Turbinado Sugar: Know Nutrition, Uses, and More

by Thomas Martin
Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar is a type of sugar that is less refined sugar. It has a small amount of molasses, rendering its caramel taste. But it does not contribute to any nutritional value. Not only that, it is expensive as well. More about Turbinado in the paragraphs that follow.

What is Turbinado Sugar?

You must be wondering, ‘what is Turbindo sugar? Well, Turbinado is made from sugarcane. It is sometimes organically grown and is a non-genetically modified crop. In marketing terms, it is also called raw sugar. The earlier stages of sugar processing give rise to raw sugar, which is not edible. This is because it contains impurities and is mixed with soil. As such, turbinado sugar is cleaned off the impurities and is refined so it is not raw.


Regarding nutrition, both turbinado sugar and white sugar have 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon. It does not have any fiber. Turbinado sugar has a content of calcium and iron. But you will not get any nutritional value of 1% of RDI or reference daily intake.

It offers antioxidants from the molasses that remain during processing. However, the quantity of the residue is comparatively small.

How is Sugar Turbinado Made?

Juice from sugarcane is extracted to start the process of making turbinado sugar. After that, the juice is boiled to remove the water, creating a thick syrup. The syrup is spun in a turbine or centrifuge to separate the sugar crystals from the leftover molasses. Turbinado sugar crystals are comparatively unprocessed, yielding their unique color and flavor, in contrast to white sugar, which is further processed and refined.


Qualities of Turbinado Sugar: Unlike other sweeteners, Turbinado sugar has a distinct flavor profile. Compared to refined white sugar, it has a richer and more nuanced sweetness, a faint caramel-like flavor, and molasses undertones. A favorite of home cooks and professional chefs, turbinado sugar’s gritty crystals provide a delicious crunch to baked items and beverages in addition to its flavor.

Is It Healthier?

Although turbinado sugar has some natural minerals and molasses in sugarcane juice, it is still sugar and should be used sparingly. Although it might include traces of minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium, these amounts are insignificant and shouldn’t be depended upon as a significant source of nourishment. As with any sweetener, controlling portion sizes and total sugar intake is crucial to maintaining a balanced diet.


You can use this sugar for sweetening. One can use it for topping foods since larger crystals retain heat. A few of how you can include turbinado sugar in your recipes include the following-

  1. As topping in hot cereals like cream of wheat and oatmeal
  2. Sprinkle it on scones, muffins made up of whole grains and quick bread
  3. Add to baked sweet potatoes, beets, and roasted carrots.
  4. Add to almonds, pecans and candied nuts
  5. You can also add it to graham cracker pie crust
  6. Add as topping on baked fruits like peach halves, apples, and pear
  7. As decoration items on pies, crispy apples, and crème brulee
  8. Make coffee, tea, and other beverages sweet with turbinado sugar.
  9. Owing to its coarse nature, it can be used as an exfoliant, too
  10.  Add with cinnamon and mix it with whole-grain toast.
  11.  It serves as an excellent addition to poultry or pork
  12. You can add to challah dough that contains added egg yolk. It makes it crunchy.

How to Store It?

Similar to the brown sugar, it is high in moisture content. The granular nature is higher in this case. As such, the storage of the same must be done accordingly. There may be times when the crystals have hardened. If this happens, you can soften it by applying this method. Just put a piece of white bread in the storage can. Doing so will help the bread absorb moisture, rendering the turbinado softer. However, it will not happen overnight. It might take a few days for the same. In this way, you can soften any hardened Turbinado sugar crystals.

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