Honey is a great alternative sweetener for recipes calling for sugar. Its ability to add a little something extra to the taste of foods you cook with it makes it a great choice when you want to cook up something a little different.
Aside from adding its unique flavor to a dish, honey offers us plentiful health benefits that make it hard to pass up when compared to other sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrup. Once more, it offers many other benefits that can add to and improve a recipe that goes beyond taste!
Benefits of Cooking With Honey
- Can be used to encourage browning: Honey is great when used as a glaze for baked goods and roasts in order to promote browning.
- Can enhance the flavor of a dish: With so many different varieties of honey, and infused honey available as well, honey’s flavor is a welcomed addition in hot teas and other beverages. Take advantage of floral varieties to lend an interesting flavor to dishes.
- Can be used to improve the texture of baked goods: Honey lends a unique texture to cakes and other baked goods that just can’t be achieved with sugar.
- Encourages moisture retention: Honey adds moisture to cakes and will also make cakes stay moist longer.
- Can be used as a binding agent: Honey can be used to bind ingredients together in order to make them easier to shape when making pastries, cakes, or puddings.
- Can be used to add color: When used in dressings, jams, or sauces it lends its golden color to the dish.
Tips For Cooking With Honey
As you can see, honey offers plenty of great benefits when used in your recipes. It’s important though to take a few things into consideration when using it as a replacement to sugar or other sweeteners as it is not a 1 to 1 substitute and behaves a bit differently.
Honey is nearly twice as sweet as sugar so start off with half the amount of honey than what the recipe calls for. You can always add a little more later on if you find your dish isn’t sweet enough but it’s hard to take it away once it’s mixed in.
Honey is a little more difficult to work with at times when trying to measure it out. A pro tip is to lightly coat your measuring cup or spoon with a bit of cooking spray before measuring out the honey. Doing this will make the honey slide out of your cup or spoon much easier and makes cleanup a breeze!
Avoid using honey in any recipes that you may be feeding to an infant under the age of 1. Honey can contain bacteria that, though harmless to older children, can be dangerous to young babies.
With so many benefits over plain old sugar, honey is hard to pass up when it comes to sweetening up baked goods and glazing roasts. Consider subbing out sugar for honey the next time you bake cookies or a cake. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised with the results!