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Home-made Herbal Honey


Everything is blooming in my garden; and I just bought some local honey this past weekend at the Farmer's Market. Soooo - that means it's time to make an herbal honey. Infusing herbs in honey is a great way to get your antioxidants and vitamins, as well as the therapeutic benefits of an herb. It’s also very delicious! Possible herbs to infuse in honey include: lavender, lemon balm, bee balm, calendula, chamomile, rose petals, cinnamon, vanilla bean, ginger, basil, holy basil, sage, peppermint, star anise, thyme, and rosemary. You could also combine several herbs.

When purchasing honey, look for local or raw honey. Local honey comes from bees in your area. The folk wisdom is that if you eat a spoonful a day of local honey, you can build up your immune system by gradually being exposed to the local allergens. So, ingesting local honey is good for allergy sufferers. However, the research on this is inconclusive. Regardless of the studies, I personally like to purchase local honey to support local beekeepers. Raw honey is pure, unpasteurized, and unprocessed. It has lots of natural vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients. Raw honey is a good source of antioxidants and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also good for digestion. When you have your honey and herbs, following the directions below.


Materials:

  • Clean, sterilized mason jar

  • ¼ cup of dried herb of your choice; (If using fresh herbs, dry-wilt the herb for 4-6 hours first; otherwise the water content can cause your honey to become rancid.)

  • 1 cup of honey

  • Labels

  • Saucepan

  • Colander

  • Cheesecloth

  • Small jars

Directions:

  • Place herbs in mason jar.

  • Slightly warm up the honey in a pot with water; but don’t heat or boil, especially if using raw honey.

  • Pour warm honey over the herbs.

  • Put cover on jar and label with the ingredients and date.

  • Place jar in a warm, sunny spot for several weeks, such as in a windowsill, or on your patio, deck, or in your garden.

  • Every day, turn the bottle over to blend the herbs and honey.

  • After a few weeks, place the jar in a pan with water and heat until the honey is very warm and less viscous.

  • Remove the jar, and strain the honey in a pan with a colander lined with cheesecloth.

  • Re-bottle honey in small jars and label them.

To use: drizzle honey over oatmeal, ice cream, shortcake, slices of fruit, granola, desserts, or use as a sweetener for tea or lemonade. You can also just take a spoonful a day by mouth. Yum!

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