Have you ever used brown sugar while baking cakes or cookies? Does brown sugar taste any different from normal white sugar? Do you know anything about brown sugar substitute? Are the benefits of brown sugar substitute the same as that of brown sugar?
There are apparently myriad questions that pop up in your mind when you learn about using sugar in your foods. If you are diabetic, the restrictions of putting any sort of sugar become huge. There are different forms of sugar that are commercially available for your convenience. You can even get a brown sugar substitute in the market as and when required.
Brown sugar and brown sugar substitute may or may not offer you the same intensity of health benefits. A lot depends on your physiological makeup, as well as your tolerance power towards brown sugar substitute. If your body can easily absorb the nutrients of brown sugar substitute, there is no further complications to complain about.
What makes brown sugar different?
What exactly is brown sugar and how is it different from brown sugar substitute? The normal form of crystallized white sugar has certain health benefits to offer. However, it is not greater than the advantageous aspects of brown sugar. You may not be aware of it but brown sugar has a wide range of beneficial effects on your body.
Brown sugar is a popular, more beneficial form of sugar that is easily accessible from any part of the world. The molecular structure and chemical composition of brown sugar differ from normal crystallized sugar due to a unique production process. The method of manufacturing sugar can reveal a lot about the health value of it. Your body will react in a different way to brown sugar or brown sugar substitute than normal white sugar.
Sometimes if you fail to get brown sugar at your local retailer, you can safely opt for a brown sugar substitute. If you wish to re-balance your everyday diet, a brown sugar substitute can be an excellent option for improving nutrient quotient.
What is the molecular information about brown sugar?
You already know by now that the manufacturing process of white sugar and brown sugar are very different from one another. In case of brown sugar, you do not get rid of all the sugary molasses present in the mixture. The manufacturer will allow some of the brown molasses to remain in the final product. By doing so, it will impart a unique color and flavor to your sugar which is why the name-brown sugar.
Usually, the normal sugar production process undergoes various enrichment techniques with different industrial additives in the final stage. Some of the common additives in sugar include activated carbon, phosphoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and calcium hydroxide. There is no point putting additives, as they have no additional value to add to your natural sugar.
Using additives is simply an adulteration of natural sugar that compromises with its overall quality, including odor, taste, and color. During the industrial manufacturing of white sugar, the process gets rid of every residue of molasses. Molasses are extremely rich in iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium that are naturally present.
Therefore, on removing molasses, the nutritional value or mineral quotient of sugars also gets lost. Minerals are essential for your body to keep all the biological processes running in equilibrium. When you artificially add the minerals as additives in the final sugar product, the effects are not the same.
Molasses in brown sugar adds extra flavor
In the case of brown sugar, there is no such procedure of removing molasses completely. You can well retain the nutritional quotient of molasses in brown sugar because of its special production process.
You often use brown sugar or brown sugar substitute while making delicious cookies or baking cakes. Why do you think the flavor heavily differs from using normal sugar instead of brown sugar?
The molasses in brown sugar adds extra flavor and aroma to your baked cookies and cakes. Molasses present in brown sugar imparts more moisture content, thereby helping your recipes taste absolutely delish. The moisture in your food preparations will give you the liberty to design your recipe according to your will. Good moisture percentage in baked food items helps in giving them a denser and softer texture.
How is brown sugar different from normal sugar?
Apart from brown sugar containing molasses traces, there are other pointers to differentiate between normal and brown sugar. If you carefully observe, you will see that the texture and taste of brown sugar are quite distinct from white sugar. There are numerous varieties of brown sugar, each differing slightly from each other in textures and flavors. Some brown sugar forms that are very popular nowadays are Demerara, Barbados, Turbinado, and Muscovado.
The perfect rationing of sweetness in sugars is very crucial in determining its quality. Surprisingly, the sweetness ration for both normal white sugar and brown sugar are akin. Therefore, you can easily replace normal sugar with brown sugar or brown sugar substitute in your food recipes and vice-versa. Do a little experiment and have fun with your foods by replacing the sugars. Judge the aroma and flavor in each case.
How is the texture of brown sugar?
You can relate the texture of any brands of brown sugar with that of wet sand. However, brown sugar is grainier that can help in brushing off dead cells from the epidermal layer and unclog pores. Do you feel the function of brown sugar on your skin is sounding a bit familiar? Yes, you guessed it right! Brown sugar can act as an excellent exfoliator for removing dirt from skin pores, and maintaining the wellbeing of your skin. You can regularly use brown sugar for exfoliation as a part of skin treatment. Keep yourself away from common skin issues like hyperpigmentation and acne by using brown sugar skin products. Brown sugar is an enriching source of vitamin B complexes and moisture. You can successfully use brown sugar as a mild moisturizer, anti-aging agent, and skin radiant.
