I’m pretty excited about this post. And since a bunch of you have asked about the ingredient at hand, I hope you’re just as pumped! Without further ado, let’s get talking about…
Sucanat is a type of evaporated cane juice. The history of evaporated cane juice is interesting to me. It was only recently that sugar cane processing technology was developed to create the white, refined sugar with which we’re all familiar. This doesn’t mean people haven’t been enjoying sugar cane. They have – for centuries! So back in the day, when white, refined sugar didn’t exist, our fancily named evaporated cane juice was actually the sweetener of choice by any culture that used sugar cane. Now that unprocessed, all-natural foods are gaining in popularity, evaporated cane juice is back in action. We’ve come full circle.
Sucanat stands for “Sugar Cane Natural.” It’s an unrefined sweetener made from the WHOLE sugar cane – every last bit. It’s sugar in its most natural form. Like all evaporated cane juices, Sucanat is produced by extracting juice from the sugar cane and boiling it in a large vat to remove the water. But unlike other evaporated cane juices, such as turbinado sugar, the sweet syrup left over is not spun and crystallized in that vat. Instead, it’s hand-paddled to cool it and dry it. This process creates the dry, brown granules that are Sucanat and keeps ALL the sugar cane molasses in those granules. Turbinado sugar, to compare, holds on to SOME of the sugar cane molasses.
Because Sucanat retains 100% of the sugar cane, and all that molasses, it ranks highest in nutritional value of all the sweeteners that come from the sugar cane. It also means it has the most distinct and natural flavor.
When I made my Blueberry Coconut Oaties – first time using Sucanat! – I substituted Sucanat one-for-one for refined sugar. And I plan on doing the same in the future. Check out Wholesome Sweeteners if you’re looking for a brand of Sucanat to try!
Have you ever baked with Sucanat? What do you think of it?