Brown rice syrup is a vegan and gluten-free sweetener extracted from brown rice. It is used across the world due to its texture, coloring, and taste. Although it is rich in nutrients and minerals, this syrup has a considerably high glycemic index. Its consumption often leads to high spikes in blood sugar
levels. Hence, many people avoid its frequent use. But if you like the taste of this sweetener, you can use these brown rice syrup substitutes instead.
Best Brown Rice Syrup Substitutes
Honey is the first alternative that comes to mind. It is an apt substitute due to its natural sweetness and several health benefits. It has a thick and sticky texture. However, it is sweeter than its counterpart. Honey is a gentle food and can be included in recipes that need steaming, boiling, or sautéing. It tastes best when mixed with raw green vegetables in a delicious and healthy salad.
When using it as a substitute, take ¾th the amount as brown rice syrup. Honey is a healthy addition to the diet. It is rich in niacin, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, zinc, and manganese.
2. Fruit Juice Or Purees
Fruit juice is a natural and healthy option to use. You can either get it from the market or prepare it at home.
Take fresh fruits and work them in the food processor. You can use this delicious and healthy fruit juice as a sweetener. When buying from the market, remember to buy the ones without any added sugar.
Also, many fruits have a high fructose content. So take care to check the fructose content if you or someone in your family has diabetes. However, its glycemic index is much lower than brown rice syrup.
The best part of using fruit juice as an alternative is that you can use them according to the flavor of your recipe. For a strawberry flavored cake, use strawberry juice, and likewise. Different fruits are packed with different nutrients.
3. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is obtained from the sweet sap of the maple tree. Its thick texture, density, and sweetness make it a good choice. It has a low nutrient content, but does offer some amount of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, manganese, and several other nutrients.
This syrup is also sweeter than its counterpart. So if you are using it, take ¾ cup of it in for every cup of brown rice syrup. You can further increase the amount if needed.
Learn more: Best Substitutes For Maple Syrup To Save The Day
4. Corn Syrup
Though corn syrup is thinner in consistency, it adds some volume to the food.
You can use either the light or dark version of this syrup, depending on the recipe. Light corn syrup has hints of vanilla flavor and is sweeter and lighter. On the other hand, dark corn syrup contains some added molasses. This gives it an intense flavor and color. Use it in strongly flavored desserts.
Corn syrup has a lower glycemic index . However, it is rich in fructose. So it’s best to be careful about its consumption.
You can use the same amount of corn sugar as brown rice sugar when cooking.
5. Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is different from other substitutes on the list. But it is a compatible alternative and very easy to find. It is made by adding different molasses into a boiling mixture of sugar crystals. This process gives it the characteristic earthy sweet taste which is more intense than brown rice sugar.
Brown sugar blends well with every recipe. It also adds a naturally sweet taste and dense texture to the food. You can use brown sugar according to your taste and preference. In case you need syrup and not sugar crystals, you can boil the sugar in some water.
6. Date Syrup
Date Syrup is extracted from the date palm fruit. The dates are heated, blended, and filtered. Then the mixture is heated until the water evaporates, leaving behind a thick and sweet syrup. You can find this alternative in various textures and tastes.
When using date syrup, add two to three tablespoons for each cup of brown rice syrup. You can adjust the quantity depending on the recipe and the taste required in it.
Date syrup can be difficult to find in local stores. But you’d easily find it in Middle Eastern cuisine stores. This substitute is rich in vitamins A, C, K, and magnesium.
Molasses is among the oldest liquid sweeteners available. It is obtained as a by-product of sugar production. Hence, it has a sweet taste with hints of bitterness.
You will find several types of molasses in the market. But when substituting for brown rice syrup, light and dark molasses work the best. They have a thick consistency and intense but not overpowering flavor.
Molasses get their sweetness from sucrose, glucose, and fructose. However, the amount of fructose isn’t too high. So diabetic people can include it in their meals occasionally.
Use half a cup of molasses in place of one cup of brown rice syrup.
Read more: 9 Best Pomegranate Molasses
8. Glucose Syrup
Glucose syrup is not very common in households. But it is widely used in marketed foods as a thickener and sweetener.
Many people confuse glucose syrup with corn syrup. And although they are similar, they are different products. The glucose syrup obtained from corn is corn syrup. However, glucose syrup is also extracted from other glucose-rich sources like potatoes, wheat, and brown rice.
This alternative is also sweet but mild in taste. The texture of this syrup is thin so it blends in any recipe. You can use it in equal amounts as brown rice syrup, or adjust the measure if needed.
9. Table Sugar
When you have neither any alternative nor time at hand, use table sugar. It is very cheap, and something available in every household.
Table sugar is made from sugarcane or sugar beet. Its sweetness comes from sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Hence, diabetic people are advised to use less of it.
If you want syrup for your recipe, put some sugar and a little water in a pan and boil it.
10. Agave Nectar
Derived from Mexico’s Agave plant, agave nectar is an increasingly popular sweetener to use. It is deliciously sweet and has a low glycemic index. The nectar does contain a fair bit of sodium and potassium, plus it is highly processed, so use it with care.
Overall, the sweet nectar with its honey-like taste and looks is a good replacement. In most recipes, you can use agave nectar as a replacement by using the same amount as brown rice syrup.
11. Stevia Or Artificial Sweeteners
Watching your calories and sugar intake, but want a sweet syrup? Going with syrups like stevia or other artificial sweeteners can be an option. While it’s also a brand name, Stevia kind of represents the whole bunch of sweeteners from different companies as well. It comes from a plant and can be 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Stevia is generally available as a powder, cubes, or tablets, though syrups are also available. One drop of liquid stevia can be as sweet as a cup of sugar. Use it with caution. It might be better to use a single drop of the sweetener in water, to replace up to a cup of brown rice syrup.
Liquid Stevia has zero calories and zero carbs.
FAQs And More Information
Are Maple Syrup And Brown Rice Syrup The Same?
They look very similar with comparable color and consistency but maple syrup and brown rice syrup are entirely different beasts (or syrups). Maple syrup comes from the sap of the maple tree. Brown rice syrup, on the other hand, is made by fermenting cooked rice.
Is It Better To Use Honey Over Brown Rice Syrup?
Taste preferences can make it difficult to pick one of these sweeteners over the other. However, as effects on health are concerned, honey is definitely better than brown rice syrup. The syrup contains a negligible amount of nutrients and has a lot of sugar (and a high glycemic index). It includes a lot of calories as well.
Honey, by comparison, is sweet and rich in nutrients. This makes it a healthier choice as a sweetener and a food.
Is Sugar Sweeter Than Brown Rice Syrup?
Brown rice syrup is high in sugar content and has an uncomfortably high glycemic content. Even though it has a high sugar content and a lot of calories, it is not sweeter than sugar. In general conditions, the syrup is considered as being about half as sweet as conventional sugar.
Is Maple Syrup Healthier Than Brown Rice Syrup?
As we already know, brown rice syrup offers a lot of calories and sugar, but it has practically no nutrients. Maple syrup doesn’t quite shine in this regard either, but it does slightly better. There is some notable amount of manganese and Vitamin B (riboflavin) in maple syrup. It has small amounts of a few other nutrients as well.
Brown rice syrup has negligible nutrients and its excessive use can harm your health. Hence, you should try using some brown rice syrup substitutes now and then. It will allow you a change in taste, and also prevent the excessive consumption of calories from a single source.