Honey contains natural antioxidants, so it has a positive benefit in boosting the body’s immune system. Eating honey is also helpful in maintaining a healthy heart. Honey is very versatile, and it is easy to digest. Incorporating sweet and healthful honey into a well balanced diet is not difficult to do.
Depending on the country of origin, and on the plants visited by the bees, honey can have a natural toffee taste, it can taste fruity, or it may have a hint of vanilla. Anyone who claims not to like the taste of honey may change their mind after trying some the many varieties available. Pure single source honey, or honey blended from multiple sources, can be used as a simple cooking ingredient, in many different and interesting ways.
Using Honey in Drinks
Honey is much more than just a substitute for sugar in tea and coffee, it can be part of a much more healthful diet when used to sweeten natural herbal infusions, fruit teas or green tea. These drinks can be enjoyed hot, or can be served chilled. Adding some fresh mint and pieces of fruit to honey-sweet iced tea will make it even more interesting and nutritious.
Pure fruit smoothies are usually sweet enough, but if you blend the fruit with milk or yoghurt, you may want to add a little honey as an extra sweetener. Honey can also be added to unsweetened soy milk for a nutritious drink.
A teaspoon of honey dissolved in boiling water is a good base for drinks taken as a natural health remedy, or for maintaining good health. Try lemon juice and honey, cinnamon and honey, or ginger and honey.
Using Honey in Desserts
Any stewed fruit recipe will be improved by using honey in place of sugar. Most sweet pie fillings and fruit sauces will also be good made with honey.
Runny honey can be used as a healthier substitute in recipes, to replace treacle, molasses, syrup or sugary solutions.
Home made honey ice cream, or natural cream blended with a little honey, can be served with almost any dessert.
Using Honey in Main Course Cooking
Honey glazes can be used not only on ham, but also on vegetables. Boiled carrots and roasted parsnips are the best vegetables for serving with a honey glaze.
Substitute a little honey for the sugar in sweet’n’sour recipes, and use honey to make apple sauce, or any other fruit-based sauces.
A simple honey and mustard salad dressing can be made by mixing a little wholegrain mustard with some honey, and blending this with some cider vinegar.
Honey for Breakfast
Honey is traditionally spread on toast, or on bread rolls, in the morning. It is also an ideal sweetener for all breakfast cereals, and is particularly good with cooked oatmeal.
You can create your own natural breakfast cereal with oats, dried or fresh fruits, nuts and seeds. Add some ice cold milk, or freshly boiled water, and sweeten it with honey.
Honey can be used to sweeten plain yogurt for an instant snack. You could snack on sandwiches filled with sliced or mashed banana and honey. Alternatively you could make a sandwich spread with chopped nuts and some honey, or just spread honey onto slices of bread and then sprinkle on some natural seed mix.