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Cane Sugar vs Beet Sugar

Cane sugar or beet sugar?  Which do you prefer?  There was a time when I didn’t prefer one or the other or even fully understand the difference.  Today is a much different story.

I love to bake, as can be evidenced by a quick glance at my recipe index.  As sugar is one of those essential ingredients you need to whip up classic desserts, it’s important to know the differences.  As a side note, if you’re looking for something sucrose free, my paleo brownies are wonderful.

Unrefined cane sugar undergoes less processing, hence its sandy blonde color.  It also has a hint of molasses taste to it.  The more refined version has the molasses removed.  The crystals are often processed with bone char in order to produce its bleached white color, technically making it unsuitable for vegan consumption.  Sugar cane plants can still be seen on St. Croix swaying in the wind.  These stalks are crushed to separate the juice from the pulp then goes through an evaporation process, filtered then crystallized.  Sugar beets are processed in a diffuser, filtered, heated then dried.  Of course there’s a bit more to it than that but that could be a whole other write up.

Both sugars are chemically recognized as sucrose with the same caloric count and is absorbed similarly by the body.  However, fresh sugar cane juice {which is one of my favorite drinks} is different with its low glycemic index and benefits ranging from vitamin C to potassium.  If you can get your hands on some, I highly recommend it.

I personally tend to reach for turbinado or raw sugar when taking my cup of tea and bake with unrefined organic cane sugar.  Sugar was once King in St. Croix and the local grocery shelves are still lined with this type of sugar.  As for when my baking requires brown sugar, I simply mix up some of my cane sugar with unsulphured molasses {which is also excellent as a morning tonic}.  Really, it comes down to personal preference.



2 thoughts on “Cane Sugar vs Beet Sugar

  • I Love Sugar in the raw Angie. Not the heavily processed sugar. This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing this with us… Have a great day and week!

  • brian says:

    i love sugar! when i was a kid i sometimes would spoon eat it. can’t anymore…sometimes i drink my coffee and teas without sugar at all and save the sugar for the baked goods that go with them. 😛 hahaha

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