When asked what is my favorite sweetener, I always answer, brown rice syrup. Unfortunately, most people have not heard of it which makes it the best-kept health food secret! I make all kinds of desserts with brown rice syrup, from cookies, cakes, and pies, to candies, fudge, jams and so much more. As the name implies, it is made from brown rice, which is a whole grain, complex carbohydrate, a staple in all of our ancestor’s diets.
Brown rice syrup is produced when naturally occurring enzymes convert the starch in the grain to sugar. The process retains the vitamin and mineral content of brown rice. And being made from a complex carbohydrate, the sugar that is produced is maltose. Maltose is the least reactive sugar there is. It releases slowly into your bloodstream, unlike white sugar, or sucrose which releases very quickly into the bloodstream and wreaks havoc with all the organs in your body. Brown rice syrup and the maltose in the syrup will not spike your blood sugar. For that reason, it is considered the healthiest sweetener.
It has a mild sweet taste that is satisfying. However, if you have been using sweeteners that are very sweet, they may not be sweet enough for you at first. If you stick with the brown rice syrup, it will taste sweet after you give up all those intensely sweet foods that are not good for you. You will find it in a jar at your local health food store, or even some mainstream grocery stores. It is thick and sticky like honey. When measuring it, coat your measuring cup and spatula with a little oil and the syrup will slide right off instead of sticking.
This pie is a very rich, decadent dessert. I make it once a year at my Christmas party. I use Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips because they are sweetened with malted barley and corn. Just like brown rice syrup, they are whole grain sweeteners that are maltose and therefore will not spike your blood sugar. When making this recipe, you will need cookie crumbs. I use my own homemade cookies but you can also use some whole grain, healthy cookies from the store. Put them in a food processor and puree until the crumbs are very fine.
Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Everyone!
Chocolate Cream Pie with Cookies Crust
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs
3 T. water
2 T. olive oil
2 packages Mori Nu Silken Organic Firm tofu
2 cups Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. sea salt
To make the crust, mix together the cookie crumbs, water, and oil. You should get a thick consistency and it should be moist enough to stick together. Adjust the water content to achieve the desired consistency. Press the crumbs into an oiled pie shell.
To make the filling, steam the tofu for 7 minutes. Slowly melt the chocolate chips, either in a sauté pan or a double boiler. You’ll have to watch the chocolate chips to make sure they don’t burn. Put the tofu, melted chocolate chips, brown rice syrup, vanilla, and sea salt in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into the crust and refrigerate for a couple of hours until the pie is cold. Cut and serve cold.
Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of the ‘Healthy Cooking with MacroVal’ radio show on Body Mind Spirit Radio. Located in Westland Michigan, she has been teaching whole foods cooking classes since 1997. The recipe is from her cookbook ‘Perceptions In Healthy Cooking’. Visit: macroval.com (734)722-4553