Honey: It must be love
Hi, my name's Georgia and I have an addiction to honey. On cleaning out my pantry, I discovered 5 different jars, all opened and all purchased recently. It's fair to say I do cook with it a lot and it's definitely on my radar when I'm travelling or on the hunt for produce, but 5 jars?! During my moment of clarity I realised all the reasons why I love this golden gift of nature so much. And so, I started typing.
There's no denying it's one of my favourite ingredients, BUT, only if it's raw, unprocessed and pure. Something so perfect doesn't need tampering, but unfortunately certain products can be highly processed, heat treated with additional ingredients added. That just makes me sad! Does it really matter if it crystallises or hardens and we can't squeeze it through a squeezey novelty-shaped bottle? Use a spoon people! Before anyone messes with it and kills its goodness, honey has a pretty impressive lineup of benefits - a very decent nutritional profile, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's been used by humans medicinally for thousands of years, not only to ingest but also topically. Respect!
So, it's a natural healing agent, but it also tastes like heaven. Did you know that not all honey tastes the same? Depending on where the bees source their pollen and nectar from ultimately determines the flavour and the colour of the honey! I could go on a massive rant about my respect level for bees, because they seriously blow my mind, but I will stick to the brief (honestly though, Google it - or if you're not into research or documentaries, watch Bee Movie, with Jerry Seinfeld, it's animated, funny AND educational).
So because it tastes so wonderful and I clearly have a slight obsession, I'm always thinking of different ways to use it in the kitchen. Obviously heating it isn't great, but I do believe starting with the whole ingredient is better than not. My advice is to try not to heat it and add it to your recipe afterwards.
Of course my reflection time resulted in a new recipe! I put together a little brunch/dessert, I guess you could call it a bressert or a dunch? Dench? Berch? You get the idea. I took a little homemade labneh (strained yoghurt), pieces of fresh peach, nectarine and pineapple, rolled oats, almonds and pepitas that I had toasted gently in a little butter and sprinkled with salt flakes, and arranged it on the plate. I wanted to use some marigold petals from my garden because I often see the bees hovering around them and I think it ties the story together nicely - plus the colour palette is beautiful and golden! To finish it off - the piece de resistance, a generous drizzle of honey all over the beautiful fruit and granola. It was successfully delicious!
I will exit my honey-appreciation rant with some suggestions for cooking with it at home for you. Flavour wise, honey magically lends itself to savoury or sweet. I'd love to hear your favourite recipes or ways that you love to use it? You never know, this blog could be the very beginning of a Honey Appreciation Society.
If you didn't know that not all honey is pure and unprocessed, check your labels or even better, find a local supply! How special it is to eat honey from your own backyard, literally.
Thanks for reading, honeys.