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How to Make Infused Honey

Infused honeys make a wonderful holiday gift! Besides being delicious, honey is a nutritional wonder filled with antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes. It is also antibacterial and antifungal. By infusing it with your favorite herbs and spices, you add extra flavor plus additional beneficial properties.

Here are two of my favorite recipes. I use raw honey since it has the highest content of nutrients, but you can use any local honey. The first recipe features flowers with relaxing properties. You can replace them, or supplement them with chamomile, lemon balm, or any other soothing herbs. The second recipe contains spices traditionally used in winter cooking because of their antibacterial and antiviral properties. You can add or substitute nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom.

For both recipes, I've used dried herbs and the no-heat method to preserve the honey's beneficial properties. It is important to use only dried materials – using fresh plants can cause the honey to develop unwanted bacteria. If you need to heat the honey in order to strain it, just place the entire sealed jar in a pot of simmering water for a couple of minutes until it is runny.

Recipe: Relax, Honey

1 pint raw local honey

1/4 cup dried lavender

1/4 cup dried rose petals

1/4 cup dried blue lotus flowers

Place all ingredients in a sterilized jar* and stir with a chopstick to blend the ingredients, and remove any air bubbles. Seal the jar tightly and store in a cool dry place for 2-4 weeks (the longer, the better), turning the jar upside down each day, since the dry materials will rise to the top. This allows a better distribution of the flavors.

When you are ready to decant your honey, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve set in a jam funnel (this minimizes the mess) into another sterilized jar. Use the leftover herbs to make a delicious tea!

Recipe: Everything Nice, Honey

1 pint raw local honey

1/4 cup allspice

1/4 cup clove buds

4 cinnamon sticks

Follow the above directions. Enjoy!

*To sterilize, run the jar and lid through the dishwasher, or boil for 20 minutes, then dry in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes. Allow the jar and lid to cool before adding the honey.


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