Honey is considered a healthier alternative to white sugar. But if you are following the vegan diet you need to find another substitute for honey.
In baking, honey is used for colour/ flavour and it adds moisture to the baked goods.
Here are few substitutes for honey for vegan baking:
1. Agave –
Agave is a sweetener, commercially available made from the agave plant. Esutras Agave Nectar Organic 15.5 fl oz 458 ml Most agave comes from Mexico and South Africa.
Interesting fact – It’s the same plant that produces tequila.
Agave is sweeter than honey and is less viscous.
It’s 1 ½ time sweeter than sugar and so you should use less of it. Replace 1 cup of sugar with 2/3 cup of agave. Also, reduce liquids in the recipe by ¼.
When compared – Honey – Fructose: 41%, Glucose: 36%, Water: 18% and Agave – Fructose: 53%, Glucose: 15%, Water: 25%
When using agave lower your baking temperature by 25* F because agave browns quicker than honey. Don’t forget to increase baking time by one minute for every 15 minutes of baking time.
Agave easily dissolves in cold liquids like smoothies and iced tea etc. Many food manufacturers use agave nectar in products like energy drinks.
And, like honey, agave nectar comes in various versions, ranging from dark amber to light, each with their own distinct flavour. Dark agave has a caramel taste, while the lighter agave is more reminiscent of delicate honey.
2. Maple syrup
Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. American Garden Pancake Syrup, 710ml
Maple syrup is only made during a small window each year in a fairly labour-intensive process. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar as sap in the spring.
The basic measure says – you can replace honey with a 3/4th cup of maple syrup and 1/2 cup of sugar.
Maple syrup is thinner than honey, thus it affects the consistency of the better too. Using slightly less maple syrup in combination with some solid ingredients will help to stain the texture of baked goods.
3. Molasses is a thick syrup made during the sugar-making process. Molasses is made by refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar.
There is a variety of molasses available, light Molasses, Dark molasses Blackstrap molasses. Then Sorghum, pomegranate, date molasses are few amazing flavourful varieties.Urban Platter Pomegranate Molasses, 200g [Rob-e-Anar, Premium Molasses]
You can substitute molasses for honey, in same measures. Keep in mind, that the end product will differ in taste.
Molasses will also have a deeper effect on the colour the baked good.
Molasses contains several important nutrients and antioxidants, making it a better option than refined sugar.
However, it’s still very high in sugar, which can be harmful when consumed in excess.
4. Barley malt syrup 330g : Clearspring Barley Malt Syrup 330g is a sweetener extraction from malted barley. It contains approximately 65% maltose, 30% complex carbohydrate, 3% protein.
Malt syrup is dark brown, thick and sticky, and it has a strong distinctive flavour described as “malty”.
It is about half as sweet as refined white sugar.
Barley malt syrup is sometimes used in combination with other natural sweeteners to lend a malt flavour.
It has half the sweetness of white sugar and one-third of the sweetness of honey.
1/2 part molasses = 3/4 part Barley Malt Syrup = 3/4 part honey = 3/4 part maple syrup.
You can easily substitute brown rice syrup for honey. But obviously, the taste will differ.
6. Date syrup Lion Dates Syrup 1 Kg also is known as Silan (also referred to as date nectar or date honey) – a natural, liquid sweetener that is a staple in several Middle Eastern countries.
It’s a thick, ruby red syrup with a concentrated fruity taste as it is made exclusively of dates and water.
Date paste is an ultimate all-natural sweetener that goes perfectly in almost every recipe involving cooking. It’s smooth and silky and just a bit like caramel.
But remember, homemade date syrup, doesn’t melt like other granulated sweeteners. This makes it difficult to use in baking (for few recipes) because it can retain slight crystalline texture even after heating. The result can be a bit of added texture to the final product. For puddings and other dishes that are supposed to be smooth, this is not the right choice. Store bought date syrups are better choice to use in baking.
Drizzle it on pancakes, ice creams or French toast. Add a spoon to smoothies.
It is great when used in making granola, gives a fantastic caramel crunch and a treacly flavour.
7. Fruit Syrup
Easy enough to make at home, fruit syrups can be made from a variety of different fruits, with the syrup coming from the natural sugars. To make fruit syrup, combine 4 parts fruit, 2 parts sugar, and 1 part water in a pot. Simmer the ingredients until the fruit breaks down, then strain it to separate the fruit from the liquid.
Choose your fruits carefully, and work out a combination that works for you, such as dates, figs, and apples, for example. Once you have your finished syrup, it can be used for cooking, baking and sweetening.
Be careful to store it in the refrigerator, preferably in a mason jar, and remember to use it up in good time — homemade fruit syrups won’t have preservatives like store-bought syrups.
Experimenting with different kinds of fruits is fun.
Of course, there are sugars (brown sugar, white sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, Jaggery) to add sweetness to the baked goods. You will have to consider the health aspect and textural changes that the final product will result into while substituting honey.
I have few recipes for you here. You can trick the taste buds using these vegan cheese recipes. The texture and the feel are very close, but not exactly same as the original cheese. But one thing for sure … these recipes are a keepers
Dairy-free cheese to sprinkle on the top
1 cup Nutritional yeast flakes
1 cup “raw” almonds, blanched and peeled and pat dried
½ teaspoon sea salt
It is important to pat the almonds dry to remove excess moisture.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or spice grinder, and blend into a fine meal.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month for optimal freshness. It can also be frozen.
Cashew Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 and 1/4th cups water
2 roasted red bell pepper (peeled and diced)
2 teaspoons of salt
⅛ teaspoon of garlic powder
Soak the cashews for a few hours beforehand. Whiz above ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Bold & Raw Cheese Sauce
8 ounce package firm tofu, crumbled
⅓ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
⅓ cup raw tahini
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or paprika
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Best served at room temperature or heated a bit. Very bold flavour, a little goes a long way.
Nacho Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4th tsp pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cups water
1/4th cup safflower oil
1/2 tablespoon mustard sauce
1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
Mix dry ingredients well, with a whisk in a heavy sauce pot.
Whisk in water and oil. Add mustard and vinegar. Cook until thickened.
Be careful not to form any lumps during the cooking process. Keep whisking.
This is very similar to white sauce making.