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I needed brown sugar for some muffins. I was at the health food market, and stopped by the bulk bins to buy some. The label on the brown sugar said "refined sugar, syrup added." I knew that from my health nut days - but I hadn't thought of it in ages. However now when I see "syrup" I wonder what kind? Probably not something good like blackstrap molasses. Possibly something avoid like corn syrup.
I looked around at the other bins and saw an old friend - turbinado sugar. I used to buy turbinado sugar back when I was trying to be a health food purist. I eventually stopped using it because of the cost. Here it was in the bulk bins for only a few cents more per pound than brown sugar.
If you are not familiar with turbinado, here is a quick explanation from the internet.
"Raw, Natural, & Turbinado: In recent years, sugar refiners have realized that there is a market for less refined forms of cane sugar in the U.S. and have begun to sell this kind of sugar under various names
and packagings. None of it is really raw sugar since it is illegal to sell it in the U.S. due to the high impurities level in the truly raw product. All of it has been processed in some form or fashion to clean
it, but it has not been subjected to the full refining and whitening processes of ordinary white table sugar. This leaves some of the natural color and a mild flavor in the sweetener. All of these less refined
sugars may be stored and handled like brown sugar."
I came home with a bag for baking. For most purposes it will substitute perfectly for brown sugar. For a few recipes where a stronger flavor is required, I'll add a little blackstrap or maple syrup.
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