by Jillian Cristofalo
Unlike all the artificial sweeteners on the shelves these days, honey has been around for centuries. There are so many varieties to choose from—orange blossom, wildflower, and clover are just a handful of the readily available types of honey. Honeys vary in flavor and color based on what type of nectar the bees fed on. As a general rule of thumb, darker honey is stronger in flavor than lighter honey.
Honey can be enjoyed in a variety of ways—try adding it to vinaigrettes for a touch of sweetness, or make your own honey mustard dipping sauce by stirring 3 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard into 1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can add more honey and/or mustard to suit your taste). This sauce makes a great sandwich topping, too! Honey also makes a great addition to a cheese plate—the sweetness really compliments more pungent cheeses like Gorgonzola.
Tips on storage and usage
•Store honey at room temperature in your pantry—it can last indefinitely for several years! But it’s so versatile and tasty that it surely won’t be sitting there that long.
•If your honey becomes crystallized, which is perfectly normal, don’t throw it away. Just place the container in some warm water until it’s clear and liquefied.
•Honey has soothing and moisturizing properties—swallow a spoonful to soothe a sore throat, or add about a cup of honey to your bath water for a moisturizing soak.
•Infants under one year of age should not be fed honey.
For more information about honey, visit the National Honey Board’s website at www.honey.com.
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