What is coconut nectar syrup?

What is coconut nectar?

Coconut nectar, also known as coconut sap or coconut palm nectar, is a natural sweetener made from the sap of coconut palm trees. The sap is extracted from the flower buds of the coconut palm by tapping or cutting them. The extracted sap is then heated to evaporate most of its water content, leaving behind the thick, syrupy nectar.

Coconut nectar has been used as a traditional sweetener in Southeast Asian cultures for thousands of years. It has a dark brown color and a rich, caramel-like flavor. The nectar contains 17 amino acids, vitamins C, B1, B2, B3 and B6, and minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, and potassium. It has a low glycemic index, making it a better choice than sugar for people with diabetes. Compared to other sweeteners, coconut nectar is relatively high in nutrients and low in fructose.

How is coconut nectar syrup made?

Coconut nectar syrup is made by heating and reducing fresh coconut sap or nectar to achieve a thick, viscous syrup consistency. Here are the basic steps:

1. Collecting the sap:

The sap is collected or “tapped” from the unopened flower buds of the coconut palm. A slit is made in the flower bud and a container hung below it to collect the draining sap. Each bud continues to secrete sap for 2-3 months, after which another bud is tapped.

2. Filtering:

The collected sap contains impurities and needs to be filtered. A mesh screen is used to filter out debris and solids from the sap. This helps improve the quality and appearance of the final product.

3. Heating and reducing:

The filtered sap is then heated to evaporate water content and condense it into a thick syrup. The sap is boiled for several hours to achieve the desired consistency, texture and flavor. Constant stirring is required to prevent burning.

4. Cooling and bottling:

Once the nectar has been reduced, it is removed from heat and quickly cooled to room temperature. The thick syrup is then bottled while still warm to maintain sterility. The bottles are sealed tightly to prevent exposure.

What does coconut nectar syrup taste like?

Coconut nectar syrup has a uniquely sweet and rich flavor. It tastes similar to a liquid caramel, with a hint of butterscotch. The flavor is often described as more complex than sugar or honey.

Compared to maple syrup, coconut nectar is not as sweet. It has milder sweetness along with a slight nutty, buttery, and caramel taste. The flavor can vary slightly depending on the coconut variety. But most coconut nectar syrup has a roasted, toasted richness.

The texture of coconut nectar syrup is smooth and thick, akin to honey. When drizzled over foods, it has a glossy appearance and leaves a slight oiliness. The syrup is 100% soluble in liquids, so it incorporates seamlessly into drinks and sauces.

How sweet is coconut nectar compared to sugar?

Coconut nectar is not as sweet as refined white sugar. It has a glycemic index of 35, whereas white sugar has a GI of 65. This means it does not spike blood glucose levels as drastically as regular table sugar.

Coconut nectar syrup contains 16 calories and 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon, while white sugar contains 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon. The natural sugar composition of coconut nectar is about 78% sucrose, 13% glucose, and 9% fructose. This is lower in fructose than processed sugars.

So while coconut nectar is roughly equal in overall sweetness, it is considered a healthier sweetener choice compared to regular cane sugar. The lower glycemic impact leads to slower absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. People who have diabetes can often tolerate small amounts of coconut nectar.

How to use coconut nectar syrup

Here are some ideas for using coconut nectar syrup:

– Sweeten drinks:

Add a spoonful to coffee, tea, milk, non-dairy milk beverages, or smoothies. The mild caramel flavor pairs well without overpowering.

– Bake with it:

Replace up to half the sugar called for in recipes with coconut nectar. Use it in cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, and more for moistness.

– Drizzle on yogurt or oatmeal:

The thick syrup consistency makes it perfect for drizzling. Sweeten plain yogurt or porridge.

– Use in sauces and dressings:

Coconut nectar mixes well into sauces like caramel or mole. It also blends into vinaigrettes and salad dressings.

– Spread on pancakes or waffles:

Enjoy it as you would maple syrup for a tropical twist. It pairs great with coconut flour baked goods.

– Make candies with it:

Cook it to hard crack stage and pour into molds to make hard candies. Use it in fudge and caramel recipes too.

– Grill or bake with it:

Brush on chicken, shrimp, pork chops or baked goods before cooking for sweetness.

– Preserve fruits:

Use as a natural sugar replacement in jams, marmalades, and preserves.

What are the health benefits?

Coconut nectar syrup provides several health advantages:

– Low glycemic index:

With a GI of 35, it does not spike blood sugar dangerously. This makes it safe for diabetics.

– Rich in amino acids:

It contains 17 amino acids, making it a source of protein. Aminos help in muscle building.

– High mineral content:

It provides important minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium. This improves immunity.

– Vitamins:

Coconut nectar contains B vitamins as well as vitamin C. B vitamins aid metabolism and nerve function.

– Prebiotic properties:

It feeds good gut bacteria, acting as a prebiotic. This improves digestion and gut health.

– Anti-inflammatory:

Coconut nectar has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling or arthritis.

– Low fructose:

The lower fructose content prevents fat storage compared to regular sugar.

– Antioxidant effects:

Coconut nectar provides beneficial antioxidant properties to combat cell damage.

Is coconut nectar syrup keto-friendly?

Coconut nectar syrup is not strictly keto-friendly, due to its high carbohydrate and sugar content. Each tablespoon contains about 4 grams of sugar and 15 calories.

However, since it has a low glycemic index, it may be possible to incorporate small amounts into a ketogenic diet. Some keto experts recommend limiting intake to 1-2 tablespoons per day. This small portion can fit into daily carb allowance on keto.

