Not just your Bubbe’s honey cake. As a beekeeper and avid cook I can take you and your honey places you’ve never been before- culinarily speaking.
So grab your honey and let’s get buzzing.
In a single honey bees’ lifetime she will produce 1/12 tsp of honey. The process itself has multiple steps and requires the combined efforts of an entire hive. The honey in a single honeycomb cell is unique to the nectar of a single type of flower. They don’t just dump anything into a cell until it’s full and call it a day!
Once a honeycomb cell is filled with nectar, the HVAC crew (aka other hive members) comes by to evaporate some of the water in the stored nectar. Hmmm- wonder how they do that? No fancy duct work required! They fan it with their wings. Once capped with wax, this process preserves it forever or until required at a later time. Otherwise it would ferment in the comb and we’d bee dealing with millions of drunk, stinging insects.
What is it?
You could call it flavoured honey, but honey already has a flavour doesn’t it? Honey is a sweetener that has a flavour all it’s own. By itself it focuses on certain areas of your tongue (and subsequently, nose) to activate that part of your brain that recognizes sweet. There’s way more science to that entire scenario, but let’s just focus on flavour for now.
So your tongue (and brain) are enjoying the sweet. What would happen if you added another flavour component to that, stimulating a different part of your tongue and brain? Something divine and utterly legal.
And people have been doing this with honey since it was discovered – yes, that’s millennia, people, millennia.
What do you do with it?
We can’t imagine what you can’t do with infused honeys. There are so many options, and also opinions about uses for infused honeys. We are especially fond of stirring in some Vanilla Chai to a steaming cup of Ceremonie Tea – They have quite the variety. We also have a number of herbalist friends who are keen to infuse almost anything. Check out Ancient Roots Israel for more ideas than you can count.
If you infuse honey with fresh ingredients, treat it like any other perishable and keep it refrigerated.
Remember that water content issue mentioned above? Almost anything you introduce into raw honey will have SOME water content. Because honey properties tends to draw moisture out of things, that tiny bit of moisture will be found and exploited. Adding anything to honey is known technically as ADULTERATION (gasp). OK, maybe not your spoon, but you get the idea.
Don’t be. Infused honey is great and so easy to make yourself. Just wanted you to be aware and as my attorney says, “guided accordingly.” I recommend trying this out with smaller jars at first to see what suits you best and how much you consume.
What you’ll need:
- Honey – Raw, pure, unadulterated
- Very clean glass jars with tight-fitting lids
- Some patience – once set up these take around 5 days to infuse
- Infusion ingredients of your choice- more on that later
Why size matters
The examples I’m providing are for 125g jars. They are not huge, but perfectly gift-sized. Keeping volume in mind, your infusion materials will consume some of that volume as well as give off some liquid of their own once the infusion process has begun. We use approximately 2 grams of infusion material per 100 grams of honey.
The examples provided are based on our personal tastes as well as availability. We are fortunate to have access to plenty of fresh and dry herbs year-round. Most right outside our door. Yes we are spoiled.
- Place your clean, dry infusion material into your VERY clean jar.
- Pour in the raw honey
- Cover tightly & if using fresh ingredients, store in the refrigerator
Here are some of our favourites.
Vanilla Chai –
vanilla bean, cardamom pods- lightly crushed, cinnamon bark
rosemary sprigs – avoid the ones with blossoms, and remove the sprigs from the stalk
sage leaves – removed from the stalk, no blossoms
lavender leaves – no blossoms, removed from the stalk
your personal, dried favourite
Because the vanilla chai and hot chiles are already pretty desiccated, those do not require refrigeration. Allow your infusions to sit for at least 5 days. Longer is better. Start now! We recommend inverting the jars every day – make sure the caps are screwed on tightly.
These are all based on personal taste, but open up a huge world of improvisational, sweet enjoyment. You can infuse with flowers, stalks, fresh veg (think, peppers, onions, garlic) but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep them refrigerated.
We’d love to know which ones you made and how you used them.