Sucanat

sucanat-1I’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!

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?

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34 Responses to “Sucanat”


  1. 1 VeggieGirl January 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Yep, used to bake with it all the time!! Now I prefer turbinado sugar.

  2. 2 Sharon January 20, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Wow, I’ve never heard of Sucanat before! Thanks so much for sharing such great information!

  3. 3 Hayley January 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for all the info, I’ve been wondering a lot about this recently.

  4. 4 Amy January 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I think I used it once, but in a savory recipe rather than sweet.

    So is Sucanat similar to turbinado but without the spinning and with added molasses? I’m going to have to get my hands on some to try it out.

  5. 5 Pearl January 21, 2009 at 12:37 am

    thanks for the information!

  6. 6 Lauren January 21, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I love how informative your posts are! I’m definitely going to try Sucanat in the near future.

  7. 7 Andrea [bella eats] January 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for the info, Ashley! I’m always interested in learning about additional natural sweeteners. Did you notice a difference when you used it in your oaties? I’m just wondering how it compares in flavor and texture to turbinado.

  8. 8 Allison January 21, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Thanks for the info! It’s like you read my mind! When I was reading the ingredient for teh blueberry oaties – I thought hmmm, wonder what that stuff is!

    Man, I love learning about food! :)

  9. 9 Erin January 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve never used it! That’s a great ingredient from what I hear – thanks for the info! :)

  10. 10 ttfn300 January 21, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    hmm, i don’t see this as often as the turbinado, so i haven’t tried it yet. for some reason using unrefined sugars and unbleached flours makes me feel less guilty about sweets! now i just need to practice portion control… hehe

  11. 11 Bridget January 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve never used this, but heard about it and been curious. Thanks for the info! Did you think it changed the taste of your cookies at all?

  12. 12 Hayley January 22, 2009 at 1:03 am

    I’ve never used sucanat but I am definitely interested in trying it. Is it difficult to find in stores?

  13. 13 sweetandnatural January 22, 2009 at 10:42 am

    VeggieGirl - I actually may prefer Sucanat! I need to bake with it more before officially deciding though. :-P

    Sharon - You learn something new everyday!

    Hayley, Pearl, Allison, Erin - Glad you found it helpful. :-)

    Amy - Sucanat is made from the sugar cane, like turbinado sugar. But it’s grainy rather than crystallized. And it retains more of the sugar cane molasses than turbinado. That molasses isn’t “added” to Sucanat – it’s never taken out in the first place!

    Lauren - Let me know what you use it in and what you think!

    Andrea [bella eats], Bridget - It’s hard to put a stake in the ground about how it compares to turbinado when this was the first time I used it! But I do think it worked really well in these cookies. You can definitely smell the molasses when you stick your nose in the Sucanat bag – yeah, I did that – so I would say it adds more of a that flavor than turbinado does.

    ttfn300, Hayley - Check Whole Foods! They definitely have it.

  14. 14 healthy ashley January 22, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    How interesting! I’ve definitely never had it before, but now I’ll be on the lookout!

  15. 15 Hangry Pants January 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    This is really interesting. I’ve never had sucant. So, is the only different between sucant and turbinado the way it’s made and not what is actually in it?

  16. 16 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) January 24, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for this info, I’ve been curious about sucanat and hope to try baking with it whenever I can get my hands on some!!

    Hope you’re doing well, girl! :)

  17. 17 sweetandnatural January 25, 2009 at 11:01 am

    healthy ashley – Let me know if you find it!

    Hangry Pants – Sucanat and turbinado are both made from the sugar cane. But they are produced in different ways – like you said – so Sucanat actually retains ALL of the sugar cane’s molasses whereas turbinado retains SOME of it. Maybe I wasn’t totally clear on that. I’ll edit the post!

    Lindsey (Mrs. LC) - Let me know if you like it!

  18. 18 Bridget January 26, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for this info!! I have not seen it in stores…but then again haven’t looked hard so I will have to do that because I’d love to try this out when baking!

  19. 19 GoldenGirl July 1, 2009 at 6:37 am

    What is the difference between Sucanat and Demerara sugar?

