Honey and evaporated cane juice are both natural sweeteners with distinct characteristics. Honey, produced by bees from plant secretions or the secretions of insects, is a sweet and viscous substance that nourishes bee colonies. On the other hand, evaporated cane juice is derived from sugar cane and is less processed than conventional white sugar. It retains more trace minerals, making it a somewhat healthier alternative to white sugar for use in baked goods. Considering these differences, which sweetener is ultimately better for you? Let’s find out.
Comparing Evaporated Cane Juice vs Honey
|Evaporated Cane Juice
|1 cup: ½-¾ cup honey
|½-¾ cup: 1 cup evaporated cane juice
|Raw and unpasteurized in moderation
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)
|Best for baking
|Most desserts and sweet baked goods with a light, molasses flavor.
|Flaky pastries and dense sweet breads
Differences Between Evaporated Cane Juice And Honey
Honey is a natural sweetener with numerous health benefits. It contains sugars like fructose and glucose, along with water, vitamins, and minerals. Honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a versatile ingredient.
On the other hand, organic evaporated cane juice is derived directly from milled sugar cane using a single-crystallization process. It is also sometimes referred to as raw sugar or cane sugar. Unlike honey, it does not contain the same antibacterial or anti-inflammatory properties. The manufacturing process for organic evaporated cane juice and refined sugar differs, although both are made from the liquid extracted from crushed cane stalks.
Organic evaporated cane juice is used as a sweetener in baking and confectionary recipes. It can also sweeten beverages like lemonade, tea, coffee, oatmeal, and porridge. On the other hand, honey is not only used as a sweetener but also as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent. It can be consumed orally to treat coughs or used topically to treat burns and promote wound healing.
Taste and Culinary Uses
Honey and evaporated cane juice are two sweeteners that bring unique flavors to various foods and beverages. Beyond sweetness, honey offers a diverse flavor profile ranging from floral and fruity to smoky, woody, spicy, nutty, or earthy, depending on the nectar source. This wide range of flavors adds depth and complexity to dishes where honey is used, enhancing casseroles, sauces, dressings, and other sweet and savory creations. Whether it’s in baking, tea, coffee, cookies, cake, brownies, pancakes, pastries, cereal, bread, scones, desserts, or pie, honey’s versatility shines through, providing both flavor and texture.
Similarly, evaporated cane juice, with its almost identical flavor to traditional sugar, can be used as a sweetener in nearly anything. It works well in cooking, baking, and sweetening beverages.
Evaporated cane juice blends well in beverages like smoothies, cocktails, and homemade lemonades, adding a hint of natural sweetness.
Are Evaporated Cane Juice and Honey Substitutes for Each Other?
You can substitute honey for evaporated cane juice by following this guide:
1. Opt for using less honey, as it is sweeter than evaporated cane juice sugar. Replace approximately ½ to ¾ cup of honey for every cup of sugar stated in the recipe.
2. For recipes that call for granulated sweetener but you choose to use a liquid substitute (such as using honey instead of sugar), remember to reduce the liquid content by 1/8 to 1/4 cup for every cup of liquid sweetener used. In some cases, increasing the amount of flour may be more effective than decreasing the liquid.
3. Conversely, when substituting a granulated sweetener (like sugar) for a liquid sweetener (like honey) in a recipe, add 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe for every cup of sweetener used.
4. When baking with honey or maple syrup, it is advisable to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because honey and maple syrup are prone to caramelization and tend to burn quicker than granulated sweeteners.
Nutritional Profile And Health Benefits
- Name: Honey
- Serving size: 1 tbsp.
- Calories: 60
- Total carbs: 17 g
- Sugars: 17 g
- GI: 58
- Name: Evaporated cane juice
- Serving size: 1 tsp.
- Calories: 15
- Total carbs: 4 g
- Sugars: 4 g
- GI: 43-55
Honey possesses therapeutic properties due to its phytochemical, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. It contains bioactive molecules like flavonoids and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants.
Evaporated cane juice contains essential minerals such as copper, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C.
Honey is not considered vegan due to its origin and production process. Bees collect nectar from flowers and store it in their hives as a long-lasting food source. Although honey is rich in sugars and carbohydrates, consuming it can disrupt ketosis, making it not allowed on the ketogenic diet. On the other hand, unadulterated raw honey aligns with the principles of a paleo lifestyle as it is considered a whole food. However, pasteurized honey, which undergoes heat processing, is less recommended in a paleo-oriented diet.
Bone char, often used to process sugars like cane sugar, white sugar, and brown sugar, may not align with vegan principles. Other sugars like molasses, turbinado, and evaporated cane juice/syrup are not developed with bone char and are suitable for a vegan diet. Evaporated cane juice is high in carbohydrates and sugar, making it unsuitable for a ketogenic diet. It is also not considered paleo, as refined sugars are not compliant with a paleo diet. Similarly, evaporated cane juice is not allowed on the Whole30 diet.
How to Store Evaporated Cane Juice and Honey
For honey, storing it in sealed glass jars with an airtight lid is crucial, keeping it away from exposure to air. Avoid using non-food plastic or metal containers, which can lead to honey oxidation.
When it comes to evaporated cane juice, store it in a cool, dry, and dark place. An ideal spot would be a pantry or cupboard, away from heat sources like the stove or sunlight. Make sure to seal the bag or container tightly after every use to prevent air and moisture from entering, which helps prevent clumping or hardening.
Price and Availability
Honey is priced from $2.96 per pound, but the cost can vary significantly. Evaporated cane juice is available at $2.19 per pound. Good honey can be found at specialty stores, as can evaporated cane juice.
Regarding the environmental impact of sweeteners, honey stands out as a sustainable and natural choice. Beekeeping has a low greenhouse gas emissions footprint compared to other farming practices. It doesn’t require the use of tractors or large machines for harvest, and it doesn’t rely on fertilizers. The process of bringing honey from the hive to your cupboard is relatively simple, reducing its overall environmental impact.
On the other hand, sugarcane production has significant environmental consequences. Sugarcane production often pollutes freshwater ecosystems with silt, fertilizers, and chemical sludge from mills. In areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and Mesoamerican Reef, these contaminants flow into the sea, causing damage to coral ecosystems. Additionally, sugar mills produce wastewater, emissions, and solid waste, all contributing to environmental pollution. The decomposition of massive quantities of plant matter and sludge from mills in freshwater bodies leads to oxygen depletion, resulting in the death of aquatic life.
Evaporated Cane Juice vs. Honey: The Ultimate Verdict
Evaporated cane juice is better than white table sugar, but does it beat honey? I’m going to say no on this one. Why? Because honey is easier to find, can be used medicinally, and has a lower ecological footprint. Plus, honey has naturally occurring antibacterial and antifungal properties that evaporated cane juice does not. Both are better than white table sugar, but honey is the clear winner if you had to choose one over the other.
Sugar and honey add sweetness to your kitchen creations, but studies indicate that honey offers greater potential health advantages compared to traditional forms of sugar, such as granulated and cane.
Evaporated cane juice offers a healthier option in comparison to refined sugar. Despite both being derived from sugar cane, evaporated cane juice undergoes minimal processing, maintaining a greater nutrient content than refined sugar.
Substitute 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of liquid for 1 cup of honey. The liquid can be either water or a liquid specified in the recipe.