>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009
We've been at this no-HFCS diet for a little over half a year now, and we're generally pretty content with the foods we eat. Favorite foods that contained HFCS have been replaced with equally fine HFCS-free foods, and for the most part, we find that we contentedly over look foods that do contain HFCS (with the exception of my husband and that supermarket sushi). There are a few foods that we haven't been able to find a good substitute for, though. Nilla wafers, for example - every single variation of Nilla Wafer that I've seen contains HFCS - and until recently, Rice Krispies.
Did you realize that Kellogg's Rice Krispies and most Rice Krispies knock-offs contain HFCS? You know I'm an ingredient reader, so see for yourself: rice, sugar, salt, malt flavoring, high fructose corn syrup, vitamins, and iron. HFCS is a common ingredient in cereals - even some that promote themselves as being uber-healthy. We tried a few Rice Krispie-like cereals (like Nature's Path Organic Crispy Rice), but they just weren't the same. The texture wasn't quite right or they tasted a little like cardboard. So, we set aside those recipes that called for Rice Krispies.
Just before Christmas, I happened upon a cereal I've overlooked in the past - Natural Directions Organic Crispy Brown Rice. This cereal is fantastic! Take a look at the ingredients: organic whole grain brown rice, sea salt, organic barley malt. That's it! The texture is right - crisp, light, and airy, just like Kellogg's Rice Krispies - and the addition of the barley malt gives it the right flavor. There's no sugar, though barley malt is apparently converted pretty easily into simple sugars (probably mostly maltose) and is sometimes used as a natural sweetener. The Natural Directions cereal is even made from whole grain brown rice and has less salt per serving than Rice Krispies!
I really don't make many opportunities to use crispy rice, but I used the Natural Directions crispy rice in a peanut butter ball dessert recipe over Christmas and in a new granola bar recipe tonight. It's a great replacement for traditional rice krispies. I'm sure that it would be fantastic in a marshmallow laden rice krispie treat! (Hey, just because we're eating healthier doesn't mean we don't get to have a dessert every now and then!)
If you've seen a HFCS-free vanilla wafer product, I'd love to hear about it. And if you have a nilla wafer recipe, care to share?