By far the most amazing find on my vacation in NYC was a restaurant/coffee bar, Hu Kitchen, that had only natural sweeteners made easy to use as ‘simple syrups.’
What is Simple Syrup?
A simple syrup is simply granulated sugar dissolved in water. Simple syrups are used to make cocktails and to flavor coffee. You can also add flavors by adding extracts (such as vanilla) or essences (like peppermint oil or even fruit flavors) once the syrup is cooked, making it very versatile! Typically simple syrup is made with cane sugar.
Hu Kitchen serves only real food and this is what they had to say on their use of sweeteners:
I couldn’t agree more.
It is important to look deeper when considering sweeteners. I always ask myself this question: Was this sweetener used traditionally or is it a processed food product? My favorite traditional and natural sweeteners are maple syrup, raw honey, coconut or palm sugar, and maple sugar. For a more in-depth analysis, check out thiscomprehensive guide to the full spectrum of sweeteners on the market today, and also this post answering the question as to whether agave is good or bad.
All of this got me thinking…why not make these simple syrups with my favorite natural sweeteners at home to have on hand for use in coffee and cocktails?
How to Make Healthy Simple Syrups
Simple Honey Syrup
- 1 cup raw honey (where to buy)
- 1 cup water
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat, stirring until honey dissolves completely. There is no need to bring it to a simmer.
Remove from heat and let the honey syrup cool completely. Pour into a glass cruet bottle and store in the refrigerator. This should keep for a very long time.
Palm or Coconut Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup Palm Sugar (where to buy)
- 1/3 cup water
Place water in a small saucepan and warm until simmering. Stir in palm sugar until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. Pour into a glass cruet jar and store in the refrigerator. This one should also keep for a while.
Once the syrups are cooled you can add various flavors like vanilla or peppermint. The flavor options are truly endless for making flavored coffees and drinks!
Shannon Baukhages says
Now,if I can just find a good natural hazelnut flavoring, making one of these syrups will help me avoid the artificial flavorings in my weekly latte indulgence.
I would like to make some fruit syrups like cherry and pomgranite to add to my tea. Do you have a recipe for fruit syrups? Thank you.
I love these, I make them all the time with coconut sugar and brewed loose leaf tea instead of water. The flavors are endless
I’m not sure why you’d need to make honey into a syrup since it’s already in pourable liquid form.
Lindsey G. says
There are times when you need something thinner. For mixed drinks or for snow cones for example. Have fun with it!
Amanda G says
Jessica, the pourable liquid honey that you buy from the grocery is not as beneficial or healthy for you as raw honey. And raw honey is not pourable!!! 😛 Thanks for the ideas Lindsey G.!!!! Will have to make some when I find a raw honey locally sourced 🙂
raw honey is very much pourable! buy honey from a local beekeeper and learn about how they harvest, how they treat their bees, etc. different nectar sources provide different honeys with different properties! sorry, just tired of people getting sold a bill of goods – seems like some seller of creamed honey has branded themselves “the raw honey people” by convincing the foodies that “raw” is the produce they provide….I’ve watched people argue with beekeepers, myself included, that raw honey is crystalized, dark, doesn’t dissolve, etc.
I poured a gallon of my own raw honey today- it was very pourable, as well as coming from hives that were never medicated or fed corn syrup
also, when you heat the honey for your syrup – it’s no longer raw, so why heat it? it will dissolve in the water anyway!
Hello, I’m new to this site so if I’m asking a FAQ sorry! I enjoyed reading about making your simple syrups. What are your thoughts on the sweetener Stevia/liquid Stevia (my favorite, I find the powder leaves an after taste).
Thanks for your time,
Lindsey G. says
I am not a huge fan of the taste of stevia either. It tastes a bit like chemicals. I think whole fresh stevia from the garden is nice. I don’t use it in my recipes though.
Jaclyn M says
When you say add peppermint or vanilla, are you just talking about pure extracts? Or would you actually add vanilla bean or mint leaves? About how much would you suggest adding?
Lindsey G. says
Use your imagination. I think you can use either. I don’t have exact amounts – would depend on your taste for these flavors. I would recommend experimenting with them and seeing what you like!
Nadyne Tremblay says
Palm sugar (coconut sugar) is better for health, but is a disaster for farmers. You should read a bit about it… and stop using and recommanding it.
Lindsey G. says
Based on the research done, I disagree. That being said – I maybe go through one bag a year because I tend to use raw honey and maple syrup more often.
Here is some further reading which might help you: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/coconut-sugar-a-healthy-and-sustainable-sweetener/
Hey! I use coconut sugar and honey for everything! And a lot of pure maple syrup too! Why do you use only 1/3 cup of water with a cup of coconut sugar though? I’m about to try and want to make sure I make it perfect for my lattes! Going to revolutionize my mornings! Thanks!!!