If you love to bake but want to use less refined sugar, consider honey as a substitute. Here are tips on cooking with honey from Honey.com, the website of the National Honey Board, where you can find every type of recipe plus beekeepers in your area:
SUBSTITUTING HONEY IN BAKING
Honey helps enhance browning, so it creates beautifully browned baked goods. The extra body provided by honey adds shape to cakes, pastries and other desserts. If you need to prepare baked goods in advance, honey gives them that “bakery fresh” taste, even days later.
Substitute honey for up to one-half of the sugar.
For easy removal when measuring honey, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before adding honey.
Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
Add about ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
You’ll need to increase beating time and speed, since it takes more vigorous beating to achieve the correct texture with honey.
Reach for the honey instead of the sugar. Photo courtesy Michael S. Richter | Morguefile.
Reduce oven temperatures by 25°F to prevent over-browning of baked goods.
SELECTING HONEY FOR BAKING & COOKING
Select a mild, paler honey, such as clover, when delicate flavors predominate—baked goods, glazed vegetables, and subtle fruits like bananas, for example.
Select stronger, amber-colored honeys to accompany stronger flavors, such as peanut butter, meats and strong cheeses.
Seabass with Aji Chile Honey Marinade. Photo courtesy Honey.com. Here‘a the recipe.
GREAT HONEY COMBINATIONS
FRUIT: The combination of sweet fruits and honey brings out the best flavors of each. Apple slices dipped in honey is a luscious snack. Try sliced bananas, hazelnut spread and honey on toast or graham crackers for a tasty blend of flavors and textures.
ICE CREAM: Honey acts as an anti-freeze, which makes the ice cream’s consistency smoother and protects against crystallization. Here’s a recipe for peach ice cream with honey.
SALTY SNACKS: The combination of salt and sweet is a palate pleaser. We love dipping pretzels into honey, and making honey Cornflakes clusters instead of Rice Krispies treats.
CANDIED BACON: This recent craze is a special treat, but here‘s a tip: When making honey-candied bacon, the honey should be added to the bacon strips only after they have been cooked part of the way through. If the honey is added too soon, the honey will caramelize too quickly and the bacon will burn.
BREAD: Honey is a delicious bread spread instead of jam. Honey with buttermilk biscuits can’t be beat.
SALAD DRESSING: If you like sweetness in your salad dressing, add a half teaspoon of honey. It acts as a stabilizer, too, so the vinaigrette won’t separate.
MORE WAYS TO USE HONEY
From appetizers and main dishes to sauces and sides, anywhere a sweetener is used you can substitute honey. We love it as a meat glaze and in marinades. Honey enhances browning and crisping, providing a more beautiful roast.
Check out the honey-accented recipes at Honey.com.