Sugar Answers

I asked, and you answered.

And, Jenny was right. I’m trixy.

The truth is, there is no commercially available crystallized raw sugar. Anywhere.

Here’s what was in the photos!

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

OPTION 1: Florida Crystals Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
OPTION 2: Sucanat
OPTION 3: Turbinado Brown Sugar
OPTION 4: Sugar in the Raw

The closest thing to raw sugar is Option #2, Sucanat.

Sucanat, like Rapadura and (most) Muscovado is evaporated can juice that hasn’t had the molasses removed.

The folks who make Rapadura harvest the sugar cane by hand, and they go to great lengths to compost/recycle the unused plant parts. Sucanat uses machines to harvest the cane, and they don’t advertise what they do with the waste. (They may recycle it, but they don’t come right out and say so.)

These unrefined, natural sweeteners have all the vitamins and minerals present from molasses. So, yay!

But they are not truly “raw.”

The definition of a “raw” food is that it isn’t heated above 118F. Unfortunately, all so-called “raw sugars” are heated as parted of their extraction process.

BEWARE OPTIONS 1, 3, & 4! They aren’t truly natural sweeteners.

Unlike truly natural sweeteners, these sugars are all refined.

Actual unrefined can juice will look like Option 2, or be packed into cakes that easily crumble.

Finally, you may want to read: Are Natural Sweeteners Good For You?


What about you? Do you use any of these so-called raw sugars?

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Comments

  1. says

    I am curious how Sucanat is harvested. I mean, if it is not harvested sustainably — or less so than Rapadura. What do you know about this? Can you share more in another post?

    Also, when you say the molasses is not removed from the Rapadura and Sucanat, does that mean we are getting all the healthy vitamins and minerals we would get from molasses when we eat R & S?

    Lastly, I heard Sally Fallon say once that we don’t have to avoid sweets. She said it’s a natural human craving — like salt. She said we should just choose healthy sweets like fruit and honey and unrefined sugars.

    Yay — you got Comment Luv!

    CHEESESLAVE

  2. says

    The folks who make Rapadura harvest the sugar cane by hand, and they go to great lengths to compost/recycle the unused plant parts. Sucanat uses machines to harvest the cane, and they don’t advertise what they do with the waste. (They may recycle it, but they don’t come right out and say so.)

    And yes, Rapadura and Sucanat have all the vitamins and minerals present from molasses. So, yay!

    As to avoiding sweets — that’s debatable. I don’t think they’re bad in moderation. But, for those seeking to go low-carb for health and fitness reasons, sugar is still sugar as far as how our body metabolizes it.

    And, yes! I got the CommentLuv idea from you. But I changed the little heart image. I’m just too much of a tomboy, I guess!

  3. says

    Aha! So you are that tricky! More and more, we’re ridding our cupboards of even the natural sugars. Relying instead on a rare use of honey for sweetening. (Though I do love my sprouted grain and maple shortbread. Especially with some red tea, yum.)

    Jenny

  4. says

    Yes, I’ve been outed! ;)

    By red tea, do you mean rooibos? One of my favorite wintertime treats is a glass of rooibos jasmine tea with vanilla and cream stirred in!

  5. says

    That was quite tricksy. But very good information to have. Thanks!

    I’m going to check Jenny’s blog for the recipe for that shortbread. I recently bought some sprouted grain flour and am not sure what to do with it.

    Spinner

  6. says

    I have a question. I just found a packet of 4 cakes of sugar at the grocery for less than $2. The ingredients said 100% cane sugar. The cakes looked essentially like packed brown sugar crossed with a bit of wax. So, essentially, not really granular, but partly.

    Is this rapadura that hasn’t been shaven down for easy use? Something else entirely? How could I use this more natural sweetener?

    theclevermom

  7. says

    CleverMom — I wouldn’t suspect that it was rapadura unless the label said it was or somehow claimed the sugar was raw/unrefined. It sounds more like the cakes of brown sugar that are so common in Latin American countries. What aisle did you find it on? And are you in an area with lots of hispanics?

  8. Christian says

    Four years ago, but since I found this article, right I should mention that you might be wrong. There is a raw sugar available from a site in Louisiana. They sell it in New Orleans on goodeggs.com.

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