People who are concerned about their health also tend to change some unhealthy habits and lifestyles, which impacts the food they consume. Many people have gradually shifted toward healthier foods; for example, swapping out a bar of chocolate for some broccoli is an excellent example of shifting from unhealthy to healthy food.
However, for those who still have a sweet tooth, eliminating sweet foods may be difficult; however, one simple step in the right direction would be replacing refined sugar with healthier and natural sweeteners such as Honey.
Honey would seamlessly replace sugar in any given recipe, but making this swap may be more difficult than you expect; in this article, I will give you some tips on successfully replacing sugar with Honey in various recipes.
Firstly, let us take a closer look at these two sweeteners.
What is Sugar?
Sugar is a carbohydrate type that contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules, just like other carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, as well as proteins and fats, are essential components of a healthy diet. Except for dietary fiber, carbohydrates are digested and broken down into glucose, which serves as an energy source for most of the human body’s tissues. Red blood cells, the central nervous system, and the brain prefer glucose as an energy source. Carbohydrates, except dietary fiber, provide approximately four calories per gram.
Sugars are caloric, sweet-tasting compounds found in various foods such as fruits, vegetables, Honey, and human and dairy milk. Humans are born with a preference for sweet tastes. The presence of lactose (a type of naturally occurring sugar in milk) in breast milk contributes to the palatability and acceptability of this primary source of nutrition for infants. Both chemically and in terms of food, Sugars are monosaccharides or disaccharide carbohydrates that impart a sweet taste. The majority of foods contain some of each.
What is Honey?
Honey is a thick golden liquid produced by bees from flowering plant nectar. Bees produce honey by collecting nectar and regurgitating it. The nectar is then evaporated by water, yielding the material we know as Honey. In their honey production, bees provide an important service by pollinating fruits, legumes, vegetables, and other types of food-producing plants.
Honey is mostly sugar, but it also contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc, and antioxidants. Honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent and a natural sweetener. Honey is commonly used topically to treat burns and promote wound healing and orally to treat coughs. There are approximately 320 different types of Honey, each with its color, odor, and flavor.
How to Use Honey Instead of Sugar in Baking and Cooking?
Because Honey and sugar are not equivalent ingredients (Honey is a liquid while sugar is dry; Honey is sweeter than sugar, etc.), there is no magic ratio for substituting Honey for sugar, but as a general rule, use 1/2-2/3 cup of honey for every 1 cup of sugar… then follow the guidelines below to ensure your recipe still rises and doesn’t burn!
Choose your Honey carefully.
Anyone who has spent time in our honey room knows that Honey comes in various colors and flavors. Each Honey has its personality and flavor profile, from the light and delicate Acacia honey to the rich and dark Black Forest honey.
When baking or cooking with Honey, color and flavor are important considerations. Just as you wouldn’t substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar, you might not substitute a dark honey-like Buckwheat in a recipe where the Honey’s robust and molasses-like flavor will overpower the other ingredients or turn your batter unusually dark.
We like our Alfalfa honey’s sweet and buttery flavor for simple substitutions. Some quick bread, such as banana or zucchini bread, may benefit from the Black Forest or Buckwheat honey, but we recommend starting light and working around the color spectrum until you find your perfect match!
Because Honey is much sweeter than sugar, use 1/2 to 2/3 cup of honey for every cup of sugar in your recipe.
Because Honey is sweeter than sugar, you may not want to substitute at a 1:1 ratio (even though you can get up to one cup). We recommend experimenting with a ratio of 1/2 – 2/3 cup honey to 1 cup sugar.
It’s also worth noting that many American recipes call for more sugar than they require, so don’t be afraid to go light on the sweetener!
Because Honey is a liquid, We must adjust other liquid measurements.
Honey burns at a lower temperature than sugar, so adjust your oven temperature accordingly!
When sugar is heated, it caramelizes (turns a golden brown color); however, Honey has a higher sugar content, caramelizing and burning faster.
When using Honey in baking or any other recipe that requires heat, keep an eye on your food and lower the temperature to avoid burning.
When baking with Honey, we recommend lowering the oven temperature by about 25 degrees F. This will prevent your baked good from becoming too dark before it has finished baking.
Mix in some baking soda
Even if it’s already in the recipe, add a little more. Believe us. Most baking recipes call for baking soda, but adding some baking would be appreciated if it doesn’t. Soaking soda balances the acidity of Honey, which is necessary for the baked goods to rise properly.
Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to each cup of Honey.
Make nonstick measuring cups and spoons.
Because Honey is very sticky, making your measuring tools nonstick with Crisco or oil is very helpful in the baking process!
Reduce your intake of liquids.
Because Honey is about 20% water, you’ll want to reduce the total amount of liquids in the recipe to compensate for the extra liquid from the Honey. If you use more than one cup of Honey, reduce the liquids in your recipe by 1/4 cup for every cup used (starting with the first cup). Because Honey retains more moisture than sugar, no additional milk or water is required.
Recipes that Use Honey Instead of Sugar
Bruschetta with Blue Cheese and Grilled Nectarine
If you entertain frequently, you’re probably at a loss for ideas on what snacks to serve without repeating a previous menu. Bruschetta is a versatile appetizer that your guests can nibble on while engaging in lively conversation.
