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Substitutes for Honey

Fitday Editor

Honey can be a great addition to a variety of different foods as well as a natural sweetener that can replace sugar. Although this is a wonderful option, there are some people who need an alternative to honey. You may not have honey available in your home, it might be too expensive, you could be allergic, or you simply just want to try something new. Whatever the reason, it is nice to know about the many substitutes for honey that exist. Some honey substitutes include maple syrup, molasses, light/dark corn syrup, rice syrup, barley malt syrup, and agave nectar.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is collected from maple trees. This syrup is low in fructose, which makes it a healthier option as a sweetener. It also is a great source of zinc and manganese, a nutrient that promotes strong bones and maintains normal blood sugar levels. There are many versions of maple syrup imitations that are sold in many supermarkets. These imitations do not cost as much as real maple syrup, but they do typically contain high fructose corn syrup, which has been known to contribute to a variety of health problems.


Known for its extremely thick texture, molasses is another natural substitute for honey. It is the leftover syrup from the extraction of sugar crystals from the boiled juice of a sugar cane. Molasses has a sweet taste that can range from mild to full in flavor.

Light/Dark Corn Syrup

Corn syrups are used in foods like cookies, candies, crackers and canned fruits. It is a natural sweetener that is made from cornstarch. The great feature about corn syrup is that it does not crystallize like syrup. Also, it keeps foods fresh longer and very moist. Dark corn syrup has a mild molasses taste and is very common in barbecue recipes.

Rice Syrup

Rice syrup is another natural sweetener that can replace honey in appropriate recipes. It is made from cooked rice which is fermented to turn the starches into sugars. Rice syrup tends to have nutty flavor notes so it is important to be cautious when adding it to certain recipes. It is not as sweet as other sugars, but you might want to consult a doctor before consuming it if you are diabetic. Rice syrup has the ability to raise blood sugar levels.

Barley Malt Syrup

This type of syrup is a dark and rich natural sweetener that is made by melting barley grains. As it is malting, the grains then create maltose which is a type of sugar. Barley malt syrup is commonly used in making beer.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is made from the blue agave that grows in southern Mexico. This is a plant that looks like a cactus. The taste is very similar to honey, but unlike other kinds of sweeteners, it does not have a bitter aftertaste.

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