What is brown rice syrup? Is brown rice syrup vegan? How can it be used as a sugar substitute in cooking and baking?
What is brown rice syrup?
Brown rice syrup is a vegan and gluten-free liquid sugar substitute that can be used in baking and cooking to sweeten foods with fewer calories and to avoid the use of refined sugar. Vegans may prefer brown rice syrup to refined sugar, which is sometimes refined using bone char from animals. With a sticky, gooey consistency similar to honey, brown rice syrup tastes very sweet but has a flavor much different from other sweeteners, such as honey and agave nectar.
Cooking with brown rice syrup
Lundberg Family Farms brand of brown rice syrup includes instructions right on the jar for substituting sugar with brown rice syrup. They say, "To substitute sugar, use 1 1/4 cup rice syrup for one cup sugar, using 1/4 cup less of another liquid in the recipe." Try drizzling it on pancakes or waffles, instead of maple syrup, or using it to sweeten iced tea.
Is brown rice syrup healthy?
Brown rice syrup contains a few trace minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and zinc. But that doesn't make it healthy. Although it's made from brown rice and little else, it's highly refined and concentrated, making it a source of calories and carbs, as well as trace minerals. However, as far as sweeteners go, it is all-natural, nearly always organic, and probably one of the healthiest sugar substitutes available, with the exception of stevia.
See also: Nutritional and calorie information for brown rice syrup