Coconut sugar has become a highly coveted alternative to white refined sugar because it is dramatically lower on the Glycemic Index than the popular white alternative.
Coconut sugar is produced in tropical countries where coconut palms grow, which can leave North Americans wondering which is the best brand to invest in.
Luckily, there are plenty of great-tasting, high-quality coconut sugars you can rely on.
What is the best coconut sugar? The best coconut sugars are made with high-quality, organic, and sustainably harvested ingredients that were not genetically modified. For baking purposes, unrefined coconut sugar is better.
The 5 best coconut sugars, according to our research, are made by BetterBody Foods, Wholesome Sweeteners, Madhava, Terrasoul Superfoods, and Food to Live.
In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss the key features and most notable drawbacks of each coconut sugar supplier so that you can confidently choose your favorite from our list of 5 best options.
Why Use Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar can replace refined white table sugar at a 1:1 ratio, so many people are making the switch.
It’s made from the flowers of coconut palm trees, so you don’t even have to have tree destruction on your conscience. That being said, there are definitely some brands that are more committed to quality, sustainability, and flavor.
If you’re going to make the switch, you may as well choose from the best of the best available, especially when it works out to be budget-friendly as well.
From a health perspective, coconut sugar is marginally better than refined white sugar, but it’s far from a healthy choice. There are reasons to choose it over refined sugar, however.
It does have trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, so in an otherwise healthy diet, it’s a better choice. It also has a slightly lower Glycemic Index than refined white sugar.
If you’re vegan, coconut sugar is a safer choice for you than refined sugar, which is sometimes made using bone char from animals.
Coconut sugar also has a fuller flavor, with slight hints of coconut, which can bring a little extra something special to your baking.
Best Coconut Sugar
We’ve picked our top 5 coconut sugar brands out there. As a bonus, ALL of these are organic:
|1.||BetterBody Foods||Organic coconut palm sugar|
|2.||Wholesome Sweeteners||Organic coconut palm sugar|
|3.||Madhava||Organic coconut sugar|
|4.||Terrasoul Superfoods||Organic coconut sugar|
|5.||Food to Live||Organic brown coconut sugar|
We’ve got more information on each below, so be sure to read on to choose the very best organic coconut sugar for you and your need!
1. BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
BetterBody Foods is at the top of the list because they make a great tasting coconut sugar, using premium quality ingredients, and they sell it for a fair price.
As if that wasn’t enough, the company is dedicated to supporting the communities and environments that are responsible for producing quality ingredients.
A socially and environmentally conscious company with delicious products at good prices certainly deserves to make our list.
- Certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and Kosher
- 1.5 lbs container gets you a good “bulk” price for a high-quality product
- Unrefined and ideal for flavorful baking
Biggest Drawback: If you’ve been buying this brand over the years, some people have noticed a difference in the size of the granules, which can impact how the product is used, though it’s not necessarily an indicator of quality.
2. Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Wholesome Sweeteners has every kind of organic natural sweetener you could think of, and that includes coconut sugar.
They have built their business on this industry, and they do it well. So you can trust the quality of this coconut sugar to be high.
- Committed to sustainable production, protecting coconut palm trees throughout their entire 25–30 years of business
- USDA Organic, non-GMO project verified, naturally gluten-free, vegan, and Kosher certified
- One ingredient: organic coconut palm sugar
Biggest Drawback: As with all brands of coconut sugar, it does have a unique flavor if you’re used to any other type of sugar. If you like it, you’ll love this brand’s product. If you don’t like the flavor of coconut sugar, you are unlikely to enjoy this product from any brand.
3. Madhava Organic Coconut Sugar
Madhava began its business in honey and has evolved over the past almost 50 years to include many more products, all with one thing in common: purity.
The company searches the globe for the most natural, cleanest ingredients they can find and test products with third-party companies to ensure their goods are always the cleanest possible.
- Tested consistently and regularly by the Clean Label Project to ensure purity from contaminants, including heavy metals, insecticides, and pesticides
- Sustainably harvested through partnerships with organic family farms in Indonesia
- Certified organic and non-GMO, Kosher, vegan, gluten-free, and sold in BPA-free packaging
Biggest Drawback: The flavor of coconut sugar catches a lot of people off guard. This brand in particular can draw mixed reactions from those who mistakenly expect a “light brown sugar” flavor.
If this is what you’re expecting, you may be disappointed that this or any other coconut sugar isn’t nearly as sweet as white refined sugar or brown sugar. If you love the taste of coconut sugar, however, you shouldn’t have any problems with this brand.
4. Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Coconut Sugar
Terrasoul is a company not solely focused on sweeteners, like some of the other top brands, but they deal in superfoods.
They search for nutrient-dense food solutions and rely on third-party lab tests to prove the value of the foods they source.
- Minimally processed to retain as much variety in the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids inside the sugar as possible
- Not as sweet as white refined sugar, with added flavor depth that is slightly nutty, a hint of molasses, and a light brown sugar taste
- No chemical aftertaste that some artificial sweeteners leave in your mouth
Biggest Drawback: If you’re ordering this product online, packaging may come damaged slightly.
Poor packaging sucks but luckily, Terrasoul is very good about replacing any products damaged through shipping. Great customer service might make up for less than perfect packaging.
5. Food to Live Organic Brown Coconut Sugar
Food to Live is founded on the goal of helping people become healthier by offering healthier ingredients for them to choose from.
They make a point of stating that all their products can be used in a vegan-friendly food plan, so they obviously understand the power of plants.
- Available in 5 and 10-pound bags which is fantastic for large families, avid bakers or bulk and budget shoppers
- Finely milled grains of sugar, optimal for dissolving in liquids
- USDA Organic and non-GMO certified
Biggest Drawback: The company is highly conscious of and honest about the importance of nut-free and gluten-free products.
While their coconut sugar is free from both nuts and gluten, however, it is produced in facilities that also work with products that contain both nuts and gluten. So those with strong allergies may need to be consider other options.
What is a Good Alternative to Coconut Sugar?
Finding the right substitute for coconut sugar depends on your reason for substituting and the reason it’s called for in the first place.
The simplest solution is to use refined white sugar, as it substitutes at the same ratio and is readily available. However, many people and recipes use coconut sugar specifically to avoid refined sugar.
If this is the case, your best substitutions will be raw honey, pure maple syrup, or soaked dates.
Which you choose will depend on the recipe, but each of them has health benefits such as added vitamins and minerals, that you do not find in refined sugar.
Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index, however, so if you’re watching your blood sugar specifically, you may need to try a sweetener such as Stevia.
Coconut Sugar Vs. Honey
When it comes to health benefits, many companies market honey as a health food. Similar to coconut sugar, it’s much less processed than refined sugar so it retains trace vitamins and minerals which are good for your health.
Also like coconut sugar, in order to actually see benefits from these trace vitamins, you would have to eat such great quantities of honey that it would harm your health more than help it.
It is a better choice than refined sugar, but honey is still very high in sugar. Where honey stands out, however, is in its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Honey can often be used topically to heal wounds without doing anything to your blood sugar levels.
Is Coconut Sugar Nutritious?
Coconut sugar is still very much sugar, first and foremost. It may be better for your body than refined which sugar, but it should not be considered a health food. It has the same amount of calories and sugar as refined white sugar.
It is less processed so it retains more of the natural vitamins and minerals from the coconut palm plant, but they are only trace amounts.
In order for the nutritional value to be in a quantity that it will improve certain metrics, the consequences of the sugar intake would be exponentially more harmful to your health.
It is marginally lower on the Glycemic Index, but again, it’s still sugar. So you may want to enjoy with a balanced, healthy diet!