Muscovado sugar takes its name from the spanish 'mascabado' (meaning unrefined). Also known as Barbados sugar. This sugar is pure, wholesome, unrefined, natural cane sugar. It is also called 'poor man's sugar'. Muscovado sugar retains all of the natural ingredients of sugar cane, making it wholesome and healthy.
Only a pure natural honey can compare to muscovado's nutritive value. One important reason why muscovado is becoming popular today is because, it's low calorie content as compared to white sugar/
Compared to normal white sugar, muscovado sugar retains all the cane sugar nutrients. High in minerals: potassium, calcium, iron, it has more health benefits compared to normal white sugar, which has zero nutrients, as the refining process to produce white sugar has practically eliminated all traces of nutrients from it.
Mineral content of Muscovado Sugar (per 100g):
- Total mineral salts 740 mg max.
- Phosphorus (P) 3.9 mg max.
- Calcium (Ca) 85 mg max.
- Magnesium (Mg) 23 mg max.
- Potassium (K) 100 mg max.
- Iron (Fe) 1.3 mg max
- Low Calories compared to White Sugar
The nutritional content of white sugar is stripped away during the refining process, resulting in an 'empty-calorie' product that contains nothing of nutritional benefit. A 1998 study published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association" found that nearly 40 percent of the total calories consumed by those aged 2 to 18 come from 'empty-calorie' snacks. Replacing your usual white sugar with muscovado sugar at home can help lower the amount of 'empty calories' you and your family consume.
Fewer Chemicals compared to White Sugar
The extraction process of muscovado sugar is very simple; the extracted juice from the sugar cane is boiled until it has reduced to about 30 percent. The residue is then dried out and it solidifies to form the sugar granules known as muscovado sugar. In comparison, white sugar undergoes additional heating, filtering and bleaching stages, which removes most of its nutritional content in the process. Another health benefit muscovado sugar has over refined sugar is that it is free of harmful chemicals such as phosphoric acid, sulfur dioxide and formic acid, which may be put in during the additional stages white sugar goes through.
This unrefined sugar goes well with coffee and other beverages, and was one of the most prominent export commodities of the Philippines, from the 19th century until the late 1970s. The production of muscovado sugar in the Philippines, Barbados, and elsewhere had experienced a long period of decline when large mills took over sugar production from small farmers with small mills, until consumer interest in healthy and organic foods revived interest in muscovado sugar, creating a new market for muscovado sugar production from small mills.
For maximum health benefits, try baking carrot cakes, oat and raisin cookies, fruity muffins, apple and cinnamon crumbles and apple strudels. You can also use muscovado sugar in savory dishes such as mustard-glazed gammon, caramelized balsamic steak, pork and bean stew, cheddar, rosemary and onion tarts and a variety of breads.