August is Bee Aware month here in NZ. Bee numbers are in decline and so the National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand are trying to spread awareness about planting bee-friendly plants and being careful of using pesticides in your gardens. You can find out more about Bee Aware by clicking here.
So when a colleague at work brought in some of her brother’s manuka honey, I quickly grabbed a jar, keen to try out different ways of using it. Manuka honey is a wonderful, creamy honey produced in NZ, and it is said to have heaps of health benefits. This honey came from the Marshwood Apiaries in Kaiwaka.
Here are some ways I have used the honey so far:
Honeyed roast parsnips
All I did for these was roast the parsnips in the oven with a bit of oil until they were nearly cooked. Then I just drizzled some of the honey on top and put them back into the oven until they were golden brown and fully cooked. A great side dish.
Khubz with ricotta cheese and honey
Khubz is a traditional Iraqi flatbread. I made it for breakfast on a Saturday as you can leave it to prove overnight. It was my first attempt at making it and it really didn’t look like the photo in the recipe, but the texture and taste seemed fine! The khubz recipe also had honey in it. I scooped ricotta cheese onto the flatbread and then drizzled it with honey.
Pears with yoghurt, honey and walnuts
This was a quick, tasty and relatively healthy dessert. All I did was peel and slice the pears and then I sauteed them in a little bit of butter and vanilla essence. I then put them in a bowl, spooned over some thick Greek yoghurt, sprinkled on some toasted walnuts and then drizzled it all with some honey. Yummy! I also love having this same combination sans pears as well.
Honey and spice loaf
This is a recipe that came from a book called Cupcakes and Muffins. It’s not actually meant to be a loaf, but I’ve found it to be great sliced with some butter spread on top. It’s a sweet recipe, having both honey and brown sugar in it, but lovely to eat when it’s still warm. Also, it’s very easy to make as you don’t have to cream the butter. Below is the recipe for it, but as individual little cakes.
100g soft light-brown sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground allspice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
24 whole blanched almonds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two 12-hold bun tins with 24 paper cases. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Sift together the flour and allspice and stir into the mixture in the saucepan, then beat in the eggs until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and place an almond on top of each one. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
So anyway, those are some of the things I’ve been doing with honey this month. I’d love to hear from you – what do you like to do with honey?