Looking for a low-glycemic, gluten-free, natural sugar replacement to use in baking? Brown rice syrup may suit your needs.
Brown rice syrup is made by culturing cooked rice with enzymes to break down the starches. The final product is roughly 50% soluble complex carbohydrates, 45% maltose, and 3% glucose. The glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream immediately, while the maltose takes up to one and a half hours to be digested and the complex carbohydrates take from two to three hours, providing a steady supply of energy.
The glycemic load index of brown rice syrup is considerably lower than that of other natural sugar substitutes. Due to its slow-releasing energy, brown rice is a main ingredient in many sports bars and sports energy gels.
Wondering how to use brown rice syrup in a recipe that calls for sugar? Roughly 1-1/2 cups of this natural sugar substitute equals 1 cup of sugar. Since brown rice syrup is a liquid, it’s necessary to decrease the amount of liquid from another source in the recipe. Brown rice syrup can be used in any baked items, including cakes, cookies or muffins.
Brown rice syrup becomes particularly thick in the cold weather (think of “molasses in January”). So the syrup may need to be heated before it can be added to other ingredients in a recipe. You can increase the sweetness and decrease the quantity of brown rice syrup used in baking by adding a few drops of liquid stevia sugar substitute.
The thickness of brown rice syrup can be used to advantage as a binding agent, as in recipes with no egg. Brown rice syrup works particularly well in recipes for healthy granola bars or energy protein bars as an effective binder for oats, fruits and nuts.
Brown rice syrup is readily available in most health food stores under the Lundberg label.
Click here to view the list of the top 7 natural sweeteners.