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!