Cook With Honey! 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 honey bee than to enjoy their delicious honey!

The health benefits of honey are numerous;

  • Aids in the prevention of cancer and heart disease
  • Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders
  • All honey is antibacterial and antifungal
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Reduces cough and throat irritation
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Heals wounds and burns
  • Is a natural probiotic
  • Helps improve skin

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

Bee Good Vinaigrette

(From Beekeeper Kristin)

Ingredients
½ cup whole grain mustard
¼ cup local honey
¼ cup rice vinegar

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a glass jar. Shake with lid on until well combined. Toss with your favorite salad. Will store in refrigerator for a week.

Sweet Southern Honey Glazed Ham

Ingredients
1 (8–10-lb.) bone-in, spiral-cut ham, room temperature
3 cups local honey
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. whole cloves

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. Place ham on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack; pat dry using paper towels. Boil honey, cinnamon, butter, and cloves in a 4-qt. saucepan, 2–3 minutes. Brush half the honey mixture over ham and in between slices.
  3. Bake, basting often with remaining honey mixture until ham is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of ham reads 120°, 1 to 1½ hours. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Green Beans and Radish Salad

Ingredients
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 lb. radishes, trimmed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. honey, preferably chili honey (see recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch green beans until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and quickly plunge green beans into a bowl of ice water, to cool them. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans, radishes, and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add honey, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook until vegetables are just beginning to caramelize, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  3. Transfer salad to a large bowl; set aside to let cool slightly.
  4. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste and divide between 4 small plates. Serve at room temperature.

Chile-Infused Honey

Ingredients
5 dried New Mexican red chilies (another small chile variety may be substituted to your taste)
Half pint jar and lid

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Copper Pennies made with Honey

Ingredients
2 lbs. sliced carrots
1 Small green pepper, chopped
1 Medium onion, chopped
7 oz tomato paste
7 oz water
½ cup olive oil
½ cup raw honey
½ cup apple cider vinegar
 1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the carrot slices, being sure not to overcook. Rinse in cold water.
  2. Combine the carrots, green pepper, and onion in a bowl.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Pour the tomato mixture over the carrot mixture and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
  5. This will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. 

Boneless Fried Chicken Thighs with Hot Jalapeno Honey

(This is a fabulous recipe from Atlanta’s, Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails.)

Ingredients
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups dill pickle brine, or as needed
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup seasoned flour
½ cup buttermilk
Hot Jalapeno Honey (see recipe)
Everything Bagel seasoning

Instructions

  1. Trim the thighs of bits of fat and silver skin. Arrange thighs between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them to ¼-inch thickness. Put the thighs in a sealable plastic bag and cover with pickle brine. Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. The longer they sit in the brine, the more pickle flavor you’ll get.
  2. When ready to cook, in a fryer or Dutch oven, heat oil to 350° F.
  3. Put the flour in a pie plate. Put the buttermilk in a second pie plate. Remove chicken from brine and discard brine. Dry chicken, then dip in buttermilk and then dip in seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and fry chicken 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and chicken reaches 165° F. Drain well, then arrange on serving platter and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with Everything Bagel seasoning and serve with coleslaw.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 360, Protein 20 g., Carbohydrates 22 g., Fiber 1 g., Fat 22 g., Cholesterol 72 mg., Sodium 97 mg.

Infused Honey is still quite the rage these days; here is the recipe for Hot Jalapeno Honey.

Hot Jalapeno Honey

Ingredients
1 pound (1½ cups) honey
2 tablespoons Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1 sliced jalapeno

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix together honey, hot sauce, and jalapeno. Let sit for 30 minutes before using. If not using right away, strain out jalapeno and store in an airtight container.

Makes: 1½ cups.

Per teaspoon, this recipe contains Calories 20, Carbohydrates 5 g., Sodium 11 mg.

Grilled Spicy Honey Lime Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cubed
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Juice from 1 medium lime
Choice of vegetables: zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, etc. cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

  1. Soak skewers in water so that they do not burn. Alternate different kinds of vegetables and chicken and skewer them onto sticks.
  2. Marinate in honey, lime, garlic, and chipotle for a few hours.
  3. Grill over charcoal until cooked.