Harvested from the tiny blossoms of the coconut palm tree, coconut sugar has a rich, delicious caramel flavour and ticks all the boxes when it comes to health, ethics and environmental sustainability.
The beautiful people of South East Asia have known about coconut sugar (also known as coconut blossom nectar) a long long time, using it in recipes and herbal medicine for thousands of years.
Coconut Sugar - Minimal Processing, Maximum Goodness
The harvesting of coconut sugar is very much a cottage industry, carried out by small cooperatives of farmers in rural communities. The ‘tappers’, as they’re known, climb their coconut palm trees to hand-collect the nectar from the tiny blossoms. Once they have enough, it is gently heated in a big pot over a log fire to evaporate the water content and turn the nectar into a thick, delicious and pure syrup. This syrup is then poured into small containers where it cools and solidifies.
This simple, minimal processing allows all the natural goodness from the coconut palm flowers to remain and means we get the same nourishment as if we were drinking it straight from the blossom. Just like a bee.
Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar provides our bodies with sustained, slow-release energy that won't lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, often experienced after eating treats with a high refined-sugar content.
We source our coconut sugar from the lovely farmers on the paradise islands of Indonesia. It’s 100% pure and organic and never contains any additives or fillers, unlike some palm sugars on the market that are mixed with cane sugar and other ingredients.
Incidentally, coconut sugar is not produced from the same palm species as is used for the production of palm oil. Unlike destructive palm oil plantations, coconut palms grow harmoniously in diverse ecosystems, supporting the surrounding wildlife and providing local communities with a wealth of other ways to earn their livelihoods. No wonder the coconut palm is known locally as the “Tree of Life”.
Coconut Sugar - Good For You, Good For The Planet
Coconut sugar is not only healthy, it’s also great for mother earth. In fact, it’s been rated as one of the most sustainable sweeteners in the world by the FAO – the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Coconut palms produce an average of 50-75% more sweetness per acre than sugar cane and use less than 1/5th of the soil nutrients!
Unlike huge mono-crop plantations of sugar cane, coconut palms grow almost anywhere in the tropics, being equally at home in the rainforest as on a sandy beach. They require very little water and can also grow in severely depleted soil.
Not only are coconut palms less needy, but they also give a helping hand to the wildlife that surrounds them. They help prevent erosion and can actually restore damaged soils, helping marginalized land become lush jungle over time.
Mahatma Gandhi revered coconut sugar and reportedly consumed it daily for its wonderful nutritional qualities. The fact that it can only be harvested on a small-scale by local communities led him to describe it as “…a way to solve the world’s poverty” and as “…an antidote against misery“. Bring it on!