Food of Month: Amazake

The holidays can be a challenging time for people who deal with health issues such as blood sugar imbalances. Trying to find delicious desserts that won’t spike your blood sugar and aren’t filled with chemical sweeteners, can be frustrating.

Twenty years ago when I changed my eating habits and decided to love myself enough to stop putting refined sugar into my body, I thought I would never be able to have desserts again. Then, I discovered whole grain sweeteners. Brown Rice Syrup, which is now my favorite, I thought was a gift from Heaven. And Amazake, which is also made with Brown Rice, is the ray of sunshine that shines down from Heaven. Both are featured in my holiday recipe, Walnut Pie.

Amazake was invented by monks who wanted a sweet drink before going to bed — one that wouldn’t keep them up all night from a sugar high. Amazake literally means Sweet Sake. It’s made from brown rice that is fermented with koji. It’s what is produced in the first fermentation process of making Sake. It has a thick, creamy consistency, and is nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals.

The sugar that is in Amazake and brown rice syrup, is maltose. Maltose is the least reactive sugar there is in the food chain. White sugar is sucrose; it will spike your blood sugar levels. Fruit and fruit juices are fructose, and will spike your blood sugar as well. Only maltose will not spike your blood sugar.

You can find Amazake in health food stores in the freezer. It comes in different flavors. The original one is the most versatile to use in recipes. The almond flavor is the most commonly used and works good in pie recipes.

Valerie Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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