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.
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
Of which sugars 76.4g