  20. 20 sweetandnatural July 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    GoldenGirl – Demerara sugar is more like turbinado sugar. So it’s golden in color and crystalized in shape. Sucanat is darker and grainier and contains even more of the original sugar cane molasses.

  21. 21 vicky August 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I am so excited to hear about this! I’ve been looking for a natural alternative to refined sugar for a while. I’m so glad I found your post. I’ll be looking for sucanat next time I go grocery shopping!

  22. 22 Jenni Wilson September 12, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I’ve wondered about the difference between Sucanat and other brown sugars. I’ve used it for a long time because I believed it to be the least refined product I could find. Now I know why.
    Thanks for explaining.

  23. 23 Jasoda December 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

    On a sponge cake, is sucanat gonna prevent my cake from being fluffy?

    • 24 sweetandnatural December 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

      Jasoda – I’m not sure what Sucanat would be like in a sponge cake b/c I’ve never actually made one myself! It is a bit heavier than refined sugar, so it could be risky. Maybe try a liquid sweetener like agave instead?

  24. 25 john calabrese March 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    a book called “sugar blues” has a ton of info.Raw cane sugar has been used as long as it was known, by old indiginouse people of the tropical areas and were it grew.Pure sugar was never bad on the teeth because of the nutritional value it had.It wasnt until refined, and whitening sugars,eliminating the nutritional values where it started hurting teeth. Same with flours and rice.Its the nutrition if health is concerned,and your teeth.
    google:Dr.Max-Henri Beguin(created sucanat),Dr. Adolph Roos(dentist and doc)

    • 26 Katrina Ryder February 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I beg to differ. I am no doctor, but I have lived in Papua New Guinea where sugar cane is grown, cut naturally, and chewed/sucked on as a treat. Many of the people’s teeth are TERRIBLE! Teenagers walk around sucking on sugar cane like a pacifier and their teeth are all black and rotted. Too much sugar of ANY kind is not good. Period. I would be curious where mucovado and rapadura fit into this natural sweetener hierarchy.

  25. 27 Emily November 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    So is there a difference between “sucanat” and “evaporated cane juice”?

  26. 29 Chris December 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I was researching Sucanat because my hisband just brought me some from the Bulk Store. I found this, thought all would liek to see it. :)

    Nutritional Analysis of Sucanat:
    approximately one cup

    ◦water…………………………………..2.7g
    ◦calories………………………………..570g
    ◦carbohydrate………………………..135.g
    ◦fat………………………………………..0g
    ◦sodium……………………………….0.5mg
    ◦potassium…………………………1,125mg
    ◦vitamin A……………………………1600IU
    ◦thiamin (B1)………………………..0.21mg
    ◦riboflavin (B2)……………………..0.21mg
    ◦niacin……………………………….0.20mg
    ◦calcium………………………………165mg
    ◦iron……………………………………6.5mg
    ◦vitamin B6………………………….0.60mg
    ◦magnesium………………………….127mg
    ◦zinc…………………………………..2.3mg
    ◦copper……………………………….0.3mg
    ◦pantothenic acid……………………1.8mg
    ◦chromium……………………………40mcg
    ◦phosphorus…………………………..48mg
    Source: USDA Handbook of Nutrient Content of Foods

  27. 30 Molly Malone January 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I use it in my dairy free pumpkin pie, and I use 2T less sugar than is called for. It’s wonderful, nice and flavorful which only adds to pumpkin pie. My recipe is at: http://www.thekitchenchemist.com under Food and Recipes on the left sidebar. Agave is worse than high fructose corn syrup as it’s even higher in fructose, so I emphatically recommend sucanat to all as a great white sugar replacement! It’s the least refined sugar and therefore more like a real food as opposed to a processed (junk) food, which white sugar truly is. Eat Well!
    ~ Molly Malone, The Kitchen Chemist ~

    • 31 Sonia K January 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      Molly – You say that “agave is worse than high fructose corn syrup as it’s even higher in fructose.”
      I use agave because the type I buy is organic, it’s tasty and a natural product. I thought I was doing right for myself. I did not know agave is even higher in fructose than HFCS. eegads. I just googled sucanat since I came home with a bagful today and wanted to know the inside scoop on it. Found out more than I had bargained for!


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