For years, I've been perfectly happy using agave as a vegan substitute for honey. I'm certainly not one of those agave haters. Hell, even if agave is unhealthy as some "health vegans" claim, it's practically kale compared to some of the other crap I eat (Oreos, chips, beer, that giant slice of Stephanie's amazing vegan Snickers cake that I ate earlier). But let's face it — agave does not taste like honey. Kind of. But not really.
Enter Bee-Free Honee. This stuff actually tastes like honey, and it's pretty much replaced my agave! And, unlike honey, this stuff is not made from bee vomit. Instead, it's made from apples, and that's so much more humane and appealing. I tried the original bee-free honee and reviewed it long ago. And ever since, I've been hooked. I order this stuff from Vegan Essentials whenever I run out. I'd recently ordered a bottle of the original flavor when I got an email from Katie at Bee-Free Honee asking I'd review her four new flavors.
From left to right, there's Mint, Slippery Elm, Ancho Chili, and Chocolate.
You can use Honee all kinds of ways, but each bottle of the flavored honees has suggestions. I used those to guide me. The Mint Honee bottle suggests using it in tea, as a glaze or vinaigrette, or over ice cream or yogurt. I went the simple route and added a little to some hot tea, but I failed to take a picture! Out of all the new flavored honees, I think the mint one has the most pronounced flavor but it's not over-powering.
The Slippery Elm Honee isn't just flavored, it also promotes wellness. Slippery elm is a Native American tree, and the inner bark is believed to have curative properties. The makers of Bee-Free Honee suggest using the Slippery Elm Honee in hot tea or over oatmeal to soothe a sore throat. It can also help with tummy trouble or nausea. I occasionally get a little hoarse, even when I'm not sick. So a few weeks ago, I put it to the test in this cold Slippery Elm Green Tea. It really helped! And it tasted great!
I was really excited to try the Ancho Chili Honee because I love all things spicy. But after tasting it, I discovered that it really isn't all that spicy-hot. It does have a warming effect though, and you can taste the flavor of the chili. The bottle suggests trying it over plain yogurt, ice cream, or on top of sopapillas, biscuits, crackers, or cheese (vegan, of course!). I tried it over plain Soy Yogurt with Granola and Strawberries. May seem like a strange combo, but man was it good! Just the right amount of sweetness for the tart berries with a slight warming effect.
But of course my very fave was the Chocolate Honee! As soon as I opened the package, I knew exactly what I'd do with it. One of my all-time fave breakfasts is nut butter on toast, but I usually buy the natural, unsweetened nut butter. So it needs a little somethin'. This Toast with Almond Butter and Chocolate Bee-Free Honee was the perfect breakfast.
Bee-Free Honee is sold in select stores around the country, but we don't have it in Memphis. But you can order it from Vegan Essentials or Pangea. Even Amazon sells it but only in packs of four. Of course, you'll need four bottles anyway so ...