Welcome back to our series on replacing refined sugars! By now you’ve had a few days to get into the habit of replacing white sugar with raw honey or maple syrup and you’re hopefully all clued up on how to prevent sweet cravings in the first place.
Today, we’ll look into another couple of natural liquid sweeteners, namely agave syrup and rice syrup. Readily available at health food stores, organic grocers and increasingly in supermarkets, agave and rice syrups are a much healthier choice than toxic refined sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Agave syrup (or agave nectar) tastes a bit like golden syrup and darker varieties usually have a stronger flavour. To replace sugar with agave syrup, use 2/3 cup of agave for each cup of white sugar. To make up for the nectar’s moisture content, reduce the total liquids in the recipe by 1/4 to 1/3 cup for every substituted cup. When replacing brown sugar, use the same amount of agave nectar but don’t reduce the liquid ingredients by more than 1/4 cup. Finally, reduce your oven temperature by 14 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) so baking doesn’t overbrown, and increase the baking time by about 6%.
While agave syrup is sweeter than sugar, brown rice syrup is not as sweet. Therefore, you have to replace 1 cup of sugar with 1.5 cups of rice syrup. At the same time, reduce liquid ingredients of your recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of sugar replaced. Now, when buying rice syrup, make sure you get malted brown rice syrup rather than enzyme-treated syrup. The latter is made with enzymes and added sugar and tends to liquefy the batter of baked products. If in doubt, check that the ingredient list contains sprouted barley (enzyme-treated syrup usually only lists rice and water).