Cooking with local honey

eightWest

Have you ever thought about cooking with raw honey? Chef Jen is in studio to show us some recipes. 

Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Real raw honey comes straight from the beehive and is a potent superfood sweetener. It is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey.

Bee pollen is considered to be one of nature’s best and most nourishing foods. It’s packed with protein that is combined with amino acids, that can be easily used by your body. Bee pollen is used to improve unbalanced nutrition, vitality, longevity, energy. But also, it is used for weight control, health, beauty, allergies, anti-aging and more. All of these qualities are lost with the removal of bee pollen. Regular honey does not contain bee pollen.

In West Michigan, we are fortunate to have the ability to buy raw honey from local farms, farmer’s markets, CSA’s and farm stands.

Here are a few unique ways to enjoy raw honey this summer:

Recipe 1

Honey Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 4

All you need:

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup milk (I prefer almond or macadamia nut milk for added flavor)

1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

¼ cup chia seeds

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch salt

Fresh berries, roasted whole almonds and granola, for topping

All you do:

  1. Combine the honey, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Divide the pudding into 4 serving cups and top with fresh berries, almonds and granola.

Recipe 2

Honey Jalapeno Hummus

Serves 6

All you need:

1 large jalapeno, halved lengthwise

3 peeled garlic cloves

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons tahini

Juice of 1 large lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

¼ cup water, or more if needed

2 tablespoons honey, plus more for garnish

Coarse sea salt and crushed red pepper, for garnish

Pita chips or gluten-free crackers, for dipping

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to broil. Place the jalapeno halves skin-side-up on a baking sheet along with the garlic cloves. Broil for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly charred.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, water and honey in a food processor until very smooth, adding more water if needed. Add the roasted jalapeno and garlic cloves and process again until smooth and combined. Adjust seasonings as needed with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer hummus to a serving dish and garnish with crushed red pepper, coarse sea salt and a drizzle of honey and olive oil. Serve with pita chips or crackers on the side for dipping.

Recipe 3

Honey Chicken Lettuce Cups

Serves 6

All you need:

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 peeled garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ pounds ground chicken (or turkey)

1 cup shredded carrots

1 bunch green onion, sliced thin

1/3 cup honey roasted peanuts

Butter lettuce leaves, for serving

All you do:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the honey, tamari, rice vinegar and sesame oil together. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add ground chicken (or turkey) and cook until no longer pink. Add carrot, green onion and sauce and cook for 3 minutes longer.
  3. Place lettuce cups on serving plates and scoop chicken mixture onto each one. Garnish with honey roasted peanuts and serve.

Recipe 4

Sea Salt and Honey No-Churn Ice Cream

Serves 6

All you need:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup honey (plus more for drizzling)

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt (plus for more garnish)

All you do:

  1. Pour whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  2. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk, honey and sea salt. Pour into a freezer-safe container and drizzle with honey. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.
  3. Scoop into cups or bowls and drizzle with more honey and sprinkle with sea salt.

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