Honey as an ingredient

Honey is both a classic and a fashionable ingredient. It can be used as a natural substitute for sugar in most recipes but as it is sweeter than sugar, less is needed. Similarly, as almost one fifth of honey is water, the liquid content of a recipe should be reduced by the same amount.

Honey also enriches and adds a subtle flavor to many savoury dishes such as meat casseroles, sauces and dressings. When used in a marinade, honey will help tenderise meat and while it is cooking, the honey gives a distinctive barbecue flavour to food as it caramelises.

Contemporary chefs use honey in many of their dishes - from salad dressings to barbecues, stir frys, fusion food and delicious desserts. Just a few of our favourites are outlined here.

SIMPLY HONEY
Honey is nature's natural sweetener, and so easy to use - giving an instant boost to your energy levels. We've come up with quick and simple ways to incorporate honey into all your meals:

  • Just spread on piping hot toast - be as generous as you like!
  • Add to porridge to supply central heating when the weather starts to cool.
  • Natural yoghurt is a healthy start, but can be turned into a real treat with a teaspoon of runny honey stirred in.
  • Keep your fruit intake up by making a smoothie, using whatever fruit you choose, some orange juice and a good dollop of honey - should keep you going until lunchtime.
  • Fresh bread, sliced and buttered with a layer of beautiful set honey - a simple sandwich that is delicious and quick anytime, especially if you're on the run.
  • For a tried and trusted drink to soothe your cold, put a good teaspoon of honey in a mug, add a slice of lemon with a clove or two, top up with very hot water and drink.
  • At teatime, toasted crumpets are sublime when combined with honey.
  • If you are making pancakes, try using honey instead of syrup or sugar for a natural alternative.
  • Using honey in your tea or coffee instead of sugar is a good idea - honey is sweeter than sugar so you need to use less, and it's lower in calories too.
  • For a sauce that's not a sauce, top ice cream with honey - a scrummy extra that's no effort.
  • To make a speedy pudding, just slice up a banana and drizzle with honey.
  • When you need an instant boost to your energy levels, a teaspoon of honey has a great effect - tastes good too!

A TASTE OF HONEY 
Over the years, the use of honey in cooking has become more popular and more diverse. Being both a classic and a fashionable ingredient, the versatility of honey has made it a regular choice of today's chefs. When used in cooking, honey adds flavour and texture to a range of sweet and savoury dishes.

Honey will enrich and add subtle flavour to dishes such as casseroles, sauces and dressings. Honey can be used as a natural substitute for sugar in most recipes but as it is sweeter than sugar, less is needed. Similarly, as almost one fifth of honey is water, the liquid content of a recipe should be reduced by the same amount.

Honey with meat:-

  • Honey-cured ham or baked gammon coated with honey and mustard date back from medieval times.
  • Marinades containing honey and vinegar make meat more tender and succulent.
  • In a barbecue sauce, golden honey gives a distinct flavour as it caramelises.
  • Honey gives a delicious crispy coating on roast chicken.

Honey with vegetables:-

  • Just adding a small amount of honey can do surprising things for everyday vegetables such as honey glazed carrots.
  • Orange blossom honey is perfect when added to a spicy vegetable stir fry as the sweetness of honey counteracts the spiciness of chillies, peppers, garlic and spices.

Honey in salad dressings:-

  • Adding honey to salad dressings and sauces can enhance the flavour and give extra body.

Honey in desserts and cakes:-

  • Honey is great for keeping cakes and biscuits fresh and moist. It's also sweeter than sugar, so much less is needed to achieve the same results.
  • Today, honey is appreciated as an unadulterated, natural product, less processed than any other sweetening agent, and with fewer calories.


Nutritional values per 100g 
Energy 288cals
Protein 0.4g
Carbohydrates 76.4g
Of which sugars 76.4g
Fat 0g

 



 
Honey Tasting Table 
All honeys are sweet but when it comes to tasting them individually it is surprising how many different flavours there are. Here are just a few examples:-

Honey:   Canadian Clover 
Colour:   pale, white 
Other physical characteristics:   tendency to crystallise hence sold as a set honey 
Flavour:   mild and sweet with a smooth creamy texture 
Comments:   Comes from central Canada. Includes nectar from red and white clovers, oilseed rape and alfalfa etc. 

Honey:   Mexican set
Colour:   pale yellow 
Other physical characteristics:    
Flavour:   rounded with a rich fruity flavour
Comments:   Comes from mixed flora of Mexico.Used to add sweetness.

Honey:   Acacia clear
Colour:   clear light golden colour
Other physical characteristics:   faint aroma stays liquid longer than most honeys
Flavour:   mild and delicateideal for sweetening drinks
Comments:   The floral source is the Robinia variety of the Acacia Tree.Comes from China and Eastern Europe. 

Honey:   Australian clear
Colour:   clear light golden colour
Other physical characteristics:   tendency to stay liquid
Flavour:   rich, toffee flavour with a hint of raisin
Comments:   Floral source is predominantly from the many varieties of Eucalyptus. 

Honey:   Greek clear
Colour:   very dark brown colour 
Other physical characteristics:    
Flavour:   rich and full bodied with the taste of liquorice and aniseed
Comments:   Comes from the mountainous areas of the Greek mainland varied floral source including pine, thyme and wild rose.