Have you ever been in the middle of a recipe only to realize you were out of honey? Same. Save yourself a trip to the grocery store with one of these healthy honey substitutes.
1. Maple syrup
Maple syrup can be used in place of honey at a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
You can easily substitute maple syrup for honey because it has a very similar texture and consistency. It's an alternative that works well in baking, cooking and drizzling.
Maple syrup comes directly from the sap of a maple tree. It contains antioxidants and important micronutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Make sure you're buying 100% pure maple syrup instead of pancake syrup, which is primarily made with artificial chemicals.
2. Agave Syrup
Agave syrup can be used in place of honey in a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute in 1 tablespoon of agave.
Agave syrup is a good honey substitute. That's because it has a thick consistency and flavour quite similar to honey, albiet with a slightly more bitter aftertaste.
While at one point considered one of the best natural sweeteners, agave nectar is more debated as of late. Research now suggests that its extra high fructose content may reduce insulin sensitivity. It is also higher in calories than table sugar. For these reasons, I recommend using agave nectar in moderation.
3. Coconut nectar
Coconut nectar can be used in place of honey in a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute in 1 tablespoon of coconut nectar.
Coconut nectar is a vegan honey substitute that's derived from the flowers of a coconut tree. This syrup makes a good honey replacement because it has a similar texture and consistency to honey.
Coconut nectar has a caramel-like taste. Although, it is a little less sweet than honey due to its lower sugar content. While good news for your health, you may want to increase the amount of coconut nectar used when replacing honey to reach your desired level of sweetness.
Like most of my recommendations, this is a natural sweetener. It's free from chemical processing and has a lower glycemic index than most sweeteners.
Molasses can be used in place of honey in a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute in 1 tablespoon of molasses.
Molasses is a good honey substitute. It's very sweet, with a warm flavour that's fairly similar to maple syrup.
It has an incredibly thick consistency. For that reason, instead of a 1:1 ratio, you may prefer to use a little less molasses than honey in your recipe.
Molasses is a natural sweetener. That means it's free of added sugars and offers up some nutritional benefits.
4. Brown rice syrup
Brown rice syrup can be used in place of honey in a 4:3 ratio. So, for every ¾ cup of honey, substitute 1 cup of brown rice syrup.
Brown rice syrup - also known as maltose syrup - is a vegan honey substitute that's both fructose and gluten free.
This liquid sweetener has a sticky texture that makes it a good honey replacer in recipes that need a "glue", like homemade granola.
It has a nutty flavour that is similar to butterscotch and is significantly less sweet than honey. For that reason, you may want to increase the amount of brown rice syrup used to reach your desired level of sweetness.
6. Barley malt syrup
Barley malt syrup can be used in place of honey at a 2:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute 2 tablespoons of barley malt syrup.
Barley malt syrup is a natural sweetener that's produced from barley. It is a very thick syrup that's even more dense than molasses.
Honey is twice as sweet as barley malt syrup, so when using barley malt as a substitute, you'll want to double the quantity.
Because it is a natural sweetener, it offers up some nutritional advantages. But, it's quite high in maltose, so should be used in moderation.
7. Date syrup
Date syrup can be used in place of honey at a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 tablespoon of honey, substitute 1 tablespoon of date syrup.
The most natural sweetener you can opt for is fruit. So, if you're looking for a healthy honey replacement, the use of dates may be the right option.
Bonus: dates are full of fibre and antioxidants too!
To get a syrup like consistency, you'll need to reduce your dates using my recipe below. Alternatively, you can buy this syrup in middle eastern or health food stores.
Have you ever been in the middle of a recipe only to realize you were out of the sweetener you needed? Same. Save yourself a trip to the grocery store with this healthy date syrup swap.
- 0.5 lb Medjool dates
- 2 cups of water
- Chop and remove the pit from the dates.
- Add dates to sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for one hour.
- Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend for one minute, or until smooth.
- Pour the mixture through a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. Press out as much date syrup as possible.
- Add back to stove top and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes to reduce further. Be careful not to burn during this stage.
- Cool and transfer to airtight container in fridge for up to three weeks.
- It's easier to chop the dates using kitchen shears
Keywords: healthy condiments, easy recipes
How to use honey
Here are some of my favourite recipes that use honey or a honey alternative:
I want to hear from you!
Have you tried any of these subs for honey? Do you have any of your own? Please take a minute to leave a comment below.