Brown rice syrup is a gluten-free and vegan liquid sugar substitute that’s derived from brown rice. It’s mostly produced in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
The most common cuisine that uses brown rice syrup is Asian cuisine, but it has become popular with those searching for a plant-based sweetener that they can use instead of refined sugar.
Brown rice syrup can be used as-is in cooking and baking to sweeten recipes with fewer calories, though you do need to make some adjustments when using it as a substitute in recipes.
But what if you don’t have brown rice syrup? What is a good brown rice syrup substitute?
Brown Rice Syrup Uses
Brown rice syrup is used just as any other liquid sweetener is used. You can add it to tea or coffee for a little extra sweetness or in recipes that call for liquid sweeteners.
You can also use it on waffles and pancakes, just as you would use maple syrup. Some people like to use brown rice syrup as a dessert topping, such as for ice cream.
The Best Brown Rice Syrup Substitute
There are several brown rice syrup substitutes that you can go with if you don’t have any in your cupboards. Let’s take a look at some of the best options:
Honey is the best brown rice syrup substitute because honey is considered to be the predecessor of sugar. This is because honey is made by bees from flower nectar and is full of antioxidants.
Honey is a delicious and natural way to substitute brown rice syrup. It’s also really healthy because it contains many minerals like riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc. It also has vitamin C and B.
All of the healthy components and the smooth texture of honey make it a great remedy for sore throats and coughs.
If you decide to use honey as a brown rice syrup substitute, use a ¾ cup of honey for each cup of brown rice syrup because it has a much sweeter taste.
Maple syrup is another natural brown rice syrup substitute because it comes from the sap of maple trees. The sap from the trees is boiled to remove impurities and release the water content to make the syrup.
If you decide to use maple syrup, it’s best to go with 100 percent pure maple syrup because it contains manganese, iron, and zinc.
Because maple syrup is just as sweet as honey, with a bit more of an earthy flavor, a ¾ cup of it is the same as using 1 cup of brown rice syrup.
Agave nectar is also a great brown rice syrup substitute. It might seem like a natural sweetener, but it’s highly processed – so be aware! A ½ to ⅓ cup of agave nectar is the same as 1 cup of brown rice syrup.
If you need a zero-carb and zero-calorie brown rice syrup substitute, look no further than liquid Stevia. Coming from a sweet plant, Stevia is 300 times as sweet as refined sugar.
You will notice that liquid Stevia has an aftertaste of licorice, so use it as a brown rice syrup substitute sparingly.
Be careful when using Stevia as a sugar substitute. A single drop of liquid Stevia is the same as a cup of brown rice syrup or sugar.
Date syrup might be hard to find, especially if you don’t live in an area with specialty stores like Middle Eastern grocery stores. Date syrup comes from the date palm fruit; it’s made by simmering dates in water, pressing them, and then straining them.
It has a silky texture and has a fruity, elegant, and subtle sweetness. Date syrup is a great brown rice syrup substitute because one tablespoon of it contains more than twice the antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamins K, B6, and A.
When using it as a brown rice syrup substitute, three tablespoons of date syrup equals one cup of brown rice syrup.
Molasses is also rich in minerals and contains a high iron content. It’s also one of the oldest natural sweeteners you can find. If you decide to use molasses as a brown rice syrup substitute, you need to be aware that it’s quite bitter and has very little sweetness to it.
To substitute molasses for brown rice syrup, use a ½ cup of molasses instead of 1 cup of brown rice syrup.
Barley Malt Syrup
Barley malt extract or syrup is made out of malted barley and is dark brown in color, sticky, and thick – a lot like molasses. It’s best used to add some sweet maltiness to BBQ sauces, cake batters, cookie doughs, and bread doughs.
It is a lot sweeter than brown rice syrup, so a ¾ cup of barley malt syrup is equal to a cup of brown rice syrup.
Corn syrup and brown rice syrup are typically interchangeable because they have the same effect on food and uses in cooking.
While corn syrup can be a sugar substitute, it’s not a very healthy brown rice syrup substitute because it’s high in fructose. It’s often found in hard candies because it can withstand high cooking temperatures.
It does have a lighter consistency and color than brown rice syrup, but it does have the same sweetness level. So, one cup of corn syrup is equal to one cup of brown rice syrup.