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Friday, September 16, 2011

Sugar-free Honey (LC, GF, SF)

So, lately I’ve been obsessed with honey. Or should I say the recreation thereof.

I’ve tried so many honey flavorings and been disappointed that I’ve lost count. I’ve tried a host of sugar-free honey substitutes and have either been disappointed in the flavor and texture or couldn’t tolerate them (the mighty maltitol!)

I love the consistency of  Honey Tree’s Sugar Free imitation honey (available in grocery stores. I got mine at Wal-Mart I think) - it’s thick and sticky and the taste even though not intensely like honey, could count as close enough. But it’s essentially maltitol syrup and I can barely cope with tiny amounts, never mind the amount I might need to have some honey on toast or a little in tea or drizzled over some yogurt.

I also tried a commercial xylitol honey substitute and well, let’s just say that the only thing that actually reminded me of honey, was the bear squeezy bottle it came in!

Honey is just not an easy thing to imitate, especially while also keeping it low-carb and the gastric distress to a minimum.

So, I thought I’d try and use some of the real thing for flavor, borrow some of the texture of the commercial imitation honey and fill the rest with a more acceptable sugar substitute.


The result was quite good!



It tastes a LOT like actual honey, the carb count is much reduced, and the texture is like thick runny honey! And considering that I only use a couple of  teaspoons  full here and there, the gastric side effects are non-existent!



1/4 cup xylitol

1 tsp raw honey (get one with a really intense flavor)

2 tbsp. HoneyTree’s Sugar Free Imitation Honey

1 packet of Sweet One  (optional)



Combine all ingredients in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Let everything melt and keep on stirring it. It will start to bubble quite vigorously, go with it! Let it bubble for about 2 minutes, then take off the heat.

Let cool for about 10 minutes and then pour into a glass jar.  Let it cool completely! It will thicken quite a bit!


{See all the thick sticky goodness?}


Makes about 1/3 of a cup of sugar-free “honey”. The carb count depends on how much you count for the sweeteners and what kind of honey you used! 1 tsp of honey usually ranges in the 6-8 g of carbs area.


  • If you don’t want to use the maltitol and can take the higher carb count, you could also just use the raw honey and xylitol, melt it in the saucepan and “stretch” the honey a bit that way! It will make for a slightly darker product but it has a nice intense honey flavor!
  • If you happen to have some of those xylitol imitation bottles in your pantry too and you are looking for a way to use them up, add 2 tbsp. to the recipe above and boil it with the rest of the ingredients. It gives you even more of a “honey” yield, and it takes on the honey flavor and texture of the other ingredients!


Note:  Much like regular honey, once this cools down and sits in the jar for a day or two, there will be a little recrystallizing. It isn’t hard like erythritol however, it is more like creamy white honey and a quick nuke in the microwave, or a dip of the jar in some boiling water to warm it up gently, will take care of that.

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  1. Aw mah Gawd! Your blog is so pretty! It's like a Calgon moment in muted colors.

  2. Thank you Birgit for your wonderful blog.
    Also thank you for the heads up on maltinol.
    I thought my wife was the only one intolorant of the carb substitute products. (Carbalose, inulin, dreamfields, chickoryroot, etc)
    Going to give your brownies a try today with the chocolate cream. Fingers crossed that doesn't have a problem with any of the ingredients.
    Also have you tried baking the choux coated cod?
    Between the cost of oil and trouble maintaining a temperature stove top I am looking for an alternative.

  3. Thanks Lighter side :)

    @ Roy: I think you'll find that a lot of people have nasty reactions to the various sugar alcohols and fibers. I can take a little polydextrose and a little inulin, but sugar alcohols are terrible for me. I do tolerate erythritol with no side effects though, and I can do xylitol in moderation.
    My husband for example can take a bit more of the sugar alcohols but he can't do any of the high fibers. So it's very much a "Your Mileage may vary" kind of thing. But between stevia and erythritol, you can do a lot! And they carry no carbs, so that's an extra bonus! Hope you guys love the brownies :)

  4. As for oven baking the cod - I haven't tried it. But I suspect that it wouldn't work so well. I suspect the fish wouldn't cook through in time and a certain crispy factor would be missing. Eclairs aren't exactly crispy which is definitely a plus on the fish batter!

  5. Oh, another thing I forgot to mention. In terms of the side effects from sugar alcohols, polydextrose, inulin and such. I have found that taking 2 acidophilus pearls within 10 minutes of consuming something that would usually give me hours and days of problems, reduces it all to a dull roar! I have seen other people recommending this and got a chance to try it a few times and it really does work.

  6. I made the honey tonight (double batch) and it is wonderful! It was so thick after boiling a couple of minutes, it was like taffy, so I added a couple of tablespoons of water and reboiled it and it was perfect. I did not add any extra sweetener, it was sweet enough. Really really tastes like honey!

  7. It does, doesn't it! So glad you like it, Dianne!
    I don't use any extra sweetener either anymore. At the time I was comparing it to the real honey I had and thought it needed the extra sweetness to get it to what I was tasting, but I find I don't need it really.
    And I've been adding some of the commercial "honey" stuff that is really just flavored syrup to thin it out a bit too. Gets it to the perfect consistency! Once I'm out of that I will just use water like you!

    I'll be posting quite a few honey based recipes for the holidays!


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Birgit Kerr