Bee Hive Blog
Grilling with Honey Recipes
Everybody’s sweet on honey – again
Can you guess what food ingredient everyone’s buzzing about? It’s free of fat and cholesterol. It goes great in recipes. People love the taste. It’s even all-natural!
OK, it’s honey. Not exactly new. It seems like every few years, people find out again that honey “is not just for tea and toast anymore,” to quote one of the experts cited in the latest issue of Food Processing. The leading trade magazine published a special report on honey.
The article says honey’s popularity among food and beverage manufacturers is increasing. Why?
“Honey is the perfect sweetener, inclusion and flavor enhancer for consumers who want natural products but want them to taste like indulgent foods and beverages,” according to Catherine Barry, director of marketing for the National Honey Board (NHB).
Here are some of the places honey is popping up:
- Chocolate (Swiss and milk) bars made with honey almond nougat
- Salad dressings made with honey Dijon and honey Dijon yogurt
- Yogurt smoothies flavored with honey
- Honey cough lozenges in menthol and eucalyptus varieties
- Honey vitamins, available in C and D varieties
- Cooking shows using honey, especially in all-natural recipes
- Breakfast cereals and granola bars using honey as a sweetener
- Energy drinks and bars for athletes using honey for its quick absorption into the bloodstream
- Honey whiskeys and other alcoholic beverages, including honey-infused vodka, tequila and rum, which are being used in unique, innovative cocktails
- Mead, made with fermented honey and one of mankind’s earliest alcoholic beverages, which now is gaining attention among home brewers and vintners
One of the biggest drivers behind honey’s surging popularity is consumer recognition that honey is well-known as an all-natural food. In a survey by the NHB, participants were read a list of sweeteners they might find in foods in a grocery store and asked to indicate whether they considered each one a natural sweetener. As the percentages show, honey was the big winner:
- Honey 96%
- Granulated sugar 74%
- Molasses 73%
- Cane juice 61%
- Corn syrup 49%
- Fruit juice concentrate 49%
- Agave nectar 23%
- High-fructose corn syrup 23%
- Non-calorie sweeteners 15%
Finally, Food Processing quoted Sue Bee Honey’s Lisa Hansel, assistant vice president of sales and marketing (she’s the expert mentioned at the start of this post), summing up the reasons people are so sweet on honey.
“One-hundred percent pure honey is also fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free and contains healthful antioxidants and micronutrients. Second, a growing number of consumers are becoming aware of the importance of the American honey bee, which is responsible for pollinating hundreds of American crops, like almonds, oranges, apples, cherries and more. Third, honey is the perfect all-natural sweetener to replace sugar in recipes for both consumers and manufacturers.”
Well said, Lisa!
Tips for Baking With Honey
When is the last time you found yourself in a baking groove only to realize at the worst possible moment that you've run out of sugar? There's no need to panic and put your treats on hold while you make a beeline for the grocery store. There's a simple and effective alternative that you probably already have in your pantry a simple and effective alternative that will add the sweetness your recipe calls for ... honey!
Different Types of Honey = Different Types of Flavor
Honey is often used as a substitute for sugar and other sweeteners in baking. Using honey as a baking substitute can be a quick fix but it's important to remember that different types of honey can have varying effects on the taste of your creation. Light honey, for instance, is sweeter and unlikely to be overpowering, while darker honey has a more distinct flavor and can potentially alter the taste of the recipe if one adds too much.
Add Honey and Subtract Moisture.
When it comes to using honey as a baking substitute, the first thing you need to remember about substituting honey for sugar is that when adding a liquid sweetener — in this case honey — to your recipe, you must account for the added moisture and take away liquid in other areas. Honey adds additional moisture to a recipe and is great for baked goods like breads, cakes, muffins and pies. A good rule of thumb is to subtract 1/4 cup of liquid elsewhere for every full cup of honey used.
One Cup of Sugar = One Cup of Honey
As for how much honey needs to be added to your baking, you can actually substitute equal parts honey for sugar. For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of sugar, use one cup of honey instead. Keep in mind, though, that for every cup of honey used, you'll need to increase the baking soda by 1/2 teaspoon to help neutralize the acidity of the honey and help the food rise.