Compared to sugar or honey, coconut nectar has a reduced impact on blood glucose and insulin. So for occasional use, it is a better choice than regular sugars on keto. But it should still be consumed in very moderate portions to avoid disrupting ketosis.

Is coconut nectar syrup paleo?

Yes, coconut nectar syrup is considered paleo-friendly and can be included in a paleo diet. It is a natural, unprocessed sweetener made from coconut palm sap.

The paleo diet eliminates refined sugars, so coconut nectar is a good alternative. Compared to honey or maple syrup, coconut nectar has a lower glycemic index and fructose content. In moderation, it is a safer choice on paleo.

Coconut products like coconut flour, coconut milk, and coconut aminos are staples in the paleo diet. As a wholesome sweetener made from coconut, coconut nectar aligns well with paleo principles. Using it allows for sweetening foods and beverages in a paleo-compliant way.

Is coconut nectar vegan?

Yes, coconut nectar syrup is completely vegan. Coconut nectar is made by tapping or cutting the flower buds of coconut palms to drain the plant sap. No animal products or derivatives are used at any point in the production process.

Vegans avoid honey because it is made by bees. Coconut nectar provides a good honey alternative by delivering sweetness in a vegan way. It can be used as an ethical replacement for honey in recipes.

When buying coconut nectar, check that the brand is vegan and does not use bone char for filtration. Some brands also state “vegan” clearly on the label. But in general, coconut nectar is always vegan.

Coconut Nectar Syrup Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutritional breakdown for 1 tablespoon (21 grams) of coconut nectar syrup (Source: USDA)

Nutrient Amount
Calories 15
Carbohydrates 4 g
Sugars 4 g
Fat 0 g
Protein 0 g
Magnesium 4 mg
Potassium 19 mg

As you can see, coconut nectar syrup is free of fat and protein. Its main macronutrients are carbohydrates and natural sugars. It also contains trace minerals like magnesium and potassium.

Is coconut nectar syrup better than agave?

Coconut nectar syrup has some advantages compared to agave nectar:

– Lower glycemic index: Coconut nectar has a GI of 35 compared to agave which can range from 10 to 30 on average. The lower GI causes less blood sugar spike.

– Higher nutrients: Coconut nectar contains more B vitamins, amino acids and minerals than agave. Agave is high in fructose and low in nutrients.

– Less processed: Coconut nectar involves heating sap to make syrup. Agave nectar extensively processes the agave plant to extract and concentrate fructose.

– More mild flavor: Coconut nectar has a mild, slightly nutty taste compared to stronger flavor of agave. It lends well to more recipes.

– Sustainable harvesting: Coconut trees are tapped without major damage, compared to agave which is more invasive when harvested.

However, agave nectar has a more neutral flavor that adapts well to different applications. It also has a longer shelf life compared to coconut nectar. But overall, coconut nectar is considered the healthier and more sustainable option.

How to store coconut nectar syrup?

Coconut nectar syrup can be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct light. Unopened jars can be kept in the pantry, while opened jars are best kept refrigerated.

Here are some tips for proper storage:

– Store in airtight glass jars or bottles, filled to the top. Any air exposure can cause mold.

– Refrigerate after opening and consume within 2 months. The fridge keeps it from fermenting or crystallizing.

– If crystallization occurs, heat the jar in warm water to liquefy again.

– Keep away from direct sunlight, which can damage color and taste over time.

– Avoid temperature fluctuations – do not store in very hot or cold environments.

– Look for any signs of mold like film, spots or foam. Discard if moldy.

– For long term storage up to a year, keep sealed jars in the freezer. Thaw fully before use.

Proper storage helps retain the quality, texture and taste of coconut nectar syrup. Keep sealed and refrigerated once open for best results.

Is coconut nectar syrup gluten-free?

Yes, coconut nectar syrup is completely gluten-free. Coconut nectar is derived from the sap of the coconut palm. The production process does not introduce any gluten ingredients.

Coconut palms are botanically unrelated to grains that contain the gluten protein. Since coconut nectar syrup does not contain wheat, barley, rye or any cross-contaminants, it is considered gluten-free.

Coconut nectar can be safely consumed by those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It provides a tasty gluten-free alternative to enjoy in recipes and beverages for a touch of natural sweetness.

When purchasing coconut nectar syrup, always check the label to confirm it is produced in a gluten-free facility and not at risk of cross-contamination. Reputable brands will clearly state a gluten-free claim on the packaging.


Coconut nectar syrup is a nutritious, low glycemic sweetener derived from the sap of coconut palm flowers. It has a caramel-like flavor and thick,smooth texture making it a versatile substitute for refined sugars or honey in recipes.

Compared to regular sugar, coconut nectar is lower in fructose and absorbs more slowly into the bloodstream. In moderation, it can be included in diets like keto, paleo, and vegan. Be sure to store coconut nectar properly, keeping it refrigerated after opening.

Coconut nectar makes an excellent natural sweetener for those looking to reduce their sugar intake or glycemic response. Drizzle it on oatmeal, add to tea, use in baked goods, or incorporate it into sauces and marinades for a touch of tropical flavor.

1 thought on “What is coconut nectar syrup?”

  1. Thanks for all the information. However, I am wanting to buy coconut nectar online and there’s no mention of purchase! I would be pleased to see a response as I have tried lots of different methods to find out where to purchase coconut nectar.


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