Tea and honey is such a natural pairing (especially in the Tea & Honey store) that it's very easy for us to get in a rut of thinking about our honeys solely in relation to our teas.
But honey is beautiful and marvelously diverse in both its flavor and its applications - from gustatory to medicinal. Using honey in cooking and baking is neither new nor particularly groundbreaking, but it is something we've gotten away from doing in modern times. Some popular, food-related honey pairings are fruit and yogurt, peanut butter toast, or on a cheeseboard - and these pairings are pretty obvious once you manage to get yourself out of the Tea & Honey mindset. But where else might we use honey, either in place of sugar or to enhance the flavor of an existing recipe?
Using Honey in Cooking & Baking
Today we're throwing popular and customary to the wind to tell you the best honeys to keep in your kitchen cabinet to use just like you would sugar, spices, and other pantry staples.
Best Honey to Substitute for Sugar - Alfalfa Honey
Alfalfa Honey is our hands-down favorite for a sugar substitute in most recipes. Medium-bodied and sweet but buttery, Alfalfa honey will add a sweet richness to your recipes without darkening the batter or changing your original recipe's flavor profile. In fact, you might even find substituting Alfalfa honey for sugar improves your results!
Best Honey for Grilling - Palmetto or Black Forest
For grill marinades, we like to recommend a darker honey like Palmetto or Black Forest. You will want a honey with a rich enough flavor profile to stand up to the grill, and we love how just a little bit of one of these honeys will deepen and round out your favorite marinade.
Best Honey for Roasting Vegetables - Lemon Tree
Roasted veggies are a dinner-table staple, and while there's nothing wrong with just a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, we like to take our veggie prep to the next level with a little Lemon Tree Honey.
Lemon Tree honey is light with a definite citrusy or even mineral taste and pairs superbly with veggie marinades.
Best Honey for Soups, Stews, & Savory Sauces - Acacia & Buckwheat
Wait, what? Honey in soup or tomato sauces? We promise you that grandma's secret ingredient is probably a dash of sugar she forgets to mention. Instead of adding sugar, we like to include a drizzle of Acacia or Buckwheat honey in our soups, stews, and sauces.
Acacia honey is great for light soups and sauces, while Buckwheat honey will add even more robust and deep flavor to heavy winter soups and stews.
Best Honey for Cocktails - Ghost Pepper or Wild Lavender
The Wild Lavender is particularly delightful in spring and summer gin or vodka cocktails, while Ghost Pepper provides a sweet kick to margaritas or Bloody Marys. (Hint: Ghost Pepper honey is also great in marinades, drizzled on grilled fruit, or over fried chicken!)