Reduce Temperature to Prevent Overbrowning.
After you've got your all your ingredients mixed and you're ready to bake, it's important to remember that honey bakes faster than sugar so be sure to lower your over temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overbrowning. Once you're finished, brush your delicious treats with honey for a sweet, shiny glaze after they have cooled down and enjoy!
Different Types of Honey
Bees make honey from flower nectar, so different flowers naturally give different flavors to the honey you keep on your shelf. More than 300 unique varieties of honey have been identified, but Sue Bee Honey – which tests and blends honey in a state-of-the-art laboratory – makes it easy for you by offering seven varieties. If you’re a fan of nature’s perfect sweetener, you owe it to yourself to try each one!
Sue Bee Clover Honey has always been the most popular kind, derived from white and yellow sweet clovers then filtered and blended to have the light color and delicate flavor that most of us know as honey. Packaged in several sizes and styles (the bear and no-drip table servers are favorites), clover honey is Sue Bee’s flagship variety.
Sue Bee Natural Pure Honey is clover honey too, but strained rather than filtered. That means the natural complement of pollen gathered by the bees is still there in the honey. Use Sue Bee Natural Pure honey to sweeten a hearty cup of coffee in the morning or as an energy boost to enhance sport drinks.
Aunt Sue’s Raw Honey is honey from the nectar of wildflowers, so it’s darker in color and has an all-natural, robust flavor. It’s also unfiltered, so the pollen adds to the authenticity. Try this when you’re baking hearty bran muffins or granola bars for a full-bodied taste. When you’re glazing a meat dish, the darker color provides a richer caramelized appearance.
Aunt Sue’s Organic Honey is the ultimate in all-natural taste, and no wonder – it’s unfiltered and it comes from the nectar of organically grown plants. It’s perfect for dipping organic apple slices or for use in baked goods and other recipes you want to be all-organic.
Sue Bee Orange Honey is a pure, filtered product that gets its distinctive flavor from the nectar of orange blossoms. Chefs have known for centuries that the tang of citrus makes a wonderful complement to honey – try it in fruit salad recipes, in light frostings or in baked goods.
Sue Bee Sage Honey is also pure, filtered honey, but it comes from the nectar of sage shrubs growing along the California coast and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s light-colored and has a delicate and mild flavor. Try it in turkey and other poultry or meat dishes, and it’s said to go well with strong cheeses. Doesn’t sage honey sound perfect for sweetening a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon?
Sue Bee Spun Honey is pure, filtered clover honey – like the flagship variety – that has been allowed to granulate under controlled conditions. The result is a smooth, easy-to-spread texture that goes on toast like butter or jelly, without dripping or drizzling. It’s a breakfast favorite. If you’re a believer in applying honey to minor nicks and scrapes – honey keeps bacteria out and moisture in – Sue Bee Spun Honey is more convenient to use than the liquid form.
More ideas? Let us know your favorite kind of Sue Bee Honey and a way to use it someone else might enjoy!
Planting a Bee-friendly Garden
It’s officially spring and if there’s one thing everyone can agree on it’s that warmer temperatures and outdoor activities are a welcome sight after months of limited daylight and being stuck indoors. One outdoor activity you can do yourself not only will add some color and beauty to your home or yard but also will benefit a species near and dear to our heart … honeybees!
As temperatures warm, honeybees leave their winter cluster and get back to work buzzing around and making honey. By planting and growing flowers that produce nectar and pollen, your garden will help attract these wonderful creatures. That, in turn, will have an immediate impact on the environment as honeybees help pollinate tons of plants that we use every day.
So which flowers are the best to plant? It’s important to avoid flowers that may prove to have obstacles for the honeybees in accessing the nectar and pollen, such as those with large petals. Honeybees are attracted to flowers that are colorful and have a distinct scent, which is welcome news to gardeners! Flowers that are wild and native are typically the best because of their year-round foilage and blossoms, but that doesn’t mean you need to turn your garden into a wild meadow. Here are some of our favorite plants and flowers that our busy little friends love too: