Are you currently on the hunt for an alternative to refined sugar because you just heard about the many health issues that are linked to its consumption? Well, you’re in luck — this article will have you introduced to muscovado sugar which is touted by many as a healthier replacement for the real thing.
One look at muscovado sugar and it’s plain to see that it’s just like brown sugar, although it is way darker. The reason for this is the presence of molasses, which is normally removed during the processing of sugar cane in order for sugar producers to come up with refined sugar that can be found in most kitchens.
Because of the removal of molasses, refined sugar is deemed as pure evil by many nutrition experts and health-conscious individuals. On the other hand, it’s exactly the presence of molasses why muscovado sugar is winning more and more hearts — it’s healthier and boasts of a rich molasses-like taste, too!
Muscovado got its name from the Spanish word “mascobado” which translates to “unrefined” in English. Yup, that’s the claim to fame of muscovado sugar: it’s unrefined sugar and that’s why it is so much better than its very popular refined counterpart. Without much processing, muscovado sugar is able to retain nutrients present in sugar cane.
In the strictest traditional sense, muscovado sugar is made by pressing sugar cane in order to extract its juice content. Then the extracted juice is boiled to make the water content evaporate, leaving behind a gooey substance. In some instances, a little calamondin (an exotic citrus fruit) and coconut milk is added to prevent foaming.
Once all of the water content has evaporated, the sticky substance left behind is allowed to cool and dry completely under the sun. Once hard, it will be pounded to break it into granules, which will go straight to the packaging plants. As you can see, there is very minimal processing that takes place in the making of muscovado sugar.
By the way, some producers label their muscovado sugar goods as Barbados sugar. Some people also refer to this deep brown-colored type of sweetener as “poor man’s sugar” just because of the fact that it’s unrefined. Well, its being unrefined is what exactly makes muscovado sugar tagged as a healthy sweetener.
Teaspoonful for teaspoonful, muscovado sugar pretty much packs the same amount of calories as refined sugar. This only means that you should still consume muscovado sugar if you are trying to maintain your ideal weight or you are currently limiting your daily caloric intake in order to shed off excess pounds.
Intake of muscovado sugar should also be done in much moderation by individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes, or those who are told by their doctors to be at high risk of developing the disease. Since it’s still from sugar cane, muscovado sugar can easily make the levels of sugar in the blood spike if it’s taken in excess.
The good news is it’s not just calories that can be obtained from a teaspoon of muscovado sugar, but also a few vitamins and minerals — those which are present in sugar cane to begin with. According to nutrition experts, muscovado sugar contains good amounts of potassium, calcium and iron.
Muscovado sugar is also said to have trace amounts of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and even vitamins A and B complex. Refined sugar, on the other hand, has way smaller amounts of these nutrients due to all the processing it undergoes just to make it as pretty as it is, hence it’s said to provide empty calories.
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