Celebrate National Honey Bee Day!!

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National Honey Bee Day, the third Saturday in August, was started in 2009, when a small group of beekeepers petitioned for and obtained a formal proclamation from the USDA honoring honeybees and beekeeping. The purpose of the celebration is to bring together beekeepers, bee associations, and other interested groups to connect with the communities to advance beekeeping, using a united effort one day a year. What better way to celebrate the honorable honeybee than to enjoy their delicious honey!

The health benefits of honey are numerous;

* Aids in the prevention cancer and heart disease,
* Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders,
* All honey is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal,

* Increases athletic performance,
* Reduces cough and throat irritation,
* Helps regulate blood sugar,
* Heals wounds and burns,
* Is a natural probiotic, and

* Helps improve skin.
I say the best way to celebrate is to use all natural and local honey in planning your summer meals!!

Honey-Brined Grilled Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled large shrimp

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons kosher salt

5 tablespoons wildflower honey, divided

2 cups ice cubes

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

2 garlic cloves, minced

Cooking spray

1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

Devein shrimp, and remove legs from shells, if desired. (Do not remove shells from shrimp.) Combine 1 cup boiling water, salt, and 2 1/2 tablespoons honey in a large bowl; stir until the salt dissolves. Add ice cubes; stir until mixture cools. Add shrimp, and refrigerate 20 minutes. Remove shrimp from bowl, discarding liquid. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels; toss shrimp with 1 1/2 teaspoons honey.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place red wine vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons honey in a large bowl; stir with a whisk to combine. Gradually add olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Stir in parsley, onion, oregano, and garlic.

Arrange unpeeled shrimp on grill grates coated with cooking spray; grill shrimp, uncovered, 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and cooked through. Add shrimp to bowl with vinegar mixture; toss well to coat. Arrange shrimp mixture on a platter; top with sliced jalapeno pepper.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 304, Fat 16g, Protein 24g, Carbohydrate 15g,

Fiber 0.0g, Cholesterol 214mg, Sodium 544mg, Sugars 12.

Chile-Infused Honey

(Hard about this on TV this week and thought it would be great to try)

1 cup Honey

5 dried New Mexican red chilies (another small chile variety may be substituted to your taste)

Half pint jar and lid

Place dried chilies in the bottom of the glass jar. In a saucepan over very low heat warm the honey. Once it is liquefied and hot, pour into the jar over the chilies. Allow it to cool fully before sealing with a lid. Let it sit for a few days before using. It may be stored at room temperature indefinitely. Use it in salad dressings or marinades; drizzle over cheese, toast, or ice cream; or package in a cute jar, give as a gift.

Honey Glazed Almonds

1 1/2 cups raw, unblanched almonds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 salt

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the almonds in a medium nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted, shaking pan frequently. Combine the remaining ingredients in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds. Add honey mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Arrange almond mixture on prepared baking sheet in a single layer; let stand 10 minutes. Break apart any clusters.

Serves 10, each serving contains: Calories 138, Fat 10.6g, Protein 4.6g, Carbohydrate 8.5g,

Fiber 2.6g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Sodium 63mg.

Honey Fruit Salad

2 cups blueberries

2 cups strawberries

1 cantaloupe, cubed

1/2 pineapple, cubed

1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed

1/4 cup honey

1 lime, juiced

1 orange, juiced

1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Fresh mint leaves, torn, for garnish

Add the blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon to a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice and orange juice. Drizzle the honey mixture over the fruit salad and top with the pistachios. Right before serving, top with freshly torn mint leaves to garnish. Serves 4-6.

Honey Ginger Chicken Bites

2/3 cup honey

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 16 thighs)

Cooking spray

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake well. Add chicken; seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425°. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, stirring once.

While chicken is cooking, strain marinade through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Place marinade in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes; skim solids from surface. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; pour glaze into a large bowl.

Preheat broiler. Add chicken to glaze; toss well to coat. Place chicken mixture on a jelly roll pan; broil 5 minutes or until browned, stirring twice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Serves 12, each serving contains; Calories 179, Protein 18.2g, Carbohydrate 17g,

Fiber 0.1g, Cholesterol 76mg, Sodium 430mg.

Honey and Soy Smothered Ribs

2 (2- to 2 1/2-lb.) slabs pork ribs

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 325°. Rinse slabs, and pat dry. Remove thin membrane from back of slabs by slicing into it and pulling it off. (This will make the ribs more tender.) Sprinkle salt and pepper over slabs; wrap each slab tightly in aluminum foil. Place slabs on a jelly-roll pan, and bake 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tender and meat pulls away from bone.

Bring honey and next 6 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer to a bowl.

Remove slabs from oven. Increase oven temperature to broil on high. Carefully remove slabs from foil; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush each slab with 3 Tbsp. honey mixture.

Broil 5 to 7 minutes or until browned and sticky. Brush with remaining honey mixture. Serves 6-8. You can make additional sauce and use it on chicken, fish, pork, and even beef.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on Aug 14, 2017
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