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What kind of sugar to use in Thai recipes?

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Updated about 12 hours ago
Created November 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM

I like to cook Thai food at home but almost every recipe contains sugar. I usually omit sugar but that changes the salty-sour-spicy-sweet thai flavor to just salty-sour-spicy. Still good but not the same. If I was going to use a sweet element what would be the least impactfull on insulin, carbs and calories? I assume palm sugar is not a good choice. Honey, agave..stevia?

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208 · November 11, 2013 at 3:39 AM

I never add sugar to Thai food. If I want some sweet (rare) I'd use some spices. . . Cinnamon, Allspice, etc.

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5650 · November 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM

i've recently started using coconut sugar but it really isn't very sweet at all. i prefer honey or maple syrup since those have a distinct taste.

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2913 · November 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Traditionally, Thai cooking uses palm sugar (jaggery). The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook recommends coconut sugar for a low-insulin sweetener. I've seen references that claim the two are the same and references that claim they're completely different ... according to Wikipedia, they're both made from the sap of two different palm trees, palm sugar from the date palm, coconut sugar from the coconut palm. Coconut sugar is still a Whole Foods or online thing for most people. Palm sugar can be found at most Asian and Indian grocery stores.

Failing that, dark maple syrup will have the closest flavor profile (dark to get more of the healthy "impurities"). Otherwise, honey (raw, unfiltered, local) is the most paleo option.

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