Coconut sugar, nutritious and low-glycemic, comes to Canada

GraceKennedy, a 90-year-old Caribbean-based conglomerate, is introducing the brown-sugar-like product here as a white sugar substitute. It’s pure, made from sap drawn from the coconut’s flower buds.

Coconut Sugar has been a favourite in the tropics for thousands of years. It is a natural sweetener and is made from 100 per cent fresh nutrient-rich sap collected from tender coconut flower buds. Because of its low glycemic qualities and high nutrient profile, organic coconut sugar is gaining in popularity.

It is ideal for sweetening tea or coffee and even baking. It is also appreciated because of its 1:1 ratio with cane or brown sugar. It will soon be widely available in Canada.

A hint of butterscotch
Grace organic coconut sugar has only one ingredient, and that’s organic coconut sugar. And according to Ricardo Brian, Grace Canada’s vice president, sales and marketing, the sugar has no cholesterol, is gluten free, has no artificial colours or flavours and is all natural.

Coconut sugar doesn’t have an overpowering coconut taste. Its flavour profile is close to rich brown sugar with a hint of butterscotch and caramel. The sugar, says Grace Canada marketing manager Stefan Atton, is handmade by gently heating in an open pan the sap collected from tender coconut flower buds and boiling until it turns into granular form. This ancient process allows the sugar to be free of preservatives, artificial colours and chemicals.

Due to its low glycemic qualities, coconut sugar puts less stress on your blood sugar levels than a highly refined white sugar. Over the past few years, the company says, North Americans have discovered and started to regularly consume coconut products such as coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut oil due to its nutrient rich proprieties.

Once found only in specialty stores, coconut sugar will soon become more accessible to mainstream markets, promises Lucky Lankage, president of GraceKennedy Ontario Inc. He says Canadians are looking for a pure and unrefined alternative to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners. Watch for Grace organic coconut sugar in the international aisle at your local Loblaw’s, Sobeys, Walmart and local ethnic stores.

Diabetics like it
Coconut sugar is also gaining in popularity with diabetics, due to its low glycemic index compared to refined white sugar.

A company press release describes GraceKennedy as one of the Caribbean’s largest and most dynamic corporate entities. The company started in Jamaica in 1922 as a small trading establishment. Today, the GraceKennedy group comprises a network of some 60 subsidiaries and associated companies located across the Caribbean, North and Central America and the United Kingdom.

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