The 4 Best Honey Substitutes for Home Cooking

honey substitute

Honey is a flexible ingredient that can be used to give a sweet hint to savory dishes while enhancing the flavor of any saccharine recipe. 

It can even be a great addition to your home remedy as it can make bitter concoctions more palatable. Because of this, it is always wise to have this component in your pantry. 

If you find yourself missing this ingredient but the recipe you are following requires it, you might want to look for a substitute for honey that can give you approximately what honey has to offer.

Wondering what replacements you can use? Read on. 

What Makes Honey Special? 

Before we proceed with the best alternatives for honey, you might be curious as to why this ingredient in particular is what many recipes require.

This substance is a great sweetener and emulsifier because of its natural flavor and consistency.

It is used by a long line of cooks, from the most experienced home cooks to the most professional chefs. In fact, this component can be used even without any kind of experience or training.

Just drizzle it onto plain oatmeal or hot toast and you are good to go.  

When used for savory dishes, you can never go wrong with honey, especially if you want to give the recipe a sweet hint. It is perfect for honey-cured hams, marinades, barbecue sauces, and even for roast chicken.

For vegetables, the right amount of ingredients can make all the difference between a delightfully flavored salad and a boring one. Of course, you can expect this component to come up when making baked goods and pastries. 

In terms of nutritional value and benefits, you should know that honey has 288 calories, 0,4 grams of protein, 76.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams fat per 100 grams. Moreover, it is known to soothe itchy throats and colds when combined with lemon or other ingredients.  

Best Substitutes for Honey 

Now that you know why many prefer using this component, you might be more curious as to what substitutes you can use as replacement if you are ever lacking this ingredient.

Check out this list to find out.  

  • Rice Malt Syrup 

You want to make sure that you use an ingredient that has the same texture and taste as honey. So, you are looking for a syrupy and sweet replacement. Rice Malt Syrup, also called rice syrup or brown rice syrup is one such ingredient.

It is created by using enzymes to break down brown rice starches. Then, the smaller sugars are purified resulting in a thick and sweet syrup. 

Because of its consistency and flavor, you can bet that this component will be a great addition to your dish in lieu of honey. However, keep in mind that the kind of honey can affect its taste.  

For example, honey from the nectar of a flowery source can taste, well, floral. Other flavors include woody, smoky, fruity, nutty, earthy or spicy. So, if you are looking for these flavors, make sure to enhance your rice malt syrup with other ingredients that can help you achieve your preference.  

Rice Malt Syrup

  • Molasses 

Molasses is a concentrate derived from the juice extracted from sugar beets or canes. This juice is boiled and reduced to get a dark brown syrup called molasses. This ingredient is used to create refined sugar, whether white or brown.

Because it is derived from sugar plants, you can rest assured that it is sweet, making it a great replacement for honey. 

Molasses

One thing you should know about molasses is that it has a caramel-like taste. Make sure to take this into account as it can have a different effect on your dish.

However, if you are using honey for its dark appearance, then this is a great choice. Also, keep in mind that molasses is darker and more opaque than honey.

  • Maple Syrup 

Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maple trees which is heated to cause evaporation resulting in a syrupy substance.

This sweet and thick liquid has a slightly caramel-like taste, with some woody and smoky notes. As a replacement for honey, you can make the most out of this if you are making a recipe that requires these characteristics. 

  • Sugar 

If only the flavor matters and not the texture, you can simply use sugar to sweeten your recipe. Just use it as is to bring in that flavor. However, if you need to use a syrupy concoction, then you can heat sugar in a pan and wait for it to melt. This will result in a thick liquid. 

Conclusion

Honey is definitely a flexible ingredient, but if you happen to run out of it as you are cooking, these substitutes can help get you through the process. So, make sure to have these on hand! 

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