Food Spotlight: Clearspring Organic Barley Malt Syrup
Clearspring malt syrups have a rich, mellow taste, and a milder sweetness than that of sugar, honey or maple syrup. As a result they are less likely to overpower the taste of other foods and can be used to sweeten hot drinks and baked foods, as well as toppings for cakes, pancakes and desserts.
Barley malt syrup has a deep, rich, complex flavour like molasses and is stickier than rice malt syrup, great for use as a binder, so ideal for making muesli bars and popcorn clusters.
Note: When using malt syrups instead of sugar in baking you will need to add them to the liquid ingredients in the recipe rather than the solid ingredients such as flour. You may also need to adjust the quantities of solid ingredients to avoid creating a batter that is too wet.
Ingredients: Organic sprouted barley (83%), water (17%).
Are malt syrups better for you than refined sugar?
Refined white sugar has been nicknamed "white death" because it contains no nutrients beyond "empty" calories and many studies have shown that it causes weight gain, diabetes, depression, suppresses the immune system and just like a drug, is very addictive. The best option of course is to avoid sugar or replacing it with more natural sweeteners such as malt syrups. They are made up of complex sugars which enter the bloodstream more slowly than white sugar and as they are relatively unprocessed they also contain a range of nutrients and minerals.
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly blood glucose levels rise after eating a particular type of food. Foods that rapidly release glucose rate high on the glycemic index (GI) and foods that slowly release glucose rate low. But the GI rating alone does not give you all of the information you need to determine a food’s effect on your blood sugar. It only tells you how quickly the carbohydrates in a food should turn into sugar in your blood. The glycemic load (GL) tells you how much of that carb the food contains. And of course the amount you eat of that particular food is also a huge factor in the rise of your blood sugar.
About the company
Clearspring is a privately owned UK company established in the 1980s to distribute great tasting traditional foods that support good health; promote sustainable agriculture; and provide economic stability for producer communities.
Set up by its current Chairman, Christopher Dawson, in 1993, Clearspring has grown from annual sales of £640,000 to monthly sales of £750,000 in 2013. Clearspring currently distributes over 180 products from around the world, has 16 wholesale customers in the UK, and further wholesale customers in more than 40 countries worldwide.
From their west London offices Christopher and his staff travel around the world in search of high quality products that meet Clearspring's exacting standards. Each product is carefully evaluated for purity of ingredients and ecologically sound manufacturing practices. Clearspring looks for products that are GMO free and made with whole organic ingredients. Refined organic ingredients such as organic sugar are not acceptable; Clearspring believes that refining organic foods depletes them of their intrinsic value.
Brand: Organic Barley Malt Syrup
Claims: Organic, kosher, vegan, wheat free.
Variants: View product range here
Where to Buy: UK, Buy Online, Store Locator