When you think of sugar, do you think of the typical white granules you find in a big bag at your local grocery store? If so, you’re missing out. There are a variety of different types of sugar, each with its own special characteristics. Here are some to consider.
When you think of sugar do you think of the typical white granules you find in a big bag at your local grocery store? If so, you’re missing out since there are a variety of different types of sugar each with their own special characteristics. Once you understand the different sugar options available to you, you can use this knowledge to improve your recipes. Just be sure you don’t get too much of the sweet stuff! Sugar has yet to be called a health food and is responsible for a considerable percentage of the cases of obesity seen in the U.S. Here are some of the different types of sugar you may want to consider:
Granulated Sugar (Table Sugar)
This is the typical sugar you find so abundantly displayed on grocery store shelves. It has a white, granular appearance and is the most common sugar used in American recipes and desserts. You can also buy granulated sugar in the form of sugar cubes. These look elegant displayed next to a glass of hot tea. Sugar cubes are made by molding granulated sugar into cubes.
Powdered Sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar)
This common type of sugar is made by grinding granulated sugar to a powder consistency and combining it with cornstarch. It’s used primarily in recipes where a less grainy sugar is required such as the preparation of icings for cakes. It can also be sprinkled on cookies and other desserts for a decorative effect.
Brown sugar is made by coating sugar crystals with molasses. This gives it a high moisture content which is perfect for making soft, chewy cookies. Brown sugar comes in a light form and a dark form depending upon how much molasses is added.
This is a very fine type of granulated sugar which allows it to dissolve quickly. This sugar is a favorite with bartenders who add it to drinks because it dissolves almost immediately. It’s also useful for making very light, uncooked dessert treats. Caster sugar can be made in a blender by grinding it until it forms a fine powder. You can also buy it ready made at some grocery stores.
This type of sugar is found most commonly in natural food stores since it’s less processed than more conventional sugars. It’s made from dried dates and adds a rich sweetness to recipes, although it won’t dissolve when added to drinks. It also doesn’t melt like granulated sugar which can limit its use. It’s sometimes promoted as a healthier alternative to brown sugar although it can be quite expensive.
This golden brown sugar is composed of large crystals made by steaming raw sugar. It’s found primarily in natural food markets and health food stores since it’s less processed than granulated sugar and is slightly lower in calories. It’s commonly used in desserts where it adds a light, sweet molasses flavor.
The next time you’re tempted to reach for that standard bag of granulated sugar, consider the different types of sugar available to you and consider trying something new.