Coconut Palm Sugar (Coconut Crystals) & Turning It Into Syrup

Let’s talk about coconut palm sugar. It tastes rich and caramelly like soft brown sugar, has a low GI (35) & is the most environmentally sustainable sweetener in the world.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut palm sugar is not technically “raw”, but its only processing is evaporation and it maintains an impressive mineral profile. It is, however, still a sweetener. So take it easy on this stuff, ok guys?

I heard about its sustainability when I picked up a copy of Peppermint Magazine a couple of months ago, having never seen it before. It’s not new, I just don’t buy a lot of magazines. To be honest, its Frankie-like appearance was what sucked me in! I’m always drawn to the matte covers, muted tones and DIY feel when browsing a magazine stand.

Peppermint Mag
Some great articles in last quarter’s issue caught my eye. Clockwise from top left: A write up about fair trade/ethical cocoa/cacao, Tracy McDiarmid from Beanstalk Bakery – a vegan catering business in Melbourne, John & Benna Fletcher from Ice Blocks in NSW & Castlemaine’s eats/shops/visits – a town in regional VIC not far from me!

The concept of the mag is clear and simple: sustainability meets fashion. I read it almost cover to cover, which is a pretty rare occurence.

I’d already been using coconut palm sugar for quite some time now, having purchased it in bulk from Santos Trading. Admittedly, it’s expensive – but not as expensive as agave. And it’s like crack – when you taste it, you’ll want to have it in/on everything. Note: Maybe this is an unfair comparison – I’ve never had crack.

Since this is actually a food blog, I’m going to talk about eating it… But if you want more info on sweeteners, glycemic indexes and sustainability, the internet is your oyster!

Coconut Sugar Syrup
Coconut Palm Sugar Syrup

3 parts Coconut Palm Sugar
1 part Water

  • Unlike cane sugar, you don’t need to heat it to dissolve it. Just stir!
  • It will be a little grainy because of coconut palm sugar’s natural texture – to fix this (if you need it smooth), simply push through a sieve with the back of a spoon.
  • Voila! Now you have a tasty, environmentally sustainable, low GI, liquid sweetener! Time to toss the agave & maple syrup. (Sorry Mexico & Canada.)

Here’s some other things I’ve learned about using it that you might find useful:

  • It makes the most amazing cinnamon sugar I’ve ever tasted.
  • It will never dissolve into cacao butter in its granulated state, no matter how long you patiently wait for it to happen (I embarrassingly tried this three times).
  • And finally – it is NOT the same thing as palm sugar.

28 thoughts on “Coconut Palm Sugar (Coconut Crystals) & Turning It Into Syrup

  1. I pretty much rely on stevia for sweetener, but my man-friend uses quite a bit of agave and maple syrup. I’m going to stop by the co-op today and see about some coconut palm sugar. I’d like to try the cinnamon-sugar combo on my gluten-free baked donuts. If I could stop buying agave that would be awesome.

    Also, both Peppermint & Frankie are totally new to me. I like magazines, kind of a lot, and got so excited to see these. Thankfully they have a digital subscription because it would cost me $80/yr to get it delivered to the US :)

    • What sort of stevia do you use? E.g. Liquid, powder, other?? I really want to like stevia, I do – because it is the best option sweetener-wise. I bought a tub (yes, a tub!) of it last year (in its green powder form) and tried it a few times but didn’t like the taste or the after taste or the weird feeling it left in my mouth… Or the way it floated to the top of a drink/wouldn’t emulsify. Plus, I couldn’t wrap my head around conversions for using it as a substitute in baking. I’ve heard that the liquid version is better… If you have ANY advice re: stevia, I’m all ears!

      TBH I don’t think the coconut palm sugar will work well for your donuts :/ It melts the second it makes contact with liquid – so whether you fry or bake your donuts, I’m pretty confident it’ll turn into a sticky goop the second it makes contact with the oil/steam. That’s not entirely a bad thing, I’m just warning you that it won’t stick to the outside of your donuts and stay granulated like you expect… It might end up being more of a cinnamon… Glaze? If you try it, blog about it – I’d love to know how it turns out!

