Honey - the ancient wound healer
So my latest 'fascination' is honey! Those of you who I speak to regularly probably know that due to a recent pimple outbreak (I know, ridiculous, I felt 13 again!) I went searching for natural remedies and remembered my Omi used to rave about putting honey on her face each night. At the time I thought 'just another crazy Omi story' but I decided to look into it and due to its natural antibacterial qualities, it actually was a valid remedy for pimples!
Finding this out prompted me to research further into what else is great about honey.
- Honey is essentially bee spew!!! The foraging bees swallow the nectar which goes into their special honey tummy. They then regurgitate this up to the worker bees in the hive and they make it into honey!! Mmmmm ( ;
- Honey is a natural preservative! So use honey instead of sugar when making homemade breads and cakes and you'll find they last longer and stay moist too!
- Honey is sweeter than sugar so less is needed in cooking to achieve the same sweetness, hence reducing kilojoules!
- Honey contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, vitamin B, manganese, calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, and magnesium, among others. Also 'friendly' bacteria such as lactobacili and bifidobacteria!
- Never give honey to an infant under 12 months of age, due to increased risk of botulism in their 'weakly immune' bodies.
- Different types of honey (depending on the flowers the nectar is taken from) provide different levels of antibacterial properties. Manuka honey has a very high level.
- Most commercial honey has been heat treated to stop it from crystalising and making it easier to process. Unfortunately the heat kills a lot of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals so if all of that is important to you, buy raw honey which can be found in health food stores, or if your lucky like I was today, you may pass a little stall on the side of the road with honey taken straight from the owners own hives!!! Now that's special! (And the boys loved my little lesson on bees and honey on the way home - well, that's my story anyway!)
Ok, I think tha'ts enough reason to make one of my favourite recipes using honey, Breakfast granola! Why is it my favourite? Cause I think breakfast is the most important meal of the day and with so much 'rubbish' on offer for brekky on the supermarket shelves these days, this is a way to get back to something more natural and healthy without all the processed sugar! If this doesn't make you want to get out of bed each morning, I don't know what will!!! Till next time......
Ingredients4 c rolled oats
1 c nuts, coarsely chopped (try hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias or a mixture of these)
1/2 c sunflower seed kernels
3/4 c honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c dried fruit (try raisins, chopped dried apricots, cranberries or goji berries)
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Combine oats, nuts and sunflower seed kernels in a bowl.
- In a small saucepan add honey, butter and cinnamon and stir over low heat until butter melts.
- Pour over oat mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Spread over the baking tray evenly. Bake in oven, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Stir in dried fruit and store in an airtight container.
For a gluten free version, substitute the oats for puffed buckwheat, rice, corn, amaranth, and/or rolled quinoa.
Thermomix owners - nuts can be chopped on speed 4 for 3 seconds. Set aside. Honey, butter and cinnamon can be melted and mixed together for 2 minutes/50 degrees/speed 2. Then add back nuts, oats and sunflower seed kernels and mix on soft/REVERSE until it all comes together.If your mind is like mine and eager to know everything about the fascinating bees and their work, look no further than http://www.honeybee.org.au/
(Original recipe from Good Taste magazine, 2007)