Monday, January 7, 2008

Food Of The Week: Honey

“Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.” Nietzsche

Honey, the beautiful aurulent liquid is near and dear to my heart. I eat it on everything. It graces the top of my ice cream, freezing just slightly into chewy toffee-like strands; it melts away winter mornings inside my tea cup before the sun as thought about rising, and it finds its way into my carrots tossing me into my memories of after-schools snacks.

Luckily for this sweet tooth, I've found a local man at the Minneapolis farmers market who's bees are experts and artist at their w
ork. The group of hives is called Ames Farm. Ok, so it used to be small the first time I met him and now you can buy it all over the Midwest.

It’s logo looks like this:

Ames Honey is called “single source” honey, which means it is raw, and unfiltered; preserving beneficial vitamins, enzymes and yeasts which processed honey does not do.

Here is how it works: the bees frequent a particular field to pollinate a particular type of flower. The flavor of honey produced depends on what flower is in bloom. When the sweet clover is fresh in early summer the honey is sweet, mild with hints of herbal or cinnamon flavor. Later, when the buckwheat is sky-high the honey takes on an earthy flavor with anise and black currant tones. No so much a toast honey but great on a cheese plate served with a goat or sheep cheese.

Also, different honeys have different colors. Clover honey is very light and transparent; where as the deeper buckwheat is dark with a purple hint.

But why is it good for you?

This fall, CNN reported that “A teaspoon of honey before bed seems to calm children's
coughs and help them sleep better” Turns out, honey works better than cough medicine.
As I did last week, let me remind you I am not an MD; (Though I am devastating intelligent and some people think I look like Meredith Grey--I’m not one of them) go to the article to read more….

So here are some sweet facts and stats

Honey is
1. Really high in anti oxidants: no cancer
2. A great food for athletes because when taken before a workout, it maintains optimal blood sugar levels for two hours post sweat session.
3. A wound healer and topical antiseptic: a study in India found that 91% of first degree burn patients were infection free within a week when they were treated with honey where as only 7% were clean from conventional treatments
4. The best sweetener for people with Type II diabetes or high cholesterol… like me. According to my cholesterol levels, I should be an overweight seventy year old smoking male. Weird.

If you're look
ing for a new way to try
using honey, try this Moroccan dish!