If you want to be able to cook sweets without the negative health effects of refined sugar, honey is an excellent option. Among other reasons, honey is metabolized more slowly by your body, meaning that you are less likely to get a sugar “high” after eating something made with honey.
Honey can be challenging to cook with, though, for several reasons. So many people don’t cook with it because they don’t know how. But once you know how to use honey in your favorite kitchen creations, it’s not hard at all to use.
The first challenge that honey presents is that it burns more easily that normal sugar. This problem is usually eliminated by doing your cooking or baking at a slightly lower heat.
The main hurdle to cooking with honey is that it is a liquid. Replacing sugar with honey will ruin some recipes if you don’t make an allowance for the extra liquid that the honey adds.
Most muffins, simple quick breads, yeast breads, etc you can make the substitution without any adjustment. Cakes, cookies and some other recipes you should decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe to account for the honey.
Honey is also very easy to use in pies. Since they are already somewhat liquid, you can replace the sugar with honey. If the pie filling seems too runny, just add a little extra thickener before you pour it in your pie shell.
The flavor of honey can sometimes be an issue, but not usually. If you are making a recipe that you don’t want the flavor to be noticeable, there are several things you can try. First of all, get the mildest flavored honey you can. Usually that will be a very pale clover honey. (The paler the honey, the sweeter and milder the flavor, in general.)
If necessary, you can use part honey, and part some other sweetener, such as apple juice concentrate, agave nectar, stevia, or even sugar if you have to.
You can even add it to your coffee and tea!
So next time you are at your local farmers market, stock up on some home grown honey!