Honey is a great natural substitute for sugar in most recipes, and it is so easy to do! Here is how to substitute honey for sugar in almost anything!
About 11 years ago I had my gall bladder removed.
What does that have with substituting honey or natural sweeteners?
I’ll tell you.
If you’ve had your gall bladder out you know that there is a bit of an adjustment your body goes through after it comes out…. it involves your digestion, and some people develop intolerance to certain foods.
Well about 6 months after it was removed I was still suffering from what the Dr. called “dumping syndrome” which is exactly what it sounds like. (glamorous I know!) What goes in comes out really quickly. I thought it was greasy food, they had told me to expect that. But after carefully watching and tracking what made me sick I realized it happened every time I drank soda.
So for years I avoided soda. Then it started happening when I ate ice cream…. over the years it’s gotten to where most things with a lot of sugar will make me sick. I can eat a couple of cookies or a cupcake, but if I eat more, or eat something sweet several days in a row it gets to me.
However, it is only refined sugar. Honey, agave, maple syrup … they are a-ok! So I’ve learned to use them instead of sugar.
Even if you have your gall bladder there are great benefits to using natural sweeteners over refined sugar. I’ve gathered some info for you if you want to read up on my three favorite natural sweeteners. Or you can just take my word for it. Your body likes natural stuff, it’s easier to digest and so much better for you… but don’t worry I’m including links if you want to do your own research.
Honey is chock full of amazing health benefits- if you want a great break down check out this article on all the health benefits of cooking with it.
Another great substitute is real maple syrup… not Aunt Jemima…. the good kind that is expensive but oh so delicious. It also has great benefits besides making your food sweet, head over here for a great run down.
And last but not least one of my favorites is Agave Nectar I use it in my coffee every morning, and with a low glycemic index it is a great choice for anyone who is watching their sugar levels. Head here to read more about it.
How to choose which natural sweetener to use?
Honey has a mild flavors that blends really well with most other flavors. It is perfect to substitute in most baked goods and cooking. Maple syrup, on the other hand, has a distinctive flavor. It’s one that you want to consider the other ingredients you’re mixing it in before using it. It is awesome in breakfast food, anything with oatmeal, and even savory sauces. I find for a lot of muffins and sweet breads maple syrup adds a great flavor, but for something like cake or brownies you’ll want to use agave or honey.
Here is how to adjust your recipe when you substitute honey for sugar
– Lower your oven temperature 25 degrees. If you are cooking on the stove top cook over a lower temperature. These sweeteners caramelize faster than refined sugar so the lower temp helps slow them down so the baking/cooking can finish.
– Honey, agave, and maple syrup are sweeter than white sugar. A safe swap is 3/4 cup for every 1 cup of sugar the recipe calls for. You can go as low as 1/2 for every cup if you are trying to lighten the sweetness of the dish.
– For every cup of honey, agave or syrup you are using you’ll need to subtract 1/4 cup liquid from your recipe. Water, milk or liquid oil can all be reduced without affecting the end result. (for smaller recipes remove 1 Tbsp for every 1/4 cup)
Pretty simple right? With these tips making the switch should be easy, but keep in mind different recipes may need a little more adjustment and there is some trial and error. I use honey in baking bread, pizza dough, muffins, ice tea… the list goes on and on.
I would love to know what recipes you’ve altered to substitute honey for sugar and how it turned out!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes where I’ve substituted honey for sugar!