Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips

263727_8252-1Chocolate 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.  SidebarDid 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?

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21 Responses to “Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips”


  1. 2 Laura November 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I have the Sunspire chips too! They’re wonderful! 🙂

  2. 3 myyearwithout November 17, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I love these chocolate chips. I wish I had them tonight—big sugar cravings and nothing sugar-free around the house to munch on!

  3. 4 sweetandnatural November 17, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    VeggieGirl – That was the other brand I was looking at!

    Laura – They’re a new favorite of mine. 🙂

    myyearwithout – They’re good for that – I finished the rest of the bag by the handful!

  4. 5 Andrea [bellaeats] November 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Oooohhhh…thanks for the info! I’ve tried carob chips before and was completely unimpressed. I’ve heard of grain-sweetened choc. chips before but was nervous about trying them because of my bad carob experience…. I definitely will now though! Add that to next week’s grocery list (mental note). 🙂 And I totally love the sugar crystal vs cocoa powder boxing match picture you put in my mind…I see a good header image coming out of that one!

  5. 6 sweetandnatural November 17, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Andrea [bellaeats] – These chips were great – especially in the cookies. You couldn’t tell a difference at all! And good to know that my random trains of thought aren’t totally incomprehensible. 😛

  6. 7 Megan November 17, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I love the brand that Veggiegirl mentioned, but have not tried their chips! I have had their chocolate chip cookies…so maybe I have tried them without knowing.

  7. 8 Lindsey November 17, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    I left you a little something (coughawardcough) on my post tonight! Congrats! 🙂

  8. 9 Angela November 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Love your blog!

    You are too cute. I am adding you to my blogroll 🙂 Thanks for all the great ideas, recipes, and fab pictures!

    PS- Your job sounds reeeally interesting! How did you get into it? It is something of interest to me because I am a psyc major. 🙂
    Angela

    http://www.ohsheglows.com

  9. 10 sweetandnatural November 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Megan – They make cookies?! I must do some hunting.

    Lindsey – Thanks for the blog love! 😀

    Angela – Thank you for the nice comments! With regards to my job…I wanted to go into a creative field, so I thought advertising would be a good fit. And I’ve always been interested in figuring people out (perhaps why psych was also one of my majors!), so when I discovered the account planning discipline, I pursued it like heck! It combines both the left and right sides of my brain and always makes me think, because you have to take what you learn through research and turn it into a unique and intriguing marketing concept. If you want to know more, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and I’d be happy to go on and on. I just don’t want to bore everyone else here!

  10. 11 Hangry Pants November 18, 2008 at 6:31 am

    I’ve used carob chips and liked them, but I wouldn’t say they are a sub for chocolate chips because they don’t melt and actually get kind of crunchy. I am going to have to try these!

    Oh and I’ve been sending those e-cards you showed me all morning!

    Congrtats on the blog award, too! I love your blog and am so glad you started it! I really want to try to make more natural Christmas cookies this year. Do you know what, if anything, you’ll be making?

    Heather

  11. 12 Katie November 18, 2008 at 9:32 am

    YUM! Those sound so good!

  12. 13 sweetandnatural November 18, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Hangry Pants – I don’t think I’ve ever tried carob, so I’m curious about it. But I feel like I’d expect it to be chocolate and I know it’s not. I will definitely be getting into the holiday spirit with my baking this year, but I’m not sure what’s on the agenda yet. I’ll probably try to makeover some of my favorites.

    Oh, and those e-cards are amazing, right?!

    Katie – Thanks!

  13. 14 Joy September 1, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Recently tried the Sunspire chips…..LOVE LOVE LOVE! I told my husband that they’re grain sweetened and he replys with, “Must be hydrogenated oils.” I gave him a stare and made him read the bag. He was impressed. I love when the ingredients list on anything is very short!

  14. 15 Robin April 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Did Sunspire go out if business? I can’t find this product anymore. Anybody know if there is another brand of chocolate chip that is grained sweetened? PLEASE!

    • 16 Alison Seamans May 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Me too! I emailed the manufacturer and they rather unhelpfully said they are out of stock and don’t know when they’ll make more. I recommend a letter writing campaign, they need to know we want these!

  15. 17 Nan Marie Hogan May 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I, too, have not been able to find Sunspire’s grain-sweetened chocolate chips for a couple of months Iit’s now May 10, 2012). What’s up? Or should I say “HELP” – I used them to bake cookies for my pre-diabetic father., and I love to melt them w/a little Earth Balance spread (butter substitute) as a topping for soy ice cream. Is there another brand? (and will it taste as good as Sunspire?) Thanks for listening. /grainsweetgirl

  16. 18 Alison Seamans May 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Sunspire chips are made by the Hain-Celestial group. I emailed them to ask about the shortage of these and this was the reply:

    “Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your recent experience with our SunSpire Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips.
    Unfortunately the SunSpire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips are on our out of stock list. There is no current date as of when they will go back into production as of yet.
    “Thank you for your continued support. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-434-4246, Monday through Friday from 7AM – 5PM Mountain Time.”

    I used the contact form at http://WWW.Sunspire.com

    • 19 Bob October 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      I just spoke to “Gabe” at 1-800-434-4246 at Hains-Celestial & he said that the SunSpire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips were on back order b/c of a shortage of one of the ingredients. They are tentatively scheduled to go back into production in November, 2012.

  17. 20 Kelly May 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I wonder if it anything to do with the recent findings of the high levels of arsenic found in brown rice syrup which is the first ingredient in grain sweetened chocolate chips? You can find several articles by googling it.

  18. 21 Alison Seamans May 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    That’s interesting info! I’d like to know more about the issue, if it’s all rice syrup and how to tell what’s affected. What I found on Google focused on a few specific foods and not the rice syrup sources. Meanwhile, Hain-Celestial says they’ll be producing again in July.

    “Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding your recent experience with our SunSpire Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips.
    We have not discontinued the Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips they are on our out of stock list. They will be going back into production in late July.
    Thank you for your continued support. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-434-4246, Monday through Friday from 7AM – 5PM Mountain Time.”


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