Friday, July 2, 2010

When substituting honey in place of sugar

Honey can easily be substituted for sugar in almost any recipe.  Because honey retains water, recipes made with honey tend to remain moister longer than similar products made with sugar or other sweeteners.
Some minor adjustments may need to be made to a recipe when substituting honey for sugar:
1. Use equal amounts of honey for sugar up to one cup.  More than one cup, replace each cup of sugar with 2/3 to 3/4 cup over honey depending upon the amount of sweetness you want to achieve. 
2. Lower the baking temperature 25 degrees and watch your time carefully since recipes with honey get brown faster.
3. In recipes using more than one cup honey for sugar, you may need to reduce the amount of other liquid by 1/4 cup per cup of honey.
4. In baked goods, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of honey if baking soda is not already included in the recipe. This will reduce the acidity of the honey, as well as increase the volume of your product.
Honey is a little sweeter than sugar, but is a sugar that your body processes better than sugar.  Its less likely to make spike your blood sugar which results in you crashing a little while later.  Sugar can be used to preserve other things.  Tombs in ancient Egypt have been opened with jars of honey that weren't spoiled!


Whenever there is a buy-one-get-one kind of deal at the grocery store, I try to take advantage of it within reason.  A couple months ago blueberries were on sale so I bought a couple pints and threw them in the freezer.  Last night I decided they had been in there long enough and made a pie with half of them.  I'm not ecstatic over the results, but it was still good.  Here is the recipe I used, based off of The Backyard Homestead book (which I love and highly recommend!):
1/2 c honey
1 t baking soda (a must when you use honey to balance out the pH)
1/4 c sugar (because I didn't have 3/4 c of honey)
3 T corn starch
1 pint (2 c) blueberries
1/4 c water
Toss everything in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens and clears.  Then pour in a prebaked pie crust (thrown in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes before hand) and bake an additional 12-15 minutes.

Here's what I will do next time:
add: 1 T lemon juice and maybe a 1 T butter.
Remove: 1 T cornstarch and maybe 1/4 c sugar.

It was a little too sweet, it definitely needed the lemon juice and could pry still stand to lose some of the sugar.