Some people love to cook. Others hate it. Some are good at it. Others can’t even make toast. But the one thing we all have in common is that we need to eat one way or another. So no matter who does it, the cooking has to happen. And there is a lot that goes into preparing something to eat.
Will it taste good? Is it healthy? How much work does it take to prepare? How much work does it take to clean up? Do you have the necessary ingredients? If not, what does it cost to get the ingredients? Will there be leftovers? And the list goes on.
One way of cooking that is growing in popularity is to use honey in a wide variety of meals. Take a look at these things you need to know about cooking with honey.
Cooking With Honey
Honey brings a different flavor to just about any kind of food — everything from appetizers to baked goods, to the sauce you put on your food. Here are the important things to remember when you are going to use honey in your cooking.
Honey Is Good For You
Honey is good for your body before you workout and safe to add to your diet if you have diabetes, but that is not all. Research shows that honey is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent that can be used to treat ulcers, burns, and other wounds.
It can also be a good cough suppressant. For kids that are at least two years of age, two teaspoons of honey before bed can help reduce their coughing during the night so they get better sleep. Honey also is effective as the active ingredient (dextromethorphan) in over-the-counter cough suppressants.
Honey Is A Sugar Substitute
Many bakers choose to substitute honey for sugar in their baked goods. Recommendations for the use of honey instead of 1 cup of sugar are — use 2 tablespoons less than 1 cup of honey, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and reduce another liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons.
Start out using mild-flavored honey and if it turns out that your new version is better than the original you might want to try other kinds of honey too! Just keep in mind that when you make this substitution, it will have some impact on the texture.
Crystallized Honey Is Not Bad
Sometimes people confuse crystallized honey with honey that has gone bad. Don’t be alarmed if your honey is firm and has white in it. This does not mean it is too old, impure, or spoiled. It is just crystallized. It is caused by being exposed to oxygen. With proper heating, your honey will return to that golden liquid you love.
You can heat the honey in a pot of hot water (don’t put it over direct heat on the stove). Then you can scoop the honey into a bowl and put it in the microwave. Put it on the lowest setting and warm the honey until it is slightly melted around the edges. Then let the honey sit at room temperature.
- Store it at room temperature. Honey should be stored somewhere that is cool and dry — like in a pantry. Do not store honey in the refrigerator or it will crystalize faster.
- Use cooking spray. Make your cleanup easy by lightly coating the measuring cup or spoon with some cooking spray before adding honey to your cooking. This makes it slide off the spoon easily and leaves no sticky mess.
When you are thinking about how to use honey in cooking, don’t limit yourself to just as a substitute for sugar. Honey can be used in place for more than just sugar. Consider using honey in place of these other sweeteners.
- Molasses. When you do this, use the exact same amount of honey as you would molasses. Your resulting flavor and color will be lighter.
- Corn syrup. In this case, you’ll use the exact same amount of honey as you would corn syrup. The difference is that you will want to reduce the amount of any other sweet ingredients because honey is sweeter than corn syrup.
- Brown sugar. When you make this substitution, follow the equation for plain table sugar and substitute molasses for some of the honey to maintain your expected flavor. Remember that brown sugar is just white sugar where the molasses hasn’t been completely removed through refinement.
- Raw sugar. Raw sugar is similar to dark brown sugar with smaller crystals and a higher portion of retained molasses. Follow the guidelines for substituting honey for sugar when you do this.
- Treacle. This refers to molasses or any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane. If you are doing this, follow the same guidelines for molasses.
Honey is one of the most versatile options that nature provides. It’s good for the body and good for the taste buds too! Check out our variety of delicious honey right here and then check out these honey tips and recipes to get you started on how to use honey in cooking. Or you can always come to visit us in person at our location just north of Idaho Falls for endless varieties of honey, natural skin care items, artisan food products, gift baskets, and other delightful items.