There are many types of sweeteners for foods and beverages in use today. One of them is palm sugar. In Indonesia, palm sugar is very popular as a sweetener for contemporary drinks such as the boba or coffee.
This sugar which is derived from palm tree sap has several facts that not many people know. Here are the facts about palm sugar you need to know
1. Made with natural processes without any chemical inputs
Palm sugar is also referred to as one of the natural sweeteners because in the manufacturing process, there is no addition of chemicals at all. How to make palm sugar is still using the traditional method. The palm tree’s sap is cooked in a large skillet until it becomes caramelized at a certain temperature. Once the temperature has decreased and the caramel has hardened, then it is scraped and filtered. To reduce the water content, the palm sugar will be heated in the oven. The final results of palm sugar products vary, namely liquid palm sugar, blocks, powder, cube or granule.
2. Used as an ingredient in traditional Asian dishes
The main dish from South Asia and Southeast Asia uses palm sugar as one of its ingredients since centuries. So don’t be surprised if dishes in Asia have a caramel taste that resembles honey but with its own distinctive aroma.
Even in Indonesia, palm sugar is very familiarly used as a natural sweetener not only for food but also for traditional beverages such as cendol, kolak, various types of wedang and so on.
Various traditional desserts in Indonesia also use palm sugar such as klepon, steamed cake (bolu kukus), rujak, jemblem and other street foods. In addition, palm sugar has become increasingly popular lately because it is used as a sweetener in contemporary drinks such as the boba tea, palm sugar coffee in cafes and so on.
3. Source of vitamins and minerals
Because it is made with a simple method without any chemical inputs, the vitamin and mineral content in palm sugar is still well preserved. According to research, palm sugar contains calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, manganese and copper.
Palm sugar is also known to contain other useful compounds such as thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, protein and vitamin C. If you want to get a healthier body, there’s nothing wrong with starting to replace cane sugar with palm sugar for your daily basis to be added in your cooking, baking and beverages.
4. Low GI (Glicemic index)
For diabetics, it is highly recommended to reduce sugary foods and replace sugar with natural sweeteners that have a lower glycemic index. Palm sugar has a glycemic index of 35 while granulated sugar has a glycemic index of 58. So replacing granulated sugar with palm sugar is a very appropriate decision. Foods that have a low glycemic index are absorbed slowly and prevent spikes in insulin levels. Meanwhile, foods or drinks with a high glycemic index will be absorbed more quickly by the body, increasing blood sugar levels and making the pancreas release a lot of insulin. Not healthy for diabetics!
5. Increase body immunity
Palm sugar contains antioxidants that are useful for maintaining the body’s immunity. These antioxidants help prevent inflammation and infection that can lower the body’s immune system. Especially when combined with herbal plants such as ginger and cinnamon, besides being able to maintain the body’s immunity, it can also accompany your day with its delicious taste.