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From bees to bears and humans too, everyone can agree that honey is not only delicious,
but it is a labor of love.
Nashville, Ark. – From bees to bears and humans too, everyone can agree that honey
is not only delicious, but it is a labor of love. While you may think that honey comes
from the local Farmer’s Market or grocery store, it actually has a pretty remarkable
journey to get there.
Honey is “manufactured” in one of the world’s most efficient factories
– the beehive. Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million
flowers to gather enough nectar to make just one pound of honey. The nectar that comes
from the flowers is mostly water. Bees fan their wings constantly so the majority
of the water evaporates, leaving the sweet, golden honey.
The color and flavor of the honey differ depending upon the bee’s nectar
source (the flowers). With over 300 different kinds of honey, it can be confusing
to the consumer to choose the best honey for their recipe. In general, the darker
the color, the stronger the flavor.
Once you decide which flavor you prefer, you then must choose the type
or form. Liquid honey is the most popular. It is free of visible crystals and is extracted
from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey
mixes easily into a variety of foods, it is especially convenient for cooking and
Comb honey is honey that comes as it was produced – in the honey bees’
wax comb. The comb, along with the honey, is edible. Cut comb honey is honey that
has been packaged with chunks of the honey comb.
Honey may be substituted for granulated sugar in most recipes. For best
results, only substitute up to ½ of the sugar called for in a recipe. For example,
your recipe calls for a cup of sugar, you may substitute up to ½ cup with favorable
results. You will need to reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by one-fourth
cup for each cup of honey used in baked goods. In addition, ½ teaspoon baking soda
should be to the cake, bread or cookie recipe for each cup of honey added to that
recipe. You may want to reduce baking temperature by 25 degrees F to prevent overbrowning.
Honey is super versatile. Most people only drizzle it as a topping for
toast, but it can be used in several different ways. Honey adds a sweet, smooth and
distinctive taste to recipes. It also absorbs and retains moisture - qualities that
retard drying out and staling of baked goods. Honey’s versatility can be used in appetizers
and main dishes to desserts and even drinks. Not only does it give your foods unbeatable
flavor, but it is functional. Honey can help balance flavors, add moisture, act as
a binder and thickener in sauces, dressings, marinades and dips, as well as enhancing
the browning and caramelization of foods.
Honey should be stored at room temperature, never in the refrigerator.
If honey turns cloudy or crystallizes (a natural process), simply place the jar of
honey in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve. Or place the honey in a
microwave-safe container with the lid off and microwave on HIGH, stirring every 30
seconds, until crystals dissolve. Be careful not to boil or scorch the honey.
While honey is a safe and wholesome food, it should never be fed to infants
less than one year of age. Honey may contain bacterial spores that cause infant botulism,
a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies.
Adults and children may eat honey without getting ill because they have
formed defenses, protective bacteria in the gut, which inhibits the growth of bacterial
spores. Infants do not have these protective bacteria until about six months of age.
Honey is delicious and sweet and it can be used in a variety of ways.
It’s the only food made by insects that people eat. It is uniquely harvested by beekeepers
and nothing tastes sweeter!
Contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our
office located on the second floor of the courthouse for more information on cooking
with honey or starting a beehive.
This recipe is perfect for summer since so many of us love to entertain.
Great recipe for any backyard party!
1 lb. chicken drumsticks
½ cup ketchup
½ cup honey
¼ cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon crushed peppercorns
¼ teaspoon hot chili sauce
Salt, to taste
Place chicken in a large shallow dish. Mix together the remaining ingredients
and pour over the drumsticks. Cover the dish and let it stand for about 1 hour in
the refrigerator. When ready to grill, remove the drumsticks from the marinade. Discard
marinade. Grill drumsticks until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Yield: 4 servings
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.