National Honey Month
September is National Honey Month. Why not try using honey harvested locally and sold at area farmers' markets and stores to add some zest to your fall meals.
Types of Honey
Honey can be mild or spicy, buttery, fruity, herbal or woodsy, depending on the source of the nectar. The general rule is: the darker the color, the stronger the flavor.
- Clover honey-the most common type-is light and neutral. It will sweeten, but not dominate a recipe.
- Orange blossom honey is also a good, light floral choice to use in recipes.
- Buckwheat honey is characterized by its herbal and aromatic notes.
Baking with Honey
Honey is sweeter than white sugar. You can use less of it when baking. Follow these baking tips:
- Use ¾ c. plus 1 Tbsp. of honey for every cup of sugar
- Decrease the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup
- Add ½ tsp. of baking soda for every cup of honey
- Reduce your oven temperature by 25°
Another reason honey is great to use when baking is because it's hygroscopic (water-attracting): it absorbs moisture from the air, keeping your baked goods moist and delicious for days.
Storage and Safety
Honey is relatively shelf-stable, but it should be stored in an air-tight jar. Heat will cause it to degrade over time, so you may wish to store your honey in the refrigerator if you don't eat it very often. If your honey has crystallized, gently heat it in a pan of simmering water (or uncap the jar and microwave on medium power until fluid, checking every 30 seconds) to restore its consistency.
Note: Never give honey to children younger than one year old. Honey may contain trace amounts of botulism spores. While these spores are harmless to most people, immature digestive systems are susceptible; infants can develop breathing problems or paralysis. (Pasteurization or cooking will not destroy the spores.)
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ c. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 c. finely grated carrot
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 ½ c. honey
- ¾ c. buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9/13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. In a large bowl, stir together the honey, buttermilk, eggs, oil and 2 tsp. of vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in the carrot, pineapple and walnuts by hand. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.
To make the frosting, mix together the cream cheese, honey and 1 tsp. of vanilla until smooth and well blended. Spread over the cooled cake.
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. prepared yellow mustard
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, honey and cayenne pepper until well blended. Chill until serving to blend flavors.
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