It’s been a part of the human diet for millennia. Since ancient times honey has supplied humankind with both food and medicine.
Aside from being delicious and entirely natural, honey offers great benefits: it’s rich in antioxidants – the darker the honey the higher the benefit; it helps reduce total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol; it can lower triglycerides-another risk factor for heart disease; it’s been used to heal burns and prevent infections; some think it improves short and long term memory; in Dubai honey is used as an effective topical treatment for herpes lesions; a recent study that combined honey, olive oil and beeswax in a salve resulted in a reduction in the redness, scaling and itching of participants with psoriasis.
As this is my last column for the year, I’ve decided to pass along a few delicious recipes that use honey (local honey, of course).
RICOTTA HONEY SPREAD
- 2-3 tablespoons local honey
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Stir together and serve on bread or toast topped with fresh sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey.
MANGO HONEY SALSA
- 1 ripe chopped mango
- ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- 1 small minced jalepeno
Stir well and refrigerate until ready to use. It’s great served with grilled B.C. salmon.
HONEY GLAZED HAM
- 5 pound ready-to-eat ham
- ¼ cup whole cloves
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 2 cups local honey
- 2/3 cups butter
Preheat oven to 325F (165C); Score ham and stud with cloves; Place ham in foil lined pan.
- Heat corn syrup, honey and butter in the top of a double boiler, keep the glaze warm.
- Brush glaze over ham and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting with the remaining warm glaze every 10-15 minutes.
- During the last 4-5 minutes turn on the broiler and caramelize the glaze.
- Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Do you have a favourite recipe, perhaps something that brings back memories of days gone by? Send it to the Lumby Valley Times. Mail your recipe(s) to: Box 456, Lumby B.C. or e-mail to to: firstname.lastname@example.org, please indicate if you want your name to be used in the article, or would prefer to remain anonymous.