Honey is one of the easiest things to substitute when going vegan, as it's just a sweetener with tonnes of replacements that do largely the same job in any recipe. That's why it's so strange that there's apparent confusion over the general vegan stance on honey. Skipping over the fact that honey is nectar that bees have regurgitated into other bees' mouths (why people fight so hard to justify eating vOmIt is beyond me), honey is made by bees, for bees. It takes twelve bee lifetimes to make one teaspoon of honey, so it's not hard to justify simply switching for an alternative sweetener.
Obvious choices are maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, sugar syrup, xylitol and stevia. For recipes that call for the flavour of honey in addition to simply using it as a sweetener, this below method to create a vegan version of honey will do the trick. The finished product is an amber-dark caramel colour, has a high viscosity and holds up well when used as honey! Filling a jar with this liquid gold keeps super well if you'd like to have a nice substitute on hand for when you'd normally use honey/give homemade gifts. Or, make a fresh batch to pour over baklava - this is the honey recipe that I use to make my baklava ice cream (pictured left)!
If you're planning on storing this for a while, be sure to use the non-refrigerated kind of apple juice you can find at the supermarket as the finished product will keep longer. A note on apple juice: some brands use non-vegan products (beef/fish - I KNOW, GROSS RIGHT!?) to filter apple juice so give the brand you pick a quick google search before picking it.
Makes approximately 1 litre/4 cups.
- 2 litres of apple juice (totally fine to use the non-refrigerated kind)
- 4 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon carob syrup
- Bring apple juice to a boil and allow to reduce by half. Remove from stove.
- Bring 1 litre of water to a boil before stirring in white sugar, continue stirring for about 3 minutes until sugar dissolves. Add the apple juice back in.
- Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes before stirring in carob syrup. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into jars for storage.