Raw Sugar in Baking

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Today I'm going to talk a little about Raw Sugar. Golden brown crystals you can buy as
Turbinado/Raw Sugar. I like to use raw sugar in baking as a topping, or even as an ingredient.(Banana Drop Cookies)
I was curious and wanted to learn more  and what I came to understand surprised me a little.
SUGAR FACTS
Let get some facts straight
Sugar is sucrose also referred to as  carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates are great source of energy for our bodies, because they easily change to glucose which works as food/fuel for the organs and  tissue cells to function, particularly  brain cells and nervous system prefers carbohydrate over proteins and fats.

HOW IS RAW SUGAR MADE
Turbinado//Raw Sugar has golden brown crystals and is  a lot larger than the regular table sugar. This sugar is also called natural brown sugar, or some call it raw sugar.It is also made from sugar cane, just like white table sugar.
  •  It is made  in the 1st stages of sugar cane processing method, where sugar stored in the sugar cane stalk is separated and  crushed and then the juices are squeezed out and clarified  sugar cane juice is evaporated and spun in  a turbine or centrifuge, producing large golden brown crystals-natural brown sugar, this would be called partially processed brown stage, where some or none of the molasses is not removed in the process that is what makes the sugar brown. 
  • Raw sugar is brown because it contains molasses, which also attributes to more complex flavor over white sugar

According to USDA , both white and raw sugar contain about 15 calories per teaspoon.

BAKING WITH RAW SUGAR
As a baker I was curious to learn also about other properties of raw sugar. Turbinado/natural  raw sugar  tends to  hold more water/moisture than regular table white sugar. So when used in baking it can affect final product by additional moisture, a great quality especially when used to make cookies and muffins.

Because the crystal of Turbinado/Raw sugar are not as fine as white sugar it makes it difficult to use raw sugar  alone in some baked goods. Raw sugar is especially great as a toppings for baked goods but can be used in cookies, muffins and such. In combination it can be used in cakes but ultimately it can affect cake texture.

RAW SUGAR Versus WHITE SUGAR
At the end of the day, after reading dozen of articles on the subject, and after I talked to a friend of mine who just happens to be a  nutritionist I came to  conclusion that table sugar and raw sugar  are very similar in terms what they provide and the impact they have on our body. There are no  significant amounts of vitamins  or minerals , okay there are some but not a whole lot. What it comes down to is that I prefer using less processed foods and raw sugar falls into that category, it also offers different properties when used in baking. However the way it affects our body is no different of the white sugar. Surprised? I sure was.








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