Organic evaporated cane juice is a relatively unrefined sweetener made from the stalks of the sugar cane plant. It is healthier than the refined cane sugar present in so many beverages and baked goods in part because, being organic, it is produced without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is also closer to the unprocessed original plant, so it contains more nutrients than highly processed alternatives.
The sugar cane plant was originally domesticated in New Guinea, perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago. It spread rapidly throughout Southeast Asia, and later Asia and the Middle East, largely because of our natural predilection for sugar. According to Maguelonne Toussaint Samat, author of 'History of Food," food processors in India had learned how to process the juice of the sugar cane plant into powdered for by the seventh century AD, although the Chinese claim to have developed this technology much earlier.
Popularity of Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
During the Middle Ages evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar, was an expensive delicacy. At that time all evaporated cane juice was organic because chemical fertilizers and pesticides had not yet been invented, although the term "organic" did not come into common usage until the 20th century. The technology of processing sugar involved successively filtering and straining raw cane juice to remove as much of its contents as possible other than the sucrose, or the pure white sweetener. The product that we now know as evaporated cane juice was considered inferior to the more refined, whiter product.
Varieties of Evaporated Cane Juice
The different varieties of evaporated cane juice are distinguished mainly on the basis of how much they have been processed. With the advent of modern chemical processing technologies, fully refined sugar is now completely white and finely granulated. The darker varieties of evaporated cane juice include Muscovado sugar, which is quite dark and tastes like molasses, Demarra sugar, which is lighter than Muscovado, and milled cane, which is a golden color but not nearly as light as refined white sugar.
Because evaporated cane juice is less refined and closer to its natural form than processed white sugar, according to Babyboomerfitnessusa.com. It contains more nutrients and has fewer harmful effects. Evaporated cane juice contains plenty of vitamin B-2, or riboflavin. It also contains niacin, another B vitamin, as well as dietary fiber, calcium and potassium.
Organic evaporated cane juice can be used in place of refined sugar in most conventional baked goods. It has a deeper richer flavor than processed sugar, with the darker varieties containing more complex molasses flavor. For this reason, milled cane sugar is a good choice for a simple confection like a chocolate chip cookie, while Muscovado sugar will work better in a recipe that incorporates a wider range of flavors, such as ginger bread.