This easy vegan honey recipe is perfect for when you want the taste of honey without using honey. It's made with simple ingredients and makes a great substitute.
More and more honey alternatives are becoming available at grocery stores, but they can still be hard to come by.
That's where this easy honey comes into play. It truly is simple to make but takes some babysitting due to the potential of the sugar to boil over and cause a big mess. But as long as you watch it, you'll be left with a perfect honey substitute.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This is an easy recipe.
- Tastes very close to the real thing with a subtle apple flavor.
- It's made with simple ingredients.
- You can enjoy the flavor of honey without the exploitation of bees.
Ingredients and substitutions
Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
- Chamomile tea bag- this brings floral notes to make it taste more like actual honey. Bees pick up nectar from all sorts of flower heads, which changes the honey flavor.
- Pure apple juice- you're looking for apple juice to be the only ingredient. It doesn't have to be organic apple juice, but it has to be the only ingredient. You can make your own apple juice and strain it if you prefer. But that's more work than I want to go through.
- White sugar- you can use non-bone char white sugar to keep it vegan or use organic sugar here. Only use white sugar, not brown.
- Pure maple syrup- you only want the real stuff. The maple helps bring a different flavor profile. You could substitute this for agave nectar, but I haven't tried it in this recipe.
- Fresh lemon juice- brings that floral flavor you're looking for in honey.
How to make
In a small saucepan on high heat, add your apple juice, and let it come to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and add the tea bag for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard. Then, add your white sugar, maple syrup, and lemon, and stir until combined.
Heat until it starts to boil, then turn it down to a low boil for 25-35 minutes. Watch this carefully; it will boil over very quickly if too hot, but you need it at a low boil. It will coat the back of a spoon well when it's ready and will be reduced by about half of the original volume.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then place it in a heat-safe jar. Let it cool, then place it covered in the fridge.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Be extremely careful when cooking this on the stove. Not only does it get scalding hot it also will boil over and create a giant mess (don't ask me how I know that). I adjusted the temperature frequently as needed, so it didn't boil over.
- Use a clean glass jar to store it. If you want to keep it in the fridge for a few months, sterilize it in boiling water and kill all the germs before placing the hot honey in the jar.
How to Serve-
You can use this just like you would any bee honey.
Here are some ideas;
- In hot drinks, as a liquid sweetner, like in a cup of tea
- Salad dressings
- On toast
- To make vegan honey mustard
- As a glaze
- To make graham crackers
- To make vegan honey butter
- Whatever you need, the flavor or honey in
How to store and freeze
This is best stored in a sterilized glass jar and lid; place in the fridge for up to 1 month, it may last longer, but I haven't tested it.
I have never frozen this, but I think it will freeze well. I would freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Let defrost on the counter, then place covered in the fridge.
Variations and Ad-ons
- You can add orange or other citrus extracts in small amounts for different flavors- they can add a great addition to the flavor.
- Try using different types of apple juice like red apples or green apples, etc.
- You can try different floral teas to change the flavor.
Does vegan honey taste like honey?
Vegan honey alternative tastes pretty darn similar to honey. This tastes a little more on the apple flavor but not overly so.
Why is honey not considered vegan?
Honey bees use their honey in the winter to help them stay alive and give them the energy they need. So, therefore vegan people oftentimes disagree with taking the bee's honey that they need for survival, especially when there are plenty of vegan alternatives.
What are some honey alternatives?
If you don't want to make your own vegan honey, here are some substitutes that don't taste quite like it but will have a similar outcome or consistency-
- Date Nectar
- Maple Syrup
- Golden Syrup
- Coconut Nectar
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Agave Syrup
Recipes you may like
- 1 bag chamomile tea
- 2 cup pure apple juice
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- ½ TB fresh lemon juice
- In a small saucepan on high heat, add your apple juice, let it come to a boil.
- Once it comes, turn the heat down to low and add the tea bag for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard. Then add your white sugar, maple syrup, and lemon, and stir until combined.
- Heat until it starts to boil, then turn it down to a low boil for 25-35 minutes. Watch this carefully; it will boil over very quickly if too hot, but you need it at a low boil. It will coat the back of a spoon well.
- Let it cool for about 10 minutes, then place it in a heat-safe jar. Let it cool, then place it covered and place it in the fridge.
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