Brown rice syrup is a liquid sugar substitute made from brown rice. It is gluten-free and can be used by vegans. Most of it comes from Asia, Europe, and the United States. It has been used in Asian food for a long time and has become popular among people who want a plant-based alternative to refined sugar. This syrup can be used on its own or in baking and cooking to sweeten foods with fewer calories, but changes need to be made to recipes when used as a substitute.
What is Brown Rice Syrup?
Rice malt syrup, rice syrup, and maltose syrup are all names for brown rice syrup. It is made by cooking brown rice and letting enzymes from the rice work on it. These break down the starches in the rice and turn them into sugars (maltose, maltotriose, and glucose). The sugary liquid that is left is then boiled down to make a light brown syrup.
Most of the time, the syrup is all-natural and organic. It has a high glycemic index and no fructose or gluten. It also has a low amount of glucose. Vegans might like it better than refined sugar, sometimes made with animal bone char. It’s often used in rice milk and processed foods marketed as healthy and natural, like granola bars and drinks that would otherwise be made with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Brown rice syrup is exactly what it sounds like. It’s made of brown rice. Cooking brown rice brings out the enzymes that are already in it. When these break down, the starch in the rice turns into sugar, which is then used to make the sweet, light-brown syrup. It is pretty much just glucose. You’re probably wondering why it’s called vegan. Well, it’s a natural, organic syrup with no added fructose or gluten. The only thing in it is brown rice. It is often sold as the healthier sugar choice. You might see it on the labels of granola bars or drinks that usually have high fructose corn syrup.
Brown rice syrup is an alternative to white sugar found in healthier cereals and granola that can be eaten with things like yogurt. Go macro says this syrup is the “better sweetener” because it comes from only plants.
Brown Rice Syrup vs. Corn Syrup
In recipes, brown rice and corn syrup are often used in place of each other. In the same way that corn syrup has been used for a long time in the U.S., brown rice syrup is used more often in Asia. This is because brown rice is a more common crop there. Both are made of glucose, and their consistency, sweetness, and effect on food are all the same. Brown rice syrup is a good substitute for corn syrup if you want to make candy or do other high-temperature cooking. But it has a nutty taste that you won’t find in corn syrup.
Brown Rice Syrup Uses
Brown rice syrup is used the same way as any other liquid sugar. Add a little extra sweetness to drinks like coffee or tea, or use it in any recipe that calls for a liquid sweetener. Like maple syrup, it can also be drizzled over pancakes or waffles. Some people also like it on ice cream or other desserts.
How to Cook with Brown Rice Syrup?
Brown rice syrup doesn’t need to be made into anything before it can be used. It is a good liquid sweetener to use in raw and cooked foods, especially if you want to cut the sweetness or make a recipe vegan or gluten-free. It can make baked goods too crisp when used in them. In some recipes, you can fix that by mixing it with another liquid sweetener.
If you haven’t tried brown rice syrup yet, you can start with something simple. Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and instead of honey or sugar, add a bit of the liquid sweetener. Because it tastes like maple syrup, you can put it on your favorite breakfast foods. Pour some brown rice syrup on waffles, pancakes, french toast, or biscuits to cut down on the sweetness you probably put in the waffle and pancake batter. Too bad it’s not something you can ask for at your local Denny’s.
Some of the most delicious recipes are for sweets. Yummly has many of them, like brown rice crispy treats, peanut butter balls, vegan sugar cookies, crisp strawberry bars, granola bars, and brown rice pudding. The Gentleman’s Plate says that brown rice syrup is great for making Korean fried chicken wings, which are savory foods.
What does it Taste Like?
Brown rice syrup is not as sweet as agave nectar, honey, or sugar. It has a mild sweetness. Some say it tastes like butterscotch, while others say it tastes like nuts. You guessed it; the most common sugar taste will be sweet. When it comes to that part, brown rice syrup is no different. But this sugar tastes much less strong than agave, nectar, or honey, says Sweet Additions. People have said it tastes like butterscotch because it has a nuttiness.
This liquid sweetener is thick and sticky like maple syrup, but it’s more like molasses than maple syrup in the end. It has the same feel as sticky caramel that has just been warmed up. It also has a roasted taste, which is different from the taste of white sugar or agave.
If you like sweets, but only in small amounts, brown rice syrup may be the best thing for you to cook with. This ingredient won’t make your regular baked goods taste too sweet. Instead, it will give them a more subtle flavor. You can also stir some into your tea or coffee instead of a mouthful for a hint of sweetness.
Brown Rice Syrup Substitutes
Brown rice syrup isn’t as sweet as other liquid sweeteners, so you’ll need to change recipes when you use it instead. Most of the time, you can use corn syrup instead of brown rice syrup.
The difference with other sweeteners is usually 1/4 cup, which can be changed to suit your taste. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of brown rice syrup, you can use 3/4 cup of honey, barley malt syrup, or maple syrup instead. The same is true for white granulated sugar: 3/4 cup sugar equals 1 cup brown rice syrup. However, switching from a liquid sweetener to a dry one can change how the food looks and feels. Since molasses has a stronger flavor than brown rice syrup, use only 1/2 cup of it to replace 1 cup of brown rice syrup. For 1 cup of brown rice syrup, you only need three tablespoons of date syrup.
You can substitute almost anything these days, and brown rice syrup is no different. But it is important to remember that it is not as sweet as many other sweeteners. So, you’ll have to ensure the measurements are different when substituting. Corn syrup is the easiest thing to use instead. You’ll need to change some measurements when using maple syrup, honey, or granulated sugar instead of white sugar. For example, the best way to replace 1 cup of brown rice syrup is with 3/4 cup of honey. The same amount of granulated sugar or brown sugar can be used.
But you want to use even less liquid sweeteners like molasses. Molasses is very thick and sweet, so use only half a cup instead of a whole cup like brown rice syrup. Sweet Additions also says that brown rice syrup can make baked goods crispy instead of moist, so if you want your baked goods to be moist, you should mix it with another liquid sweetener.
Is Brown Rice Syrup Good for you?
Healthline says that sugar is bad for any modern diet in general. Even if something is made from plants and vegan, that doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest thing you can eat. No matter how it is made, brown rice syrup is still sugar.
Even though brown rice syrup can be used in place of high fructose options, it doesn’t have many nutrients. Sweet Additions says that very small amounts of zinc, manganese, and magnesium can be found in brown rice syrup. So, brown rice syrup has no advantages over other kinds.
Spoon University says that this syrup also has a very high glycemic index (GI), which is a number that shows how quickly your body turns sugar into glucose. Even though all processed sugars have a high GI, brown rice syrup’s score of 98 out of 100 is even higher than high-fructose corn syrup’s.
The most important thing you should learn from this is that balance is always the key to a healthy diet. Whether you use white sugar or brown rice syrup, always use it in moderation.
Most brown rice syrup does not need to be refrigerated, which can prolong the shelf life. Once open, it will keep well for up to one year at room temperature. Like honey, if the syrup crystallizes in the jar, place the container in warm water and stir to dissolve the crystals. If you notice any mold developing, discard the entire jar. This syrup is one of the more expensive liquid sweeteners on the market. It is often sold in jars. You can find it in Asian markets, online, and in natural food stores specializing in natural foods. Please find it in the baking aisle near the other sugars.