Have you thought twice about using the coconut sugar that’s been in your pantry past its printed expiration date? Fortunately, there’s no need to worry! As is the case with all granulated sugars, coconut sugar does not go bad. If stored properly, coconut sugar has an indefinite shelf life. Improper storage might cause the sugar to turn rock-hard or form clumps, but even then, the sugar can be salvaged and used.
How Long Does Coconut Sugar Last?
It seems like a sweet substance like coconut sugar would be the perfect place for mold and bacteria to grow, especially if it is on the shelf for a long time. However, like salt, sugar has a dehydrating quality, which means that microbial growth cannot thrive within it. Interestingly, jams and jellies often have a high sugar content because the sugar acts as a preservative.
Storing your coconut sugar properly is important. Even though coconut sugar won’t spoil, there are some environmental factors that could reduce the quality of the sugar. These include:
- Bugs – The coconut sugar could be susceptible to bugs if it is not stored in an airtight container.
- Moisture – While moisture won’t cause the sugar to mold, it could cause the sugar to form hard clumps. While these clumps are not bad to eat, they are not convenient to use.
- Other aromas – If not stored properly, it is possible for coconut sugar to absorb the aromas of other items in the environment, which might affect the smell and taste of the sugar. Again, this reduces the quality of the sugar, but it doesn’t make the sugar rancid or unsafe to eat.
While sugar is safe to eat no matter how old it is, it can become unusable if not stored properly. You can learn more about proper storage of coconut sugar here, but in short, make sure your coconut sugar is stored in an airtight, moisture-proof container to keep bugs out and ensure the consistency of the sugar remains soft.
Tips for Salvaging Hard Coconut Sugar
If your coconut sugar has formed hard clumps, don’t throw it away yet! There are a couple of things you can do to restore the sugar back to its original form.
- Put the sugar in a sealed bag and break it up using a rolling pin. You can also run the sugar through a coffee grinder or food processor to break up the clumps further.
- Another way to soften the sugar is to put it in the microwave with a sprinkle of water on top for five minutes or so. Once it is softened, you can use a fork to break up the sugar.
Never Worry About Spoiled Sugar Again
Coconut sugar is an ideal sugar to use because of its nutritive properties and ability to replace regular white or brown sugar using a 1:1 ratio. If you do a lot of cooking or baking with coconut sugar, it is definitely worth buying in bulk so that it is always on hand. Now that you know it won’t ever spoil, you can stock up on it without hesitation!