Besides the health benefits of honey, don’t you think that there is something magical about eating and cooking with a liquid gold, sweet ingredient which comes from bees and flowers?
In an era where food has become more refined and industrialized and has lost its more natural state, people are eating enormous quantity of different foods but they are not actually giving fuel and nutritional substances to their bodies.
Food should provide minerals and vitamins necessary for the body to function at its full and best potential, many packaged foods however are merely “empty calories” and refined sugar.
Refined sugar can be easily replaced with other more nutritional ingredients such as: Stevia, good quality organic maple syrup and honey. The health benefits of honey are far greater than many artificial sweeteners. Besides there is a variety of qualities available: one for any individual taste.
You can choose among many different kind: personally I like lavender honey but also citrus fruits honey and chestnut honey. Other kinds of honey that I find delicious and beneficial are: lime, rosemary and dandelion.
I want you to know that in Italy, where I live, there are a set of plants and herbs which together form what is known as the Mediterranean Maquis. Some of these herbs are: thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, myrtle, juniper, olive trees and many others. But also fragrant herbs like oregano and basil which have lots of health benefits.
This set of plants, the Mediterranean Maquis, consequently generate a very tasteful kind of honey. The health benefits of honey, of Mediterranean herbs honey are limitless.
Here is the picture of a typical Mediterranean garden where you can see the set of plants that form the Mediterranean Maquis:
Honey it’s so versatile that you can use it to cure some health issues, to cook and prepare delicious recipes, both sweet and salted, or you can simply use it as a sweetener for your tea.
- Health benefits of honey water
I personally like to start my day with a glass of warm water some drops of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. The health benefits of honey and lemon are related to the cleaning effect that this beverage has on the body.
Drinking a glass of honey and lemon water in the morning – before breakfast – is a way to detoxify, re-hydrate and cleanse the body. So one of the health benefits of honey, if mixed with warm water and lemon in the morning, is that you’ll have clearer and more glowing skin as a consequence of the detoxifying effect.
- Other health benefits of honey
Another health benefits of honey is related to the presence of vitamins in this precious ingredient.
Some substances, like germicidina and hydrogen peroxide, function as natural antibiotics which reinforce the immune system.
The health benefits of honey were known even in ancient times in fact it was used by Egyptians and other historical population as a natural medicine.
Some of the most common health benefits of honey are: relief against stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Honey helps in case of sore throat, cough and the general symptoms of a cold.
The heath benefits of honey and more specifically of lavender honey for instance, which is one of my favorite, include: skincare, calming effects and antibacterial effects.
Citrus fruits honey, like lemon or orange honey, is supposed to have beneficial effects on headaches.
Chestnut honey, which is also one that I really like, has many health benefits including a reinvigorating effect and it is considered as an adjuvant treatment in case of diarrhea.
In case of fatigue, sore muscles and tiredness you can make an herbal beverage with chestnut honey and basil leaves. It will have an invigorating effect on your whole body!
The health benefits of honey and in particular of Eucalyptus honey include urinary and intestinal tracts.
- Other interesting facts about honey
Crystallization natural process
Do you know why honey can be liquid or hard (more creamier and solid)? The fact that you can find different texture of honey is due to the crystallization process. It’s a natural process and there are some type of honey, like chestnut and acacia, that are not affected by crystallization so they never become hard.
I like my honey liquid and smooth ’cause I like to spread it on toasted whole bread or pour it on natural yogurt or even eat it with some cheeses. So I know a way to make it soft and smooth without compromising the quality and the health benefits of it.
It’s called the bain marie. Have you ever heard of it? It’s simply a double boiler so you put water in a saucepan, you bring it to a boil and you put another smaller saucepan in it with your honey jar.
So basically you are heating it up – so that it becomes fluid again – but you are not cooking it.
- Cooking with honey [recipes for you to try]
There are countless ways to use honey for cooking, preparing delicious recipes or just combining it with other foods.
We’ve already mentioned that you can:
- – spread it on toasted whole bread
- – eat it with cheese
- – pour some on top of a natural yoghurt or oatmeal
- – use it as a sweetener for your hot beverages
But let’s see if you can try and use honey to actually cook and prepare mouth-watering recipes with it.
In the small Tuscan village where I live there is a Farmer’s market that Grandma and I enjoy so much where we usually buy all sorts of typical products of our land and honey is one of them.
We like to purchase our honey at the farmer’s market because we know the person who produces it and therefore we know that it’s one of the most genuine we can find and the quality of it is excellent.
In fact you have to pay attention to the quality that you choose otherwise, if it has been artificially modified, all the health benefits of honey that we discussed about can be vain.
Have you ever thought honey and chicken?
Well I have a very special recipe I’d like to share with you today and it’s my:
Honey flavored chicken breast recipe.
chicken breast – one whole piece
one small piece of celery
1 clove garlic
rosemary (2 big twigs)
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup honey
(I like to use rosemary honey for this specific recipe but you can choose the one you prefer)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
- Prepare a sauce for your chicken breast by melting some butter and adding honey to it. Mix, add rosemary and set it aside.
- Finely slice carrots and celery and sauté in a skillet with pealed garlic clove and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add whole chicken breast and rosemary, add salt and cook for 3/4 minutes on both sides on medium-high heat.
- Preheat oven at 400°F.
- Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Transfer chicken breast on the baking pan.
- Pour the sauce you’ve made with butter and honey on top of chicken breast. Add salt and pepper to taste and bake for about 50 minutes, until thoroughly cooked.
But wait! There’s more…I’d like to give you another one of my favorite honey recipes.
These are delicious cookies that Grandma and I make sometimes and then we eat them with our tea in the afternoon, at breakfast or even at night while we watch a movie.
Honey and almonds small cookies
1-1/3 cups almonds (chopped)
1 cup honey (your favorite choice)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
- Preheat oven at 350°F.
- In a bowl mix cocoa powder, honey, egg whites, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt.
- Mix well and blend all the ingredients together.
- Add chopped almonds and gently stir your dough.
- Form small balls with your dough using a spoon and then flatten it (to do so you can use the bottom of a glass and then adjust the edges with your fingers). Cookies should be about a half inch thick.
- Place the cookies, you’ve just made with your dough, on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Check them to make sure you’re not overcooking them and as soon as they are thoroughly cooked you can take them out of the oven.
- Let them cool before you serve them.
- Bottom line
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I loved writing it ’cause you have to know that honey is one of my favorite foods. It makes me feel good and I like to try different types each time.
As you probably know by now, besides the health benefits of honey, there are countless way in which you can incorporate this precious “liquid gold” in your eating habits.
I’d love to hear about the kind of honey you prefer, and how you like to eat it, you can write here below in the comment section. And if you think this article was interesting don’t forget to share it on you favorite social profile.
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