Cookies with Honey and Peanut Butter
Whether you want to serve your guests a plate of delicious biscuits or enjoy snacking on cookies while watching TV, remember that you can substitute Honey for sugar when baking them!
Asian Sticky Chicken Wings
Here’s a recipe for replacing brown sugar with Honey; in fact, brown sugar is used in many Asian recipes to balance the richer flavors of mirin, sake, fish oil, and other sauces. You can apply the same principles to replace sugar with Honey in other recipes if you like the taste.
Bright Summer Cocktail
Do you know where sugar comes into play when making a cocktail? Most cocktail recipes call for the sugar syrup to add sweetness to the drink. With the help of this recipe, you can learn how to replace sugar in cocktails with Honey and then apply your knowledge the next time you make a fun drink!
Granola bars with Honey and oats!
Granola bars are a healthy snack option whether you’re rushing to work in the morning or want something to snack on in the evening. This honey and oats granola bar recipe are high in nutrients and a great way to replace sugar in your diet with Honey!
What are Some Other Substitutes of Sugar?
1. Date Syrup
Date syrup is more than just sugar; it’s a fruit-based food. Date syrup has a low glycemic index, which we confirmed when we conducted a clinical study on the effect of blood sugar in real-time on human clinical subjects, yielding a GI of 47 +/- 2. It also contains less fructose than most sweeteners. Furthermore, date syrup is high in nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It also has the same antioxidant level as maca or raspberries, making it the most nutritionally dense sweetener available. Date syrup contains potassium, which helps your body slowly absorb and regulate sugar in the bloodstream.
2. Raw Honey
Raw Honey, particularly raw local Honey, is similar to dates in that it is both real food and the nectar of the gods. Honey contains amino acids, electrolytes, and a plethora of antioxidants in addition to sugar. It has been praised for its natural antiseptic properties and its ability to relieve allergy symptoms. While Honey contains more fructose than sugar, it has a low glycemic index, making it one of the best sugar substitutes. According to one study, replacing sugar with Honey can lower blood sugar levels and help prevent or aid in weight loss.
3. Maple Syrup
Real maple syrup has better sugar substitute characteristics, including a low glycemic index and a low fructose content. It’s derived directly from trees, is minimally processed, and contains even more minerals and antioxidants than Honey, such as manganese, riboflavin, zinc, and magnesium. It also has fewer calories than most other sweeteners. The only caveat is that when purchasing maple syrup, make sure the label says “100% maple syrup”—otherwise, you’re likely getting corn syrup with “maple flavoring” (whatever that means).
4. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar, which comes from the blossoms of the coconut tree and contains high amounts of potassium and electrolytes, is the best substitute for white sugar in recipes because it behaves similarly. However, it is still highly processed and does not contain as many nutrients as the others. On the plus side, it contains inulin fiber, which has been shown to help slow glucose absorption and keep blood sugar levels balanced. It’s probably one of the best sugar substitutes in baked goods.
5. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses, high in iron, potassium, and calcium, is another nutritionally superior sweetener to many others. One tablespoon contains more iron than a 3-ounce serving of steak, accounting for more than 10% of the daily recommended intake. Blackstrap molasses is the darkest grade and is processed three times to remove as much sucrose as possible. It is a byproduct of refined white sugar.
Which Honey is the Healthiest to Use?
While most types of Honey have numerous health benefits, when considering how to replace sugar with Honey, raw, organic Honey makes the most sense. This is primarily because raw honey is not pasteurized, allowing it to retain more nutrients than pasteurized Honey.
To begin with, raw Honey contains a healthy amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is a natural antibacterial agent. It also contains a lot of phytonutrients, which are said to have antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.
Raw Honey also has probiotic properties, which help maintain good gut health. Interestingly, gut health has been linked to depression, so many people believe raw Honey is a good mood booster. Of course, simply substituting Honey for sugar does not imply that it is a cure-all for depression!
Finally, organic Honey is free of harmful chemicals that can negatively affect when consumed. As a result, when looking for the healthiest type of Honey, choose raw, organic Honey.
How can I Substitute Honey for Sugar in a Recipe?
Because Honey contains more fructose than sugar, it is a sweeter ingredient than the latter. As a result, if you’re planning to replace sugar with Honey, keep in mind that you don’t need to add as much Honey as you would normally.
Generally, 82 grams of Honey provide the same sweetness as 100 grams of white sugar.
Finally, remember that you can use Honey in place of sugar whether you’re making a savory or sweet dish.
Is Honey Preferable to Sugar?
Honey has a lower GI value than sugar, which means it does not quickly raise blood sugar levels. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so that you may need less of it, but it has slightly more calories per teaspoon, so watch your portion sizes carefully. There is no real benefit to substituting sugar for Honey for diabetics or those trying to manage their blood sugar levels because both will affect blood sugar levels.
It’s also worth noting that Honey, like other syrups, contains ‘free’ sugars, which we’re advised to limit. If you must have Honey, choose a raw variety that contains more vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and nutrients than white sugar, and use it sparingly. However, it is important to remember that any nutritional benefit from honey consumption is minor.
So, we hope you now understand why we use Honey instead of sugar. Honey contains sugar, but it is much healthier than refined sugar because it is produced without processing or added substances. However, replacing sugar with Honey may be difficult, but you will achieve a perfect result if you follow the instructions above.