      I looove both magazines and I think you will, too! Please subscribe – but, y’know, be aware that most stories/advertising will be Australian. They genuinely get me feeling excited and inspired about everything. Clothes, food, DIY projects etc.

      • The only brand of stevia that I tastes good (not bitter) to me is the NuStevia brand. I’ve only used the powder, but I’ve heard the liquid is just as good.

        I did get some coconut palm sugar and used it to replace the agave in my bf’s oatmeal. I like the smell and caramel flavor of it. And I’m excited that it seems to be much better nutritionally and environmentally than the agave.

          • Hope you don’t mind if I butt in here (Hi Nikki!) – on the Stevia note…
            Nachos, you should try finding dried whole Stevia leaves (often found in the bulk herbal section of a natural foods store – or sometimes tea shoppes too). I prefer this above any other kind of packaged Stevia because it’s the most unadulterated. Grind the leaves into a very fine powder. I haven’t given my taste-buds the time to “adjust” fully to the taste of raw/dried Stevia, but I prefer this above all.
            I’ve made chocolate mint truffles using ground dried Stevia and dates and it was awesome!
            xx

            • Our health food stores over here aren’t quite as “advanced” as yours – I end up having to order a lot of those kinds of things online! :( I’ve never seen stevia leaves here, only liquid stevia… But I’m guessing grinding them up would yield the same natural green powder I’d bought (and hated, lol) in the first place??

              • NOW brand powdered granulated stevia is what I’ve been using for years – it doesn’t have a bitter taste and it dissolves easily in liquids hot or cold. The small containers come with a mini spoon which is contains the sweetness of a teaspoon of cane or coconut sugar. I use it to bake with as well.
                I wanted to use the powdered green leaf but could not get it to dissolve in liquids.

      • Palm sugar isn’t expensive at all, you’re just buying the wrong kind. Go to an Asian grocer and its half as expensive as white sugar. Don’t buy it at health food stores and places like that, they mark it up 100 times due to the exotic factor.

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  9. Hi! I’ve just stumbled across your blog after searching for options for using coconut sugar in chocolate. I’ve been a fan of the stuff for a while and have made some amazing dishes with it (salted caramel being my favourite. Thank you, smoky nuttiness!!) And embarrassingly or not today I was trying to make chocolate with cacao butter and powder and coconut sugar and of course it stayed grainy and although it did kinda work it was a little funny texturally. I was just wondering, have you tried melting the coconut sugar on its own? As in, like making toffee?? I was wondering if it would possibly dissolve in the cacao butter if it was in a liquid state but I don’t know if it actually goes to liquid without any water etc… and now I’m rambling. Am I evenmaking any sense??

    • Every time I tried, mine stayed grainy and sunk to the bottom of the chocolate as it set :/ That’s a really good point about melting the coconut sugar on its own.. I haven’t tried that, but I think I will now, just for the sake of the experiment!

  10. Do you know if you can dissolve it in coconut oil? We had the same problem with the Cacao Butter, but were wondering if it was something special about the Cacao Butter that didn’t allow it to dissolve or if it simply wouldn’t dissolve in any fat. Thanks!

      • OK. Thanks. We made it by heating it with the same proportion of water and a little vanilla. That takes care of all the grainy-ness and tastes incredible. For 1 cup of coconut palm sugar, we added 1/4 tsp of vanilla powder. So yummy!

        • Thank you SO much for that info! I have tried to make chocolate several times with coconut oil and coconut sugar and it was always grainy! I thought surely there must be a way! Now I know make the syrup from this blog post and THEN make the chocolate…that’s what you did right?

          • Hi Stacey,

            I think Brandon used different proportions to me. I use 3 parts coconut sugar to 1 part water, but I think Brandon made it 1:1 if I understand correctly?

            Make sure you give it a really good whisk or blend so that the water & fat emulsify/don’t separate :)

            Nat

  11. I bought a brand of stevia at whole foods (liquid and powder concentrate without fillers) a long time ago called SuperStevia by Amai foods.
    They stopped carrying it so I started ordering it because many other companies make me nauseous. So that is my suggestion. I like it the best, using drops or 1/8 of a tsp.

Chow down on this!