Honey is both a classic and a fashionable ingredient.
It can be used as a natural substitute for sugar in most recipes but as it is sweeter than sugar, less is needed. Similarly, as almost one fifth of honey is water, the liquid content of a recipe should be reduced by the same amount. Honey also enriches and adds a subtle flavour to many savoury dishes such as meat casseroles, sauces and dressings.
When used in a marinade, honey will help tenderise meat, and while it is cooking the honey gives a distinctive barbecue flavour to food as it caramelises. Contemporary chefs use honey in many of their dishes - from salad dressings to barbecues, stir fry's, fusion food and delicious desserts.
Just a few of our favourites are outlined here.
Honey Mustard Dill Dressing
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tab water
- 2/3 cup oil
- 1 tab honey
- 1 tab mustard
- 1 tab dill
Honey is nature's natural sweetener, and so easy to use - giving an instant boost to your energy levels. We've come up with quick and simple ways to incorporate honey into all your meals:
- Just spread on piping hot toast - be as generous as you like!
- Add to porridge to supply central heating when the weather starts to cool.
- Natural yoghurt is a healthy start, but can be turned into a real treat with a teaspoon of runny honey stirred in.
- Keep your fruit intake up by making a smoothie, using whatever fruit you choose, some orange juice and a good dollop of honey - should keep you going until lunchtime.
- Fresh bread, sliced and buttered with a layer of beautiful set honey - a simple sandwich that is delicious and quick anytime, especially if you're on the run.
- For a tried and trusted drink to soothe your cold, put a good teaspoon of honey in a mug, add a slice of lemon with a clove or two, top up with very hot water and drink.
- At teatime, toasted crumpets are sublime when combined with honey.
- If you are making pancakes, try using honey instead of syrup or sugar for a natural alternative.
- Using honey in your tea or coffee instead of sugar is a good idea - honey is sweeter than sugar so you need to use less, and it's lower in calories too.
- For a sauce that's not a sauce, top ice cream with honey - a scrummy extra that's no effort.
- To make a speedy pudding, just slice up a banana and drizzle with honey.
- When you need an instant boost to your energy levels, a teaspoon of honey has a great effect - tastes good too!
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Mix all ingredients well. Makes 1 1/3 cup. Serving Tip: Let this stand for a while to absorb the flavours. Its delicious tossed with either fruit or green salads.
Honey Fruit Fondue
- 1 pint sour cream
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 can (8 1/4 ounce) crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
- Assorted fresh fruit
Instructions: Combine all ingredients except fruit. Serve with fruit (Makes 2/1/2 cups).
Honey Mustard Marinade
- 1 tbls dry mustard
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbls of grated orange rind
- 1 clove minced garlic
Instructions: Blend all of the above and use as a marinade or brush on while cooking. Perfect for pork, beef or chicken. Mustard 1 TBSP Dill (Dry or Fresh) Adjust for your taste.
Zucchini Yoghurt Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
- 1-1/2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup finely diced banana
- 1 tsp grated orange peel
Instructions: Stir together flour, baking powder, spices, soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat in sugar and honey until mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly beat in oil. At low speed of mixer or with rubber spatula stir in flour mixture alternately with yoghurt. Lightly but thoroughly stir in zucchini, walnuts, banana, and orange peel. Turn batter into greased, floured 9 to 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake in preheated 180 º C / 350º F oven 50 to 60 minutes, then invert on rack and remove from pan. Cool completely. Spread with cream cheese honey glaze or confectioner's sugar.
Freeze and Bake Cookies
- 125g butter
- 1 tea vanilla
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 2 tab honey
- 2 eggs
- 13/4 cup p flour
- 1 tea bi carb
- 11/2cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2cup chopped nuts
- 125g chopped chocolate
Instructions: Beat butter, vanilla, sugars, honey and eggs, stir in remaining ingredients. Roll and flatten until 1cm thick. Bake moderate oven 12mins. Raw cookie mixture may be frozen.
Bring to boil:
- 1 cup dates and apricots
- 1/2cup honey
- 1/2 tsp. Bicarbonate soda
- 1 cup water
- 2 oranges, zest and juice
- 3 grated apples
- 3 cups w/meal flour
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1/2cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup almonds
Instructions: Bake: 30-35mins 180 º C / 350º F. Less than 1g fat, makes 12.
Pumpkin & Honey Muffins
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup yoghurt.
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon lemon rind
- 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
Instructions: Combine wet mix and add dry mix. Spoon into muffin tins. Sprinkle with mixed spice or cinnamon sugar. Bake 25mins 180 º C / 350º F. Makes 12.
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup rolled oats
Cook on high for 6 minutes in microwave (flat bowl)
- 125g butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
Cook for 4 1/2 mins covered with paper towel. Stir both mixes together. Spread evenly in a 20cm x 30cm tin. Press down firmly . Cover and refrigerate until cold. Slice into bars.
Banana Honey Muffins (Servers 12)
- 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1/3 cup Pure Peninsula Honey any variety
- 1/4 cup extra-light olive oil
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/3 cup yoghurt any flavour
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 12-hole 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan.
- Sift flours, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in sugar and desiccated coconut. Make a well in the centre.
- Whisk banana, 1/4 cup honey, oil, egg and yoghurt in a jug. Pour into well. Gently fold until just combined. Three-quarter fill muffin holes with mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes in pan. Turn onto a wire rack.
- Heat remaining honey in microwave on HIGH (100%) for 20 seconds. Brush tops of warm muffins with warm honey. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serve warm.
Lemon & Honey Chicken (Serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 400g chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce, extra
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 green onions, sliced diagonally
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
- Place the soy sauce and rice wine in a bowl and add the chicken. Toss to coat. Cover and chill for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in batches and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove and keep warm. 3. Combine the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Return the chicken to the pan, add the honey mixture and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the green onions and toss until combined. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with rice or steamed Asian greens such as choy sum or gai laan.