7. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a by-product of the sugar production process. It comes from the third boiling of raw sugar cane, concentrating its nutrients and providing its deep, rich flavor.
It is rich in all the nutrients extracted from sugar during the refining process. It is a good source of iron and calcium. It also has copper, magnesium, zinc, selenium and potassium in it. Plus, it’s free of fat and cholesterol and contains negligible amounts of sodium.
As it has a moderate glycemic load of 55, it is a good sugar substitute for diabetics and people who are trying to lose weight.
It has a unique, rich flavor and can be used for topping toast, porridges or other concentrated applications. It is also a perfect sweetener for marinades and to use in baking.
8. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar, also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar or coconut blossom sugar, is a type of natural sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. This natural sugar substitute has been used as a traditional sweetener in the South and Southeast Asian regions for thousands of years.
The sugar is made by making a cut on the flower of the coconut palm, collecting the liquid sap and heating it to allow the water to evaporate.
It has a subtly sweet taste, almost like brown sugar but with a slight hint of caramel. The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose, followed by glucose and fructose. It has 16 calories per teaspoon.
It is a good source of potassium and vitamin C. It contains relatively low content of essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and other phytonutrients.
Coconut sugar is available in the market in crystal or granule form, blocks or liquid. It can be used in the same quantity as refined table sugar in recipes. As coconut sugar is also an added sugar, make sure you use it sparingly.