Do you know how honey is actually created? Honey begins when bees land on the flowers and collect the flower nectar in their mouths. The nectar mixes with special enzymes in the bees' saliva which turns it into honey. The bees carry the honey back to the hive and deposit it into the cells of the hive walls. Certain bees are assigned the task of fluttering their wings to provide the ventilation needed to reduce the moisture content of the honey, making it ready for consumption by the bees (or by us).
Honey is a source of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, iron and manganese, and it is an exceptional treat in the summer and fall when it has just been harvested and is at its freshest. Honey produced in the summer by flower-fed bees is also most likely to contain friendly lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.
Raw honey contains small amounts of certain resins which honeybees use to seal the hive and make it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms. These resins have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Other phytonutrients found in raw honey have been shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumor properties.
Twin Creek Apiaries’ honey is raw (unprocessed) honey, and they are a regular vendor at the Oakwood farm market and the Sugarcreek Township farm market. Twin Creeks has jars of the golden sweetener in various sizes, as well as honey candy, honey sticks, lotion bars and lip balms with honey. You can use honey in all sorts of recipes; obviously sweet treats work well when made with honey, but savory dishes can benefit as well. You can get the beans, honey and garlic for the following recipe from the Sugarcreek Township farm market this Friday:
Balsamic green beans with honey
- 1# fresh green beans, trimmed, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 T soy sauce or coconut amines (amines available at Olympia Health foods)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 T sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
Heat the sesame oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the minced garlic and saute until the garlic turns light brown at the edges.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and honey. When the garlic has browned, add the green beans, pour the honey/soy/balsamic mixture over it, and cook, (uncovered) to reduce the sauce. When the beans are tender enough to suite you, transfer them to a serving dish and pour any remaining sauce from the skillet over them.
These are even better the next day - if you have any left over!
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