honey.jpgDid you know that last month was National Honey Month? I can’t imagine not having a jar of honey in the pantry, and I’ll put some in my tea, on top of pancakes, or anywhere I want a little bit of sweet that doesn’t involve sugar.

Out in the Fraser Valley where I live, you can find a bunch of different types of honey, but lavender honey is my favourite. It’s created by bees that have access to a huge field of lavender, and it’s great in ice cream or on its own. You can even make your own lavender honey, minus the bees, by following a recipe that infuses fresh lavender into your honey.

The great thing about honey is how versatile it is, and if you just stop at using it in tea or on toast, you’re missing out on a real foodie experience. Honey can be put on burgers, fish, and everything in between.

It’s getting chilly out there, so there’s never been a better time to heat up the kitchen and whip up something with honey. Try these recipes and let me know what you think.

Lavender honeylavender-honey.jpg

There are some great ways to use lavender honey, and I can find it fresh from a farm right near my house. If you aren’t near a lavender farm, you might want to try to make your own honey. This recipe from MarthaStewart.com uses clover honey and lavender blossoms, and it’s a great place to start if you’re into making herbal honey. Photo from food.com.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mild honey such as clover honey

10 to 15 fresh or dried lavender blossoms

 

Directions

Heat honey in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Stir in lavender. Let cool. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

Heat lavender honey over medium heat until heated through. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard lavender.

Spiced whole wheat pancakesspice-pancakes.jpg

I really love pancakes. I’ll go far, far out of my way to try a new pancake someone is raving about, and I’m always up for a culinary adventure that involves making light, fluffy pancakes. That’s why this recipe was so appealing right from the start: it’s not overly complicated, and the honey and spices really heat up what could be a plain whole-wheat pancake. If you want a healthier option, substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil. Photo and recipe from TorontoStar.com.

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) liquid honey
2 1/2 cup (625 mL) whole wheat flour
5 tsp. (25 mL) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 mL) EACH ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

 

Directions

In a large bowl, beat eggs until thick and foamy. Add milk, oil and honey. Beat until well mixed. Combine flour with remaining ingredients and stir into egg mixture. Mix well. On greased hot griddle, pour out batter into rounds of desired size. When batter begins to bubble, turn and cook on other side.

Honey Apple Cakehoney-apple-cake.jpg

Last week on Shelly’s Friday Favourites we talked apple recipes, and this week we’re taking the apple one step further and slathering it with honey. Honey Apple Cake will create the most amazing scent in your kitchen, and trust me when I say anyone who comes in contact with it will lick their bowl clean. Photo and recipe from myrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

3 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups chopped Golden Delicious apple

Honey Sauce

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup milk

Vanilla ice cream (optional)

 

Directions

Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan; sprinkle bottom of pan with 1/4 cup pecans. Set aside.

Beat sugar, oil, and honey at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla, remaining 3/4 cup pecans, and apple. Spoon over pecans in pan.

For the honey sauce: Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan, and place on a wire rack over wax paper. Pour 1/2 cup Honey Sauce over warm cake. Cool.

Heat remaining Honey Sauce; serve with cake and, if desired, ice cream.

Hawaiian honey burgersburger.jpg

Yes, you can put honey on a burger and it won’t taste too sweet. This one works with the spices to create a flavour packed burger that’s a great switch from the same-old, same-old burgers you’re used to. Photo and recipe from tasteofhome.com.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 can (20 ounces) sliced pineapple, drained

8 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Lettuce leaves, optional

 

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight 3/4-in.-thick patties.

Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 3 minutes on each side. Brush with soy sauce. Continue grilling for 4-6 minutes or until juices run clear, basting and turning several times.

During the last 4 minutes, grill the pineapple slices until browned, turning once. Serve burgers and pineapple on buns with lettuce if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

It’s not too late to celebrate National Honey Month, and you can even keep the fun going all year by sourcing out recipes that have honey in them. You’d be shocked at how many main courses use this sweet treat, and it really makes every other spice or flavour you add pop.

Get cooking with honey right now, and get inspired by checking out a few of these great small appliances and accessories:

bundt-pan.jpg 
Bake up a honey apple

cake in a bundt pan

griddle.jpg 

Make even more pancakes

with a griddle

medium.jpg 

September was also National Bourbon Month. Check out how Leila has used bourbon in her recipes.

Main image from kidspot.com.au