What is coconut sugar?
Coconut sugar is derived from coconut palm (different than Palm sugar), and is an organic, sustainable sweetener. It is dehydrated sap cut from the flower of the coconut palm in a two-step process – that is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives. Similar in texture and taste to brown sugar, when compared, coconut sugar has twice the iron, four times the magnesium and over 10 times the amount of zinc to brown sugar. It is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron and contains 16 out of the 20 amino acids. In addition to this it contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6, along with a fiber called Inulin (a prebiotic fiber) which feeds the probiotics in your gut. It has a lower glycemic index than regular refined white sugar and has become a popular choice among diabetics – with 70-79% sucrose, a GI of 35, and 15 calories per teaspoon.
Why do you prefer coconut sugar?
Personally, I like it because I don’t notice the uncomfortable sugar spikes I get when I eat anything made with white sugar. It also seem to agree with my stomach in a way that white sugar doesn’t.
Why do you use coconut flour?
I sometimes add coconut flour because it is so high in fiber (2 Tablespoons contains 5 grams) with as much protein as wheat flour! When added to sweets it’s been found to lower the glycemic index by reducing the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. It is also a good source of lauric acid (as are both coconut butter and coconut oil), which helps to destroy fungus, bacteria and viruses. Lauric acid is believed to support the immune system, and is an exceptionally good source of manganese, good for both bone and thyroid health, as well as the nervous system.
Why do you use Almond flour?
I mainly use almond flour or almond meal for recipes requiring a crust – like quiche or pie. True almond flour is actually blanched almonds milled without the skin and has a much finer texture, whereas almond meal is ground with the skin and can be made with almonds and a food processor. Almond flour/meal is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
What do you mean when you say: egg replacement?
You may replace an egg by blending 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons warm/hot water and then set the mixture aside until it forms a gel. You may also use 1 Tablespoon ground white chia seeds and 3 Tablespoons warm/hot water. Like flaxseeds they are a good source of protein, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Whisk together and let sit (until it too forms a gel) and then add as you would an egg. I prefer the white chia seeds over the black for purely aesthetic reasons. I don’t like to find black specks in my baked goods. Or you may buy a product like Ener-G egg replacer from your local health food store or online. Although it does not contain the health benefits of either a real egg, flaxseeds or chia seeds, it is gluten free, dairy free, and nut free and can be ready as quickly as it takes to heat up some water, so it is the fastest of the three alternatives given here. It works well as a binding agent, only you will need to double the recipe given on the box to make the equivalent of 1⁄4 cup egg whites or 1 egg.
Again, whenever using an egg replacement, be sure and make it before adding it to the rest of your liquid ingredients!