The fruit of bees is desired by all, and is equally sweet to kings and beggars and it is not only pleasing but profitable and healthful; it sweetens their mouths, cures their wounds, and conveys remedies to inward ulcers. – Saint Ambrose
Raw honey is by far and wide one of the most revered foods and healing substances found on this planet. There is no substitute, and the delicately sweet flavor it possesses is unsurpassed and unmistakable.
Delectable already, why would one ever dream of altering it?
For fun! For gifts. For tea parties. Really, the list is a long one (and I haven’t the time)…
Honey lends itself well to infusions, and the end result is a quite special little concoction that you can bottle up and save for celebrations, or give away for special occasions.
I recently started an herbal infused honey of lavender and vanilla bean for a Christmas gift, and in fact, I’ve started a lot of different infusions for gifts lately, but hey, that’s a whole other blog post, (and a half-written one at that).
Raw honey can be infused in two different ways, yet, as tempting as it is, it should never be done by a quick stovetop infusion, as any heat, even low heat, begins to destroy the properties of raw honey:
Honey and high heat do not get along very well. It has been found that excessive heat can have detrimental effects on the nutritional value of honey. Heating up to 37 °C (98.6 °F) causes loss of nearly 200 components, some of which are antibacterial. Heating up to 40 °C (104 °F) destroys invertase, an important enzyme. At 50 °C (122 °F), the honey sugars caramelize and it turns from a light color to an increasingly darker color as the temperature rises.
- Infuse honey naturally by adding 2 Tbs. of dried herbs or a few split vanilla beans (or whatever you fancy) to a cup of honey.
- Leave it out somewhere where you will see it and remember to turn it over everyday. It’s just like infusing an oil or vinegar. Let it infuse for a few weeks, tasting from time to time to see if the desired flavor has been achieved. (I prefer 4-6, but even 2 would get you by).
- When the time comes, you may strain out the herbs if you’d like or leave them in. I use a mesh strainer over a mason jar and it works great. Straining may take a while and allow gravity to do the work. Place your honey in the warmest room of your house for better flow. If you are still struggling, (like it’s the onset of winter in Canada and there are no warm rooms in your house), heat your honey gently, by placing your glass jar in a bowl of warm water. Use caution, and a thermometer if you are concerned about preserving the benefits of the raw honey. I would not recommend going over 95 degrees F.
- Simply combine powdered herbs or spices into your raw honey and you’re done 🙂 There’s no straining or fussing. Only stirring. There is a chance you will see the powdered herbs in the honey, but since raw honey isn’t crystal clear anyhow, it shouldn’t matter, right? In this method, the herbs stay in for an added herbal boost.
- Star Anise
- Lemon Balm
- Rose petal
- Vanilla Bean
Where can I find this stuff?
—Mountain Rose Herbs is a great resource for all things herbal. They’ve got a great selection of dried and powdered herbs.
–Find raw and local honey with the help of Honey Locator
**Want to see another great honey recipe of mine? Follow this link for a recipe you can make for your family to help cure what ails ye.
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that provide a small commission to me when purchases are made through that link–-at no extra cost to you. I only affiliate with companies whose products I personally use and can whole-heartedly recommend. Thank you for supporting Sustain, Create and Flow.
Shared with: Frugal days, Sustainable ways