucrose. Coconut jaggery is a perfect sweetener without any artificial substances and is full of nutrients.
Coconut jaggery is a low GI Sugar:
A low GI (glycaemic index) food is slowly absorbed, preventing the spike in insulin levels. Scientific reports show that the GI of coconut palm sugar is 35, compared to honey which is at 55, and table sugar is as high as 68. Substituting table sugar with low GI Sugar helps in managing the blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes or also the ones who are health conscious.
- What is the Glycemic Index – GI
The Glycemic index (GI) measures how a food raises blood glucose or blood sugar as compared to glucose. High glycemic index food quickly raises blood sugar levels and low glycemic index food makes the rise in blood sugar level slowly in a controlled fashion. Low-GH foods help diabetics in managing their blood sugar levels. The Glycemic index can vary from person to person and will vary based on how a food is cooked and also vary based on what the food is consumed with.
When anyone has diabetes, their body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot use available insulin, called insulin resistance was seen in Type 2 diabetes. Insulin helps the body to use sugar or glucose for energy and also to store excess circulating glucose. When insulin is either low or ineffective in your body, the sugar stays in the circulating bloodstream instead of it entering the cells for use or getting stored in muscle or liver. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to various serious health conditions resulting in damage to vital organs and tissues. Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed through diet and lifestyle modifications including shifting to low-glycemic foods and healthy food alternatives.
In addition to being a low GI sugar, coconut jaggery/sugar has many other health benefits.
Treats cold and cough:
Coconut jaggery/ sugar is known to give relief from cold and cough. Traditionally, coconut jaggery/ sugar is added to a warm cup of tea or water and consumed as it clears your respiratory tract and relieves various symptoms related to cold and cough.
When coconut jaggery is consumed regularly it helps the digestive system. It activates digestive enzymes and the sweetener helps to clear bowel movement to cleanse the system.
Helps during pregnancy:
Coconut jaggery is known to keep the fetus away from negative health effects. It is rich in antioxidants, which is why it is consumed from the seventh month of pregnancy to give relief from pregnancy related difficulties.
Helps for Infants:
Refined Sugars are prepared using chemicals like calcium hydroxide, sulfur dioxide, and phosphoric acid which may be harmful to newborn babies. Instead, one can replace coconut jaggery since it is free from harmful chemicals, rich in antioxidants, and also rich in mineral nutrients such as calcium which helps them for bone growth and brain development.
Migraine is one of the most painful and discomforting headaches. Natural and medicinal coconut jaggery is known to reduce migraine problems. It helps in relieving the pain.
It has a lot of composite carbohydrates and is certainly easier to digest. Thus, if you are feeling unenergetic you can consume coconut palm jaggery to energize yourself.
Eases joint pain:
Since coconut jaggery is rich in calcium it leads to healthier and stronger bones. It strengthens the bones, thus reducing joint pain and other issues related to Arthritis.
Helps to reduce weight:
Potassium is a nutrient that helps reduce weight and Coconut palm jaggery is a rich source of potassium. Potassium helps in reducing bloating and water retention, thus helping to regulate weight.
Coconut palm jaggery contains nutrients that glow your skin. It delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It helps in removing acne and pimples, which are common problems.
The focus of Organic Express has always been to reach out to customers with natural and organic foods. All of its products like coconut oil, A2 ghee, natural honey, Liquid jaggery, Coffee Powder, etc are all chemical-free. We believe that traditionally processed foods contain higher amounts of antioxidants, and nutrients and have low GI. Hence it is a great substitute for cane sugar, is a good addition to a diabetic or health-conscious diet, and may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancers, and many other health problems.