04 March 2011

Adventures in vegan baking; honey alternatives

I have never really liked the taste of honey that much so when I became vegan two years ago I did not miss living without it in my life. Recently I decided to challenge myself to do the impossible—learn how to bake sweets such as cookies and cakes (I seem to burn everything). Why the sudden interest in baking? I wanted to surprise my father on his birthday in March by baking him a cake.

This is a tradition my father started when I was a child. Ever since I can remember, after we finished my birthday meal, my father would surprise me with a birthday cake that seemed to get bigger and better every year.

I chose to learn how to bake him a cake this year because I am moving to a new state and wanted to show him, after all these years, I remember his tradition and I care.

What I didn’t realize during my experimental cooking phase is how many recipes call for the use of honey. Below is a list that I thought might be helpful for anyone who has ever struggled finding honey substitutions.

Honey Alternatives

Bee Free Honee: The company is based in Minnesota and uses apples grown locally to create their product. Bee Free Honee has a consistency very similar to honey. The product tastes like apple juice with a hint of lemon. It is very versatile and can be used in anything, but this is one of my favorite products to sweeten tea with when I'm feel under the weather. What is great about this product is the fact that, unlike honey, it's safe to give to young children under three years of age.

Agave Nectar: Comes from the Agave plant (also the same plant used to make Tequila) it is a golden brown color and slightly less syrupy then honey. Agave Nectar is very easy to obtain and affordable. You can find this product in various flavors and also in a raw form.

Maple Syrup: Dark brown in color about the same consistency as Agave nectar and just as versatile.

Molasses: The Latin word for "honey" comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Molasses is used in baked goods such as gingerbread cookies.

Jodi Truglio | email
Jodi is a strict vegan and animal rights advocate that grew up in up-state New York. She holds a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. In her spare time Jodi enjoys doing yoga and pilates.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/elanaspantry