I thought this might be a good time for this comparision. Thanks, Amy, for the nudge!!
What is the difference between Sucanat and Evaporated Cane Juice? And how do they differ in cooking? First off let me say, that these are only two of the MANY sweetener choices out there. If you want your mind boggled about it, go to Wholesome Sweeteners and read to your heart's content. For the discussion today, I think I'll keep it simple.
The picture on the left is Evaporated Cane Juice - a light brown, granulated "very much like" sugar. According to Wholesome Sweeteners this is extracted, evaporated, and crystallized. Basically you have skipped the refining or bleaching process that takes place with "white" sugar. Nutritionally speaking, too much of this sugar is just as bad for you as too much white sugar!! Not even Wholesome Sweeteners has a very good comparision on nutritional values for their sugars.
The picture on the right is SUCANAT - darker, uncrystallized, and larger granules with a more molasses flavor. According to Wholesome Sweeteners this is whole cane sugar. "It's made by simply crushing freshly cut sugar cane, extracting the juice and heating it in a large vat. Once the juice is reduced to a rich, dark syrup, it is hand-paddled. Hand paddling cools and dries the syrup, creating the dry porous granules we call Sucanat. Nothing is added and nothing is taken out!" Again I think Wholesome Sweeteners doesn't do a very good comparision of nutritional value. With nothing added or taken out, it seems there should be some more fiber value to this one.
I really like having my facts straight about something and as is common with the internet there are many conflicting articles, BUT I found this really great article about Sucanat and its nutritional value on another site called, LiveStrong.com. It has references for its information which I always like. Maybe it will be helpful.
At any rate, I have found that I can use Sucanat cup for cup in most of my baking recipes. I DO NOT use Sucanat in my sweet tea - it affects the taste TOO much. And I DO NOT use it in my canning of preserves and pickles, for the same reason. I will issue a warning here though that if you have never used Sucanat before, you need to introduce it to your family slowly. I suggest using a half Cane Juice and half Sucanat mixture where you are wanting to make changes. It may take getting used to, although, I have baked brownies before using all Sucanat and had folks rave, never suspecting!!!
One more note . . . I am repeating myself here, using too much Sucanat or Cane Juice is just as bad for you as using too much white sugar!! All things in moderation!