It doesn’t get much better than brown sugar. Sweet, caramel-y, thick, and rich. It is just divine. And do you know what’s best of all? It’s a great natural and healthy way of getting your sugar kick. And you can use it in just about anything.
Basically, we think your cupboard should be full of the stuff! If you like flavor, depth, and sweetness then you need to get to know brown sugar.
But what’s brown sugar all about? What should you know before you dive into the world of this magic product? Vegan brown sugar, organic brown sugar, we’ve got it all. And here’s the low-down.
What is Brown Sugar?
First of all, what even is it? That feels like a good place to start. Brown sugar is a sucrose sugar with a rich brown color that is produced all over the world. It contains molasses, which is what gives it its distinctive color. Molasses is a thick viscous liquid, the result of refining sugar cane.
How is Brown Sugar Made?
There are a few steps in the brown sugar-making process. First of all, sugar cane is harvested. This cane is then crushed and milled to extract its juices and the juice is then purified.
Then comes the thickening process. Those juices are heated and boiled, reducing the liquid and thickening it as it goes. Over the course of this evaporation process, a variety of different products are created. The first stage creates light brown sugar. The second step creates dark brown sugar. And the third step creates ‘black strap’.
And then comes the crystallization process. This is how we go from a thick liquid to the crystal-like granules you’re used to sprinkling over your favorite dishes. During this process the raw sugar crystals are separated and caught, leaving us with the brown sugar we love so much.
And then finally, molasses is added, giving our brown sugar that gorgeous dark color.
Brown Sugar Vs White Sugar
And what about the match-up between these two competing types of sugar? How do we distinguish between them? Which sugar should you choose?
Well, there are some differences, so here’s some information to help you pick.
The texture of white and brown sugar is also very different. Where white sugar tends to be dry and grainy, brown sugar leans on the moist and crumbly side of things. That’s a big thing to think about when you’re choosing between these two sugar options. What do you want?
Ok and maybe most importantly, what about taste? Well, there are some big differences. Basically, brown sugar is full of complexity. We’re talking about a deep earthy flavor. A little like caramel. Where white sugar is a little more neutral and is used mainly just for sweetening, brown sugar is distinct.
There are also more minerals in brown sugar. Because of the addition of molasses, brown sugar tends to have higher levels of potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. So it’s a good source of important minerals.
Some Uses for Vegan Brown Sugar
Ok, here’s where it gets fun. Really there are so many uses for organic brown sugar. And of course, you can basically do what you like with it. It is, after all, sugar! But because of the distinctive characteristics of brown sugar, there are certain places it really thrives.
Why not try sprinkling it on your porridge? The dark crystals have a honey-like quality that adds a lovely sweet crunch to your morning meal. The vegan brown sugar melts over the hot porridge and you are left with something really delicious.
Brown sugar works fantastically in baking. It is often called for in cakes, cookies, muffins, and puddings. The rich darkness of vegan brown sugar is a game changer and will give your baking a caramel-like quality and gives baked goods a gooier and softer texture. You should always have organic brown sugar to hand if you are a baker.
It’s also great in sauces. Think rich tomato sauces. And especially when you’re making a glaze! The molasses-y sugar will create a sumptuous marinade for your vegetables. We think it is especially fitting before a barbeque. So glaze up those carrots and slap some marinade on your corn and let the caramelization do the talking.
You can even throw it into your salad dressings. Mix it up with something acidic like fresh lemon juice and something thickening and you’ll have a really balanced, beautiful dressing.
And then of course there are a whole bunch of other uses for organic brown sugar. Add it to your iced coffee for a really rich sweetener, sprinkle some in your smoothie or sweeten up your tea. The possibilities really are endless.
Some Great Brown Sugar Brands
So now you know the uses, how about some fantastic brands of brown sugar to get you started?
Wholesome - Organic Dark Brown Sugar
First up we have this Organic Dark Brown Sugar from Wholesome. It’s made from freshly squeezed organic cane sugar and has a rich molasses flavor. It’s a non-GMO fair trade certified product and it’s fully organic. It even comes in this super-useful resealable bag so you won't have brown sugar pouring all over the inside of your kitchen cupboard.
Big Country Foods - Organic Brown Sugar
This organic brown sugar from Big Country Foods is great. It’s made from artisan farmed sugarcane and Big Country Foods is committed to working sustainably with farmers. It is luxurious and versatile and it comes in both a light and dark variety so you can choose depending on how you want to use it.
Big Tree Farms - Brown Coconut Sugar
Ok and finally here’s something slightly different. It’s Brown Coconut Sugar from Big Tree Farms. The only ingredient is coconut. But from the coconut, a rich dark sugar is created. The product measures cup for cup with normal sugar. A great alternative to cane sugar for those who fancy trying something different.
A Final Thought
So that’s that. The ins and outs of the most delicious sugar out there. It really is an essential cupboard staple. With its fantastic flavors and its benefits, you can’t do much better than brown sugar when it comes to a treat.
And as soon as you start using it in your cooking, you really won’t be able to stop. It’s so useful and adds so much depth. So go out there and enjoy. It really does taste so good!