It is often forgotten that honey is meant for bees and not for humans.
Bees use honey as an energy source, because it is filled with nutrients that the bees need to be healthy.
Bees produce and store honey in huge amounts and so preparing for the upcoming winter months when there are no flowers. That is their secondary food source that ensures their survival.
In comparison, bees cannot live without honey, but humans can.
Luckily there are a lot of vegan honey substitutes available today, whether you need it for cooking, baking or as a sweetener…
Maple syrup is a common natural sweetener used around the world. It is made directly from the sap of maple trees and has a wide range of health benefits. This honey substitute is nutrient dense, rich in antioxidants, and has the ability to fight inflammation in the body! It also has a lower glycemic index compared to regular sugar. It is perfect for people trying to avoid sugar to lose weight and for those trying to find a syrup that is as good as honey.
Agave syrup is a sweetener obtained from the juice of agave plants grown in South Africa and Mexico. It contains less glucose (55-90%) than refined sugars, which means it won’t raise the blood sugar as much as other sweeteners. Lighter syrups taste similar to honey, while darker varieties taste more like maple syrup. It has a naturally sweeter taste, so you will have to use less of it!
Date syrup is a natural sweetener obtained by extracting the liquid from cooked dates. It is mostly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Whole dates are rich in fiber, antioxidants and minerals. However, the date syrup from the supermarket does not contain the whole fruit, so the fiber does not enter the final product. If you are looking for a healthier way to consume date syrup, it is recommended that you make it yourself at home. This is achieved by mixing pureed dates with water – so none of the good stuff gets lost!
Dandelion has numerous health benefits – it relieves pain and improves digestion, and it can also be used to make a wonderful substitute for honey! Dandelion honey is sure to quench your sweet tooth, and it’s easy to make! All you need are dandelion petals, water, lemon, vanilla beans and a little sugar. Dandelion syrup has great therapeutic effects – it detoxifies the liver and purifies the bloodstream.
Coconut syrup is a natural sweetener obtained directly from the nectar of coconut palm flowers. Coconut syrup has a much lower glycemic index (GI) (35%) compared to regular sugar (55-90%), which makes it an ideal alternative to the sweetener honey or regular sugar, and it is a great option for diabetics. It also contains trace amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and copper, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Corn syrup is a viscous, sweet syrup made from the sugar found naturally in corn. There are two varieties of corn syrup: light and dark. Light corn syrup is clear, vanilla-flavored, and has a milder sweetness, while dark corn syrup contains molasses, resulting in more sweetness and a caramel flavor.
In addition to regular corn syrup, there is also high fructose corn syrup. It has much more sweetness than ordinary corn syrup, and has more harmful effects on health when consumed in large quantities. This syrup is mostly used in the food industry.
This substitute is obtained from sprouted barley. The dark brown, sticky syrup isn’t nearly as sweet as regular white sugar, but it’s a great substitute for honey. Barley syrup has exceptional nutritional value, it contains vitamin B12, which is rare in plant foods. It also contains vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, and vitamin B3, aka niacin. As for minerals, barley syrup contains potassium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It is rich in enzymes and is therefore easily digestible. However, it should be used in moderation due to the high amount of carbohydrates.
Brown rice syrup is made from a combination of cooked brown rice starch and various enzymes – forming a thick, dark liquid. This syrup is half as sweet as white sugar and not nearly as strong in flavor compared to barley syrup. Although brown rice is very nutritious, its syrup contains very few nutrients. Also, it should be used in moderation, because it has incredibly large amounts of glucose.