Chocolate chips are such a throwback to childhood for me. Remember making chocolate chip cookies with your mom and sneaking chips from the bag before they could make it into the mixing bowl? And I was totally that kid who inspected every cookie in the batch to make sure the one – or two…or three – I choose had the MOST chocolate chips. Who am I kidding? I still am that kid.
When I went to make my Espresso Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, I had to think for a second. Regular chocolate chips are sweetened with refined sugar… This blog is about baking with whole foods… Good ol’ Toll House wasn’t gonna cut it for these cookies. Hmm…what to do, what to do? So I moseyed on over to a health food store to peruse the baking aisle. There were lots of baking chip options – organic, vegan, carob. Most still contained refined sugar. But then I stumbled upon exactly what I needed – grain sweetened chocolate chips!
The brand I found is called Sunspire. Their chocolate chips are made without any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or additives. And they’re sweetened with whole grain malted barley and corn – aka unrefined sweetener – instead of traditional sugar. Bonus! – In addition to making these chips whole-foods-approved, malted grains are also supposed to let the pure chocolate flavor shine through rather than get dominated by regular sugar’s sweetness. Sidebar: Did anyone else just picture a little white sugar crystal fitted with boxing gloves and sparring in the ring to prepare for its match against cocoa powder? No? Ok, just me.
Here are the ingredients for Sunspire’s grain sweetened chocolate chips: Whole grain malted barley and corn, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (a non-GMO emulsifier), and pure natural vanilla. Short. Naturally sweet. And they taste like regular chocolate chips – maybe a little more cocoa-y. I like it!
Do you know of any other chocolates or baking chips that are made with natural, unrefined sweeteners?