Other benefits of brown sugar
Just like normal white sugar, you can boost your energy with brown sugar since both are glucose sources. However, uplifting your energy levels with white or brown sugar remains only for a short period. The temporary energy boost can impart temporary strength within your body, and wake your weak muscles up during tiring exercises.
Unlike brown sugar, white sugar has no huge nutritional value to offer except for energy boosts. After a certain time, you will again start craving for more energy. It is because of your body’s natural mechanism of reduced serotonin levels.
What are the brown sugar substitute varieties?
Here are the best substitutes for brown sugar:
Combination of white crystallized sugar and molasses
The only thing lacking in white sugar is optimum molasses content. If you are looking for the easiest brown sugar substitute, simply mix molasses with normal white sugar.
To make brown sugar substitute at home, take 200 gm or 1 cup of white sugar in a bowl. Add 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of molasses into the granulated white sugar and give an even mix. Your homemade brown sugar substitute is ready! If you wish for a darker brown sugar substitute, simply double the quantity of molasses (replacing 15 ml with 30 ml).
Combination of granulated white sugar and maple syrup
Apart from the traditional mix of white sugar and molasses, you can make a brown sugar substitute with maple syrup. If you do not get molasses, you can still make brown sugar substitute by adding maple syrup to white sugar.
Take a bowl with 200 gm (equivalent to 1 cup) of white crystallized sugar. Add 2 tablespoons or 15 ml of a pure form of maple syrup. Give it an even mix and your sophisticated brown sugar substitute is here.
Maple syrup or honey.
Honey can act as a brown sugar substitute, just like maple syrup or molasses. You may even use agave nectar in place of commercially available honey. All three brown sugar substitute options are liquids. Therefore, you will need to keep a check on the moisture content mostly while baking cookies and cakes.
For replacing 200 gm of brown sugar, you require a specific amount of liquid sweetener that may vary with your recipe. However, you should remember to always keep the ratio of brown sugar to honey or maple syrup the same.
You need to add 160 ml or 2/3 of a cup of any liquid brown sugar substitute for every cup of brown sugar. Always reduce 160 ml of liquid brown sugar substitute to around 60 ml to get the exact consistency of brown sugar.
What is Muscovado sugar?
It is a type of slightly refined sugar with a high percentage of molasses. If you wish for traditional brown sugar, Muscovado sugar can be an excellent brown sugar substitute. One interesting fact about Muscovado sugar is that the percentage of molasses and moisture is quite high than brown sugar. Higher moisture content and molasses make Muscovado sugar extremely stickier, with a tendency to form clumps very easily.
You can use Muscovado sugar for almost all recipes that require brown sugar, except for baking purposes. For using Muscovado sugar in baking recipes, you need to do a little extra work. Prior to adding Muscovado sugar to your cake batter or cookie dough, always sieve it to avoid the formation of clumps.
How is raw sugar a brown sugar substitute?
Raw sugars such as Demerara and Turbinado can serve as amazing brown sugar substitute options. What makes raw sugar so close to brown sugars? Raw sugars retain the natural mild amber coloration, along with slight caramel taste making them similar to brown sugars.
If you discreetly add raw sugars in your food items instead of brown sugar, no one can tell the difference. Everything depends on the proportions in which you add the raw sugar to your recipes.
There is a slight difference between brown sugars and raw sugar, in terms of texture. Raw sugars are generally a bit abrasive and much desiccated than brown sugars. The extra coarseness and dryness of raw sugars may alter the final product of your recipe.
It becomes very difficult to mix raw sugars in baking doughs and batters due to the over graininess. There may be traces of raw sugar grains in your cake even after you have baked it. If you are looking forward to a smooth and perfect cake, using raw sugars directly is not the option. Less moisture content and extra graininess in baked foods makes them rough and fragile in the end.
How to improve the quality of baked items with raw sugar? Grind the raw sugars before adding them to your batter for ensuring a smooth texture. The finer your raw sugars, the better is the mixing with the batter ingredients. Apart from grinding, you may even try dissolving the crystals of raw sugar in a bowl containing lukewarm water. In place of water, you can also use oil or melted butter.
What is coconut sugar?
Can you get the same amount of benefits as brown sugar from a brown sugar substitute like coconut sugar? What is the source of coconut sugar? How close is it to brown sugar in taste and quality?
You extract coconut sugar from coconut tree sap. It is one of the healthiest forms of brown sugar substitute because of its rich content of minerals and vitamins. There is a high percentage of dietary fiber in coconut sugar, which you will not normally find in other sugars. It is quite easy to swap between brown sugar and coconut sugar, maintaining a 1:1 ratio.
The appearance and texture of coconut sugar is very similar to brown sugar, however there is a catch. The moisture content in coconut sugar is not as high as brown sugar. Using coconut sugar while baking foods can hinder with your recipe, making them a little denser and drier than usual.
You may run out of brown sugar anytime, but no need to worry. Amazing brown sugar substitute options like molasses, coconut sugar, Muscovado sugar, honey or maple syrups can help you out.