Honey, particularly the Manuka variety, is considered to have antibacterial properties, and it can be used for wound healing. It's also found in body care products, as it's considered soothing and nourishing for the skin. However, the vast majority of honey varieties are used to sweeten and flavour foods. Whether you enjoy the floral notes of orange blossom, Heather or alfalfa honey or the subtle herbal notes of acacia or chamomile honey, there are plenty of ways to enjoy honey aside from drizzling it over your yogurt and granola. Here are three ways you can use honey in your kitchen:
Pasteli is a sweet sesame seed and honey bar that's popular in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean, particularly in Greece. It's a delightfully satisfying combination of sticky, crunchy and chewy, and it couldn't be simpler to make. Honey and sesame seeds are boiled together until the mixture starts to resemble toffee. It's then poured into a shallow pan and allowed to set before being cut into slices. Any honey will make delicious pPasteli, but wildflower, apple blossom and orange blossom varieties will add a subtle spring aroma and complement the flavour of the sesame seeds.
Honey And Herb-Brined Chicken
Lemon and garlic roast chicken might be a classic dish, but why not try something different next time you cook a whole chicken? This dish involves steeping your chicken overnight in a subtly sweet, herby brine of fresh sage, bay leaves, honey, salt and water. For a medium chicken use a litre of water with 100g each of honey and fine sea salt, 6-8 sage leaves and two bay leaves. Remove the chicken from the brine and roast it as you normally would. Mild varieties of honey, such as clover and acacia, work best for this dish, as they do not overpower the delicate flavour of the poultry.
Spicy Papaya Slaw
Using fresh green papaya, sweet mango, roasted peanuts and serrano chilies, this slaw is a real treat for your taste buds and is served with a honey vinaigrette with fresh lime juice to balance the heat from the chilies. For this recipe, try a strong honey, such as buckwheat, avocado or basswood, to prevent the flavour being lost amongst the other bold flavours in the dish.
These are just a few suggestions of how honey can be used to add sweetness and a unique flavour to dishes. There's such a wide variety of honey to try, so have fun experimenting and discovering new favourites to keep in your larder.
For more inspiration and tips for cooking with honey, contact Bee Australian!