Saturday, 10 March 2012

Organic Rapadura Sugar, more nutrient dense


Rapadura Sugar produces a darker,
more flavoursome,
cake.
I have recently purchased a fabulous book  'Wholefood for Children by Jude Blereau'.  It has a wonderful wealth of information which is very relevant to adults especially in this high allergy environment we seems to be experiencing in the last few decades.
I only received the book a couple of days a go which was a nice surprise since I had been waiting a while and completely forgotten I had purchased the book on line.  With only a few days of reading,  I have already learnt so much.
In the next couple of days I am wishing to make a wheat free apple and fig tray bake and on looking down at the list of ingredients I came across 'rapadura sugar'.  Needing to discover what this was before I could proceed I investigated further.

Unwashed Rapadura Sugar
This sugar is made from organic cane sugar there the juice of the cane sugar is filtered out, the fibre removed and then dried over low heat so crystals form.  Using this process it allows the cane sugar to retain valuable vitamins and minerals.  This sugar is very dark in colour due to the fact that the molasses is left in the sugar.  Rapadura sugar generally contains around 75% sucrose where as refined white sugar has 99% sucrose therefore rapadura sugar is less sweet but more nutrient dense.

Washed Rapadura Sugar
This sugar is more sweet since it is washed to remove the molasses from the sugar so the sucrose remains.  Washed rapadura sugar has little colour or flavour but is more sweet compared to the unwashed rapadura sugar.  The washed variety contains around 85% sucrose and is great for using in sponge cakes or where a lighter texture, flavour and colour is required. Another technique is to use a centrifuged process, where the sugar is spun to separate the molasses out.  This sugar is less nutrient dense that the unwashed due to the molasses being removed.
So in a quick summary white sugar is the sweetest, followed by unrefined washed or centrifuged sugar (this is raw or golden sugar) and lastly unwashed rapadura sugar is the least sweet but most nutrient dense of all the sugars.
Other names for Rapadura Sugar are Panela, Raspadura, Chancaca, Piloncillo, generally this type of sugar is produced in Columbia and Brazil.  Panela is the Colombian name for Rapadura Sugar.

Below is the link to see the nutrient benefits of Rapedura Sugar compared with raw sugar and refined sugar.

http://www.daabon.com/australia/pdfs/Rapadura%20Specs.pdf

Raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar all these generally involve a heating process therefore the nutrients are destroyed plus common use of chemicals in the clarifying process leaves unwanted residue and kills nutrients.
Note - Organic Raw Sugar is not Rapadura Sugar, organic raw sugar simple means that it uses organic farming processes but manufactures the sugar using heat therefore destroying nutrients.

Remember Rapadura Sugar is less sweet so more may have to be added into a recipe to gain the required sweetness a white sugar would produce. All Rapadura Sugar is organic.



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