NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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September is Also Honey Month

September is Also Honey Month


                Another special designation for September is “Honey Month”. The story of honey is older than history itself. An 8,000-year-old cave painting1 in Spain depicts honey harvesting, and we know it's been used for food, medicine and more by cultures all over the world since.

                Honey is the natural product made from bees.  Honeybees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes, making pollination of plants possible and collecting nectar to bring back to the hive. Lucky for us, bees make more honey than their colony needs, and beekeepers remove the excess and bottle it. Just like they've been doing since the beginning of time.

                The color, flavor and even aroma of honey differs, depending on the nectar of flowers visited by the bees that made it. There are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States alone, each originating from a different floral source.  Their shades range from nearly colorless to dark brown, while flavors go from subtle to bold; even the aroma of honey may be reminiscent of the flower.    As a general rule, the flavor of light-colored honeys is milder, and the flavor of darker-colored honey is stronger. Varietal honeys may be best compared to wine in terms of climatic changes

                Honey isn’t just versatile and delicious. Research has shown that honey contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.  Flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, are found in honey. . The amount and type of these compounds depends largely on the floral source. Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses, honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which gives athletes the boost they need when they need it most.

                Honey is sweet—that’s a given.  Many people think of honey as a drizzle in desserts or a topping for toast. But more and more, honey is being recognized as a pantry staple. It gives your recipes unbeatable flavor and unexpected functional benefits. From balancing flavors to providing moisture to baked goods, honey excels in a variety of ways.

                Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, and now research confirms this approach for children ages one and older. Honey offers an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine.    

                One very important reminder  Honey may be introduced into a child’s diet after the age of one, but not before. For a great combination of a fall vegetable and honey, try Honey Glazed Carrots.


Honey Glazed Carrots


1 T butter or margarine

4 cups sliced carrots

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 tsp. minced orange zest

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

                In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add carrots and sauté for several minutes. Add honey, broth, orange juice and orange zest. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until carrots are cooked and liquid is thick. Season with salt and pepper.

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