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Best Substitutes for Brown Rice Syrup

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Brown rice syrup is a unique sweetener compared to other synthetic and natural sweeteners as it has one of the highest glycemic indices of all and consists of only glucose molecules. Brown rice syrup is exceedingly sweet and used more pervasively than ever as a sweetening agent in recipes and processed foods.

If brown rice syrup is a hard commodity for you to find, or you’d rather a sweetener with more essential nutrients, there are plenty of brown rice substitutes out there that function equally as well. Here we list the best brown rice syrup substitutes, ranging from healthy and organic to refined and processed. 

Brown Rice Syrup

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9 Best Brown Rice Syrup Substitutes

From fruit juice to molasses, here are nine brown rice syrup substitutes that’ll give you that same rich, sweetened taste.

1.   Fruit Puree or Fruit Juice

Fruit Puree

The best substitute for brown rice syrup is Fruit Puree or fruit juice , a natural sweetener with an immense amount of extra nutrients naturally found in fruit that run the gamut of vitamins and minerals. Fruit is significantly lower on the glycemic index than brown rice syrup, but it contains both glucose and fructose molecules, which may be more hazardous for people with diabetes.

It is always best to make your own puree or juice from whole fruits you buy at the store, but if you do not have a juicer or blender, then search for all-natural fruit juices and purees with no added sugars.

2.   Stevia

Stevia Powder

Stevia is an excellent sweetener substitute for any solid or liquid sugar as it tastes super sweet, but your body does not metabolize it as glucose or fructose. Instead, compounds called glycosides comprise Stevia’s make-up. Our bodies do not metabolize glycosides, which is why

Stevia is popular for diabetics and weight-loss recipes as it has no carbs and no calories.

We do warn that Stevia does not taste sweet right away like sugar, but once the sweetness registers, it tends to stay longer on our palates than sugar. While Stevia is solid, you can mix it with water to better simulate a liquid brown rice syrup sweetener.

3.   Table Sugar

Cubed Table Sugar

Refined and processed from the sugar cane or sugar beet, table sugar is the cheapest and most widely available sweetener on the market. It’s probably something you always have around the house and is, therefore, the most convenient sweetener substitute for brown rice syrup.

While table sugar has a much lower glycemic index than brown rice syrup, it comes from sucrose which is a disaccharide that consists of fructose and glucose. Again, fructose poses a more significant health threat to people with diabetes.

If you want to make sugar into liquid, simply add sugar to water and bring it to a boil to create a simple syrup.

Refined and processed from the sugar cane or sugar beet, table sugar is the cheapest and most widely available sweetener on the market. It’s probably something you always have around the house and is, therefore, the most convenient sweetener substitute for brown rice syrup.

While table sugar has a much lower glycemic index than brown rice syrup, it comes from sucrose which is a disaccharide that consists of fructose and glucose. Again, fructose poses a more significant health threat to people with diabetes.

If you want to make sugar into liquid, simply add sugar to water and bring it to a boil to create a simple syrup.

4.   Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is an extraction of sugar cane or sugar beet, and the less refined byproduct in the refining process that ends in table sugar. Molasses is made by extracting all the liquid from sugar cane and boiling the liquid into a sugary concentrate. While molasses can result from a single boiling, Blackstrap Molasses is the product of three consecutive boilings, resulting in a highly viscous, jet black syrup that is much sweeter than brown rice syrup.

Blackstrap molasses maintains many of the nutrients found in sugar cane plants, providing 20% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin B6. It is also a good source of potassium.

If you use Blackstrap Molasses as a brown rice syrup substitute, you only need to use half as much molasses per unit of brown rice syrup. Not only is molasses sweeter, but it also has a distinct flavor, which is delicious, nonetheless.

5.   Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is extracted from corn starch and goes by the name of “glucose syrup” in the baking and confectionery realm. Not to be confused with high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup does not undergo a chemical change that converts its glucose to fructose, maintaining higher glucose levels. Therefore, corn syrup is a better option for people with diabetes but still has significant fructose levels.

Corn syrup is more liquid than brown rice syrup and comes as light or dark. Light corn syrup is a less sweet version that combines well with vanilla flavoring, while dark corn syrup consists of corn syrup mixed with molasses.

6.   Date Syrup

Date Syrup

Date syrup or date honey is a healthy and nutrient-filled substitute for brown rice syrup, although it has incredibly high glucose and fructose content. Extracted from dates, date syrup is most common in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines, so the best place to find it is at a specialty grocer or perhaps in the foreign food section of a conventional grocery store.

It has high amounts of antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium and has anti-inflammatory properties. Its texture is thicker and grainier than brown rice syrup, but you will need less of it to sweeten your desserts.

7.   Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup may have the most distinctive flavor of all the sweeteners on our list, but in our opinion, it is the best flavor of all. Maple syrup comes from the sap of three different maple tree species and is thus highly nutritious with an abundance of manganese, zinc, iron, and antioxidants.

Maple syrup is significantly sweeter than brown rice syrup, so you will only need ¾ of maple per one unit of brown rice syrup. Be sure to buy 100% pure maple syrup from the store, which may be more expensive. Maple syrup knockoffs are generally corn syrup with artificial maple flavoring, which is neither nutritious nor genuine.

8.   Barley Malt Syrup

Barley malt syrup

Barley Malt syrup is an unrefined, less sweet extract from sprouted barley. It consists of maltose or malt sugar and complex carbohydrates, which means that it maintains a higher nutrient level and is harder to break down than simple carbohydrates like sucrose.

You may be more familiar with malt in beers and malt liquors, and you’ll certainly get that distinctive malt taste if you use it as a sweetener. Therefore, many use barley malt syrup in conjunction with another sweetener to minimize the strength of its flavor.

9.   Honey

Honey

Honey is the best substitute for brown rice syrup in our opinion because of its light and diverse array of flavors, its infinite shelf life, and its perfectly syrupy consistency. Honey is lower in calories than table sugar and many other sweeteners on our list, not to mention a great source of zinc, potassium, calcium, niacin, and riboflavin.

Raw honey is especially nutritious, and local honey production happens in every corner of the earth so you always have the option to support local businesses with your purchase. Additionally, if you buy locally, honey naturally has trace amounts of local pollen, which may provide an antidote to seasonal allergies.

Honey consists of glucose and fructose. It is significantly sweeter than brown rice syrup, so a suggested ratio would be ¾ honey for every 1 unit of brown rice syrup.

Final Thoughts

Brown rice syrup is one of many sweeteners on the market today. It may be more pervasive as an ingredient than a stand-alone sweetener product you see on the shelves, so if you see it as an ingredient in a recipe, do not despair. There are plenty of worthy brown rice syrup substitutes that are more accessible, nutritious, and flavorful.

With this list of brown rice syrup substitutes, you can find the best sweetener for any dish or drink you prepare.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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