unrefined sugar

Nom sells unrefined sugar. But what is unrefined and why choose it?

Trying to define what is refined and unrefined sugar is actually really difficult! Even so called unrefined sugars are refined to a certain amount i.e. they have gone through some processing to remove impurities to turn from sugar cane into the powder or liquid form you use.

Unrefined sugars are made by taking the juices from the sugar cane and boiling them. This is when dark brown molasses appear around sugar crystals. Different sugars have differing amounts of the molasses removed. 

You’ll notice our caster sugar is golden in colour because it retains some of the molasses, unlike refined caster sugar which is bright white.

Refined sugars are created, not directly from the sugar cane juice but from a raw cane sugar that contains a high level of impurities. This will be sent to a refinery for processing. Raw sugar impurities are removed by remelting, filtering, evaporation, and centrifuging. 

Standard brown sugar goes through this process and then the molasses are added back in.

Our organic light brown sugar retains 3-4% molasses and the dark brown sugar retains 7-9% molasses.

Are unrefined sugars better for you? In nutritional terms, I’m afraid to say they are not. The molasses in the unrefined sugars do have some extra nutrients and minerals but the amounts are very small and don’t make a difference in the quantities we use sugar. 

So why use them? Unrefined sugars have a treacly taste and will give a richer bake. Which is why you’ll see brown sugars in a recipe for brownies or banana bread. An unrefined brown sugar will give an even richer taste and robust molasses flavour. You will also know that the sugar has been created in the most natural way possible with as little processing as possible. 

Information for this post was taken from whatsugar.com 

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