Muscovado sugar is often mistaken with brown sugar, although it is much more intriguing than your ordinary sweetener. It is commonly known as Barbados sugar, Khansari, Khand, or artisanal sugar, is one of the least refined sugars available in the market. It is mostly produced in India, Colombia, and the West Indies, with India being the largest producer in the World.
What exactly Muscovado sugar is?
It is called unrefined or “raw,” as it is less processed, unlike granulated and brown sugars, where the molasses has been extracted. It is produced entirely of sugar cane. It has a deep and rich flavor, with a pronounced molasses flavor evocative of toffee and a somewhat bittersweet finish.
Being classified into two types: dark and light. Dark muscovado has no molasses and is more widely available. Only a little amount of molasses is removed from light muscovado, giving it a lighter taste.
The sugar is coarse and granular, like wet sand; the abrasive texture adds a nice crunch. While it resembles brown sugar in appearance, the manufacturing method is very different. Granulated sugar is stripped of molasses to produce the fine white crystals we know with sugar. A percentage of molasses is put back after the sugar is made to make light or dark brown sugars. When compared to muscovado, this multi-step method provides brown sugar a similarly sweet but somewhat bland flavor.
However, many minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, are retained in trace quantities throughout the manufacturing process.
Nutritional Value of Muscovado Sugar:
The nutritional analysis is given (per 100 g)
- Phosphorus (P) 3.9 mg
- Calcium (Ca) 85 mg
- Magnesium (Mg) 23 mg
- Potassium (K) 100 mg
- Iron (Fe) 1.3 mg
- Calories 383 kCal
- Total mineral salts 740 mg
It is nutritionally similar to refined white sugar and brown sugar, with approximately 15 calories and 4 gm of carbs per teaspoon. Because it has no dietary fiber, it is absorbed in the same manner that highly refined goods are.
This sugar, unlike granulated sugar, does not go through a centrifugal process. Nutrients and trace minerals such as calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium are not depleted throughout the production process. Hence, it contains some of the significance of minerals.
Because muscovado contains more molasses than many other sugars, it retains part of molasses antioxidant effects. Antioxidants aid in the fight against free radical cell damage. Otherwise, this damage may lead to aging and diseases such as heart disease.
Because of its minerals and antioxidant qualities, it is somewhat healthier than white sugar, although it is still an added sugar. Your body digests them faster than natural sugar in fruits, which also include fiber and nutrients.
How is Muscovado sugar produced?
Muscovado is produced from sugar cane juice that has been evaporated till crystallization occurs. After heating the cane extract, the liquid is allowed to evaporate until just the sugar residue remains.
Muscovado is now produced in three ways:
- This process includes manual implementation, where it goes into crystallization process (granulation) massecuite by cooling it in pans and continuously shearing it by stirring with a large spatula or by pressing it with the feet.
- In the late 18th century to early 19th-century, industrial centrifuge technique was implemented. It entailed crystallising massecuite by using a centrifuge to separate a crystal-rich mush that had been drained of its molasses in a gravity-drained tank.
- A spray drier is used in modern industrial techniques.
Is it healthier than white sugar?
The primary distinction between muscovado sugar and white sugar is that they are derived from different sources. Muscovado sugar is a kind of sugar made from cane. White sugar, on the other hand, is produced from sugar beets.
This sugar, along with demerara and turbinado sugar, being minimally processed, may be found in the natural food department of shops. But it is sugar and will respond in your body in the same way that white sugar does. Raw sugar has been processed and cooked, so one can’t claim it to be totally raw.
Raw sugar has been treated to eliminate some naturally occurring molasses, but some remains, whereas white sugar has undergone extensive processing and includes no natural molasses.
Usage of Muscovado Sugar in recipes:
The rich taste of this sugar is often used in brownies, cake, cookies, sweets, gingerbread, and other dark-flavored treats. Being, a great sweetener for coffee and tea, it is also used for topping porridge and yogurt.
It may also be used in savory recipes. The most popular of these are barbecue sauce and meat marinades or glazes.
Because it contains fewer molasses, light muscovado may withstand higher temperatures better. For these reasons, when preparing simmering dishes like glazes, chutney, and caramel sauce, use mild muscovado.
You can use it in various ways, some of them are:
• Mix it into dry rubs and wet marinades for meat, lamb, and vegetables including potatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers. Combine light or dark muscovado, dried spices, vinegar, and a dab of oil in a mixing bowl.
• Combine 2 parts olive oil and 1 part balsamic vinegar with chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to make a stronger balsamic vinaigrette. Whisk in a few tablespoons of this sugar and refrigerate for up to a week.
• Add a kettle corn flavor to freshly popped kernels for a lot fewer calories. Drizzle heated popcorn with melted salted butter that has been laced with a few tablespoons of muscovado.
• Yogurt Parfaits Layer plain Greek yogurt with fresh seasonal fruit and chopped almonds in a wide mouth jar or glass. Finish with a sprinkling of muscovado sugar on top of the parfait.
• Whether it is coffee, tea, black coffee, or an almond milk latte, it is a great sweetener for hot drinks. Since it has such a strong taste, you can use it in less quantity to reduce calories, a little goes a long way.
• Brownies Chocolate and muscovado are a dessert combination made in heaven. The chewy brownies call for the rich molasses taste.
• Cookies Replace brown sugar in your favorite cookie recipe with muscovado. For the finest cookie dough consistency, slightly decrease the liquid in the recipe.
Where can I Buy Muscovado Sugar?
Muscovado sugar can be found at natural and specialty food shops, as well as online. It is popular in Europe, and increasing demand is making it easier to find at supermarkets and well-stocked grocery shops in the United States. Compared to muscovado sugar, brown sugar is less costly.
Muscovado sugar may be found at specialized food stores, online gourmet merchants, and spice markets. A one-pound packet costs about $6.00 to $7.00 per pound.
Substitute of Muscovado Sugar:
If you are not able to find the Muscovado sugar in rare cases, then there are some of the substitutes available which you might consider.
For instance, light brown sugar, Demerara sugar, Turbinado sugars are not as moist.
Also, Jaggery or Sucanat is the finest replacement for muscovado sugar since it is an unprocessed brown sugar. You can replace them in the same proportions.
Dark brown sugar is the next best alternative. It does, however, have a finer texture, reduced molasses content, and a milder flavor.
Other unprocessed cane sugars work well as muscovado sugar replacements. Brown sugar, either store-bought or handmade, is the next best choice.
How to store it?
Since muscovado and other dark sugars contain so much moisture, they are prone to form clumps and ultimately hardens. Hence, it should be stored in an airtight container with a tight cover or a plastic zip-top bag.
Muscovado sugar, also known as Barbados sugar, is an unprocessed cane sugar with molasses. While less refined than white sugar, muscovado should be taken in moderation to reduce your consumption of added sugar.