Knowledge Base > Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Char Nolan - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Char Nolan in her virtual office as she welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to ask anything – from cooking techniques to cou… Read More.



I'm curious about honey as a sweetener as I have not seen it mentioned as a sugar substitute or sweetener substitute in the FOK course.?

— Donna Hanley


So it's a very easy answer, and that is because, um, it is an animal product. It comes from bees. And if you are living a vegan plant-based life, you will not use honey. Now, I know a lot of, uh, ethical vegans will call them who would never, ever think of using honey. And then I know some people who do use honey because it's locally sourced. It has lead a lot of, um, medicinal properties. Uh, if you have allergies using locally sourced honey is one of the best things. And this is where I would encourage anyone that if you are using honey to always check its source, because lots of times you'll see a, um, a honey that's sourced in Brazil, Ecuador, and Florida. And so, um, the, the local pollen that are in the flowers in your neighborhood will help with your allergies and other things. I have lived in foreign countries where honey is used medicinally topically for burns and wounds and things like that. But that's the reason why honey is not mentioned. Generally in our assignments, you'll see maple syrup, you'll see agave, which is sourced from cactus, or you'll see date syrup, which is also referred to as clon. And um, this is, um, there's a company called Date Lady and she has a plethora of really great items, including her date syrup. But this is a sweet chili sauce that's got chili in it, apple cider vinegar and, uh, date syrup. So it's really good to use on, um, Mexican dishes or any kind of Latin dish. Or sometimes I'll use it instead of using a balsamic glaze on some dishes, I'll use this and it just has a little kick of heat to it. Uh, and that works out really well. The other part about it is that, um, maple syrup and, um, date syrup, for example, do have, uh, a lot of nutrients in them. Uh, b honey does too, but I think that, um, the, uh, date syrup and maple syrup are a little bit more nutrient dense. So Donna, um, try the date syrup. Uh, there is a company in, uh, California called Rancho Mead Duco, and it's a woman owned date farm. And the woman who owns it is, uh, named Joan Smith, and she's a busy mother of three and she now has her own date farm. And, uh, I have been ordering my dates from her for years. I've made date paste from her dates. I make date syrup from her dates. But, uh, you can always go to a place like date lady. Uh, you can get it online anywhere. And, um, many, many, uh, grocery stores, like Whole Foods, uh, do sell the date lady products. Also date sugar and maple sugar, which are also both very good. Um, if I, when I do bake, uh, I will use maple or date sugar so that the texture of the batter remains the same as it would if it were being made with a regular granulated sugar.
Char Nolan

Char Nolan

Chef Instructor