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How to Make ’Honey’ Chili Garlic Cauliflower


Honey is Not Vegan… 

…it is the partially digested and regurgitated nectar of flowers. In simpler words, it’s bee product meant to provide food for bees through the winter. There are plenty of health and ethical reasons to avoid honey, whether you’re vegan or not:

1. Most honey comes from mass-scale producers who treat their hives with antibiotics.

2. Beekeepers often burn hives afflicted with disease in response to disease outbreaks.

3. Migratory Beekeeping means that bees consume mono-cultured crops and are more prone to contamination with pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. 

4. While taking honey from hives, some bees get crushed and die.

5. Once honey has been taken from hives, it is substituted with corn syrup, which isn’t as nutritious for the bees.
6. Honey is the third most adulterated food globally- following milk and olive oil.




Migratory Beekeeping is Unethical for Bees

There are arguments over how ‘vegan’ crops like avocados, almonds, and many other crops are since they are pollinated by migratory beekeeping. According to a Washington Post article, migratory beekeeping is essential for farmers, enabling pollination of 1/3 of total crops produced. However, it also means that bees end up in portable hives that are trucked from one farm to another, with only one variety of crops to collect nectar and pollen from. This is harmful to bees since natural habitats would otherwise have more diverse food sources for bees. It also means that when the bloom season for the crop is over, there is nothing to eat, meaning the bees experience swings of food gluts and scarceness of food.



PETA has acknowledged that migratory beekeeping is exploitive and harmful to bees. Still, since the practice is so widespread, it is nigh impossible to avoid eating produce pollinated using the technique. Instead, they advocate avoiding using honey, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and other products from honey bees since this is a much easier purchasing decision. Ultimately, veganism should strive to make positive changes whenever reasonably possible.




Vegan Honey Substitutes

What are some solid plant-based alternatives?

1. DIY White or Brown Sugar Syrup (5 parts sugar to 1 part water)

2. Light Corn Syrup

3. Dark Corn Syrup

4. Stevia/Liquid Stevia 

4. Maple Syrup

5. Molasses (not blackstrap)

6. Agave Nectar

7. Date Paste

8. Coconut Nectar/Sugar

9. Barley Malt Syrup







‘Honey’ Chili Garlic Cauliflower

‘Honey’ Chili Garlic Cauliflower

Yield: 3-4 Servings
prep time: 20 M cook time: 10 M total time: 30 M


  • 1/2 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 3 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying


How to cook Sweet Chili Garlic Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oil for deep frying over the stove. Cut cauliflower into individual, bite sized florets.
  2. Mix 4 tbsp corn starch with baking soda, salt, rice flour, and white pepper into a slurry.
  3. When oil is hot enough, a wooden spoon or chopstick placed it it will have little bubbles form around it.
  4. Dip florets in slurry mixture and put it directly into the oil and fry for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Drain excess oil and keep aside.
  6. To make the sauce, mix brown sugar, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce, garlic powder, rice vinegar, soy/tamari sauce, water and white sesame seeds together.
  7. Put the sauce in a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat till the sauce bubbles and thickens.
  8. Add fried florets to the same saucepan and stir to coat them all in the sauce over heat for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Serve with rice or noodles and enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator



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Indira Giri

Indira Giri

Hello there!

I’m Indira (Indi) Giri, born and raised in the Chicagoland suburbs. I’m currently working on my Master’s degree in Public Health at Purdue University Global, and look forward to graduating in the summer of 2022.

I was fortunate enough to be able to live and study abroad in India while earning my medical degree from M.S. Ramaiah Medical College. I’m now shifting my career from clinical practice to one in domestic and global public health policy.

My hobbies include gardening (with my dogs who love to ‘help’ me dig holes), crochet, and DIY projects. I also love cooking and baking different dishes from around the world and traveling whenever I can.

So far I’ve been to 9 different countries, and hope to visit more in the future!

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