The goodness of honey

Natural Sweetener

No other sweetener has as many varieties as honey-- the pure, natural sweetener known to man.  

There are also different types of honey that come from different types of flowers. In areas with a variety of flowers, bees will produce natural blends of honey. Therefore the honey flavours can stretch from bland to sweet and its colour from light golden to dark brown, depending on the flower. However, the colour does not determine its quality. 

Alfalfa honey is a light coloured honey that comes from purple blossoms and has a mild taste. Honey from a dark avocado blossom is avocado honey. Blueberry honey is sweet and has somewhat of a tart taste. Fireweed has a distinctive taste, golden colour, and the slightly green one is tupelo honey. Tupelo honey has a high fructose content, so it takes longer to granulate than other varieties. Wildflower honey is honey owes its source to several different flowers. Sourwood honey comes from the sourwood tree and has a sour taste. Maple honey is very sweet and tastes similar to maple syrup.     

Chef Sushmit Daniels of Pintxo Tapas restaurant tells Metrolife, “Honey’s unique blend of natural sweeteners gives it the ability to provide quick energy in any circumstance. It is a fairly new kid on the block and a fast rising favourite amongst the health connoisseurs.

It is said, the darker the honey, the stronger the taste and the higher the antioxidant content.” He advises “store honey at room temperature away from direct sunlight to prevent crystallisation. By adding this amazing ingredient it enhances the flavour of dishes like Honey Glazed Chicken, Duck Salad with honey dressing or traditional Indian dessert Honey Gulab Jamun.”
Chef Harish Thukran of London Kitchen Co. says, “In winters, honey has been proven to be a natural throat soother. It is always advisable to have warm water with lime juice and honey first thing in the morning to stay fit. There are many healthy and quick recipes which can be prepared from honey like: apple and honey tart, honey carrot fudge, honey oatmeal cookies to name a few. While measuring honey for recipes, first lightly spray the measuring spoon with oil; all the honey will slide right out.”
Chef Karan Talwar, Kitchen Kraft Catering Co. says, “Honey also enriches and adds a subtle flavour to many savoury dishes such as meat, sauces, dressings and desserts. 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. Adding honey to salad dressings and sauces can enhance the flavour and give something extra. Honey retains moisture and therefore keeps baked goods from getting dry and stale.” 
Chef Pankaj Rana of Club Rhino, Gurgaon says, “Honey is a powerhouse of health benefits, from treating cough to cancer. It has a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Honey enhances browning and is an excellent addition in pastries and cakes. It is also a natural preservative for pickles and sauces. This rich golden colour ingredient adds a delightful golden hue to sauces, dressings, jellies, and frozen desserts.”

The chef also offers tips on storing honey at home and retaining its freshness. “Keep honey jar at room temperature, kitchen counter or pantry shelf is ideal. Storing honey in the refrigerator accelerates the honey’s crystallisation.”

So food lovers would also like to check out dishes made out of these sweetner. Tweak and enhance the taste of your dishes, be they sweet, sour, salty, spicy or barbequed, with this wonder ingredient.

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