Making healthy choices over the holidays can be a challenge, but it is possible to enjoy your favorite dishes in a healthier way without compromising taste. Honey is a simple substitute for refined sugar that will not only bring more richness and depth to your dish, but it will keep you feeling healthier over the holidays. It’s true! Not only does honey enhance the flavor of your dish, but the natural properties in honey contain multiple added health benefits.
First off, honey is absorbed into the body slower than refined sugar which means it has a lower glycemic index. This slower absorption rate gives you longer lasting energy and less of a blood sugar spike, which is easier on your body and digestive system. Honey also contains vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B5, calcium, zinc, iron just to name a few. Whereas sugar doesn’t contain any of these vitamin benefits! Finally, bees themselves add to the health properties in honey. Bees deposit an array of beneficial probiotics, making honey a possible digestive aid. We could go on, but you get the idea. When it comes to health, honey wins every time.
So you’ve decided to try substituting Honey for sugar. Yay! Here’s how to do it successfully.
If you are using honey as a substitute in baking, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind. Try using a lighter honey, since the strong flavour in dark honey can alter the flavour of your baked goods. In addition, the natural sugars in honey caramelize quicker than sugar, so be sure to lower the oven temperature down by 25 degree to avoid overbaking. Happy Baking!
- Here is a honey to sugar conversion chart to reference when cooking or baking with honey.
Since honey is naturally sweeter and contains more liquid than sugar, a one-for-one replacement won’t do. Make sure to reference the conversion chart below when substituting:
- If the above chart is a little daunting, not to worry because we’ve included some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have already done the work for you! Follow these recipes and enjoy a honey sweet Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Canada!
Recipe Credit: The Prairie Homestead
Photo Credit: Chowhound
- 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup of honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Begin by mixing the pumpkin puree, honey, vanilla, salt, and spice in a bowl.
- Next, mix in the cream.
- Gently beat in the eggs into the mixture.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. If using a homemade crust, partially blind bake first, before adding the filling.
- Protect the crust with a pie shield (or foil) and then bake at 375°F for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the shield/foil, and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Insert a knife or skewer in the center of the pie to check whether it comes out clean.
- Allow to cool and then enjoy!
Recipe and Photo Credit: Natasha's Kitchen
- 2/3 cup honey or add to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange juice freshly squeezed from 1 large orange
- 1 tsp orange zest lightly packed, from the same orange*
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 12 oz cranberries fresh or frozen
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve honey.
- Add 12 oz cranberries and bring to a boil. Once boiling, adjust heat to keep at a low boil and cook 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst and sauce will begin to thicken. A minute or so before turning off the heat, taste for sweetness and add more honey to taste for a sweeter sauce. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken when it cools.
- Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick and cool cranberry sauce to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Recipe credit: the Food Network
- Cooking spray
- 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
- Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
Try Honibe's Liquid Honey for your Thanksgiving recipes! 100% pure Canadian Honey, always natural and always delicious :)
Explore our other natural honey products HERE