Monday, May 21, 2012

This Week at the Market: Honey



Beautiful sights abound at a farmer’s market: Tables overflowing with baskets of red tomatoes, green peppers, brown potatoes, and purple onions; displays of homemade breads next to rows of pies; and an area of flowering plants just waiting for a garden to call home.




One sight I enjoy is a table stacked with jars and bottles of honey, golden and glistening in the sun. This past week I restocked my honey supply with a bottle from Koelzer Bee Farm in Corning, Kansas, but there are many other stalls that sell this sweet elixir.

I always have a bottle of honey in the pantry. When I don’t feel well, I like honey in my tea, or I make-up a batch of ginger tea. Like Julia Child, honey and peanut butter is one of my favorite sandwich combinations. Thanks to Gourmet Live’s 50 Women Game-Changer #18, Clotilde Dusoulier, I now make a lovely French honey spice loaf. And my favorite breakfast/lunch/snack is a crispy apple slathered in peanut butter and drizzled with honey.

There is a general belief that local honey helps relieve seasonal allergies, though no serious scientific studies as of yet to back it up. The theory is since the honey contains pollen spores from local plants, it helps the immune system build a tolerance to the blooming flowers, trees and grasses that cause allergy symptoms.

My theory is, if it tastes good, eat it!

(Note: Honey can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Plus, never give honey to a child under 12 months of age since it can contain the bacteria that cause infant botulism.)

I wanted to add another honey recipe to my repertoire, so I paid a visit to the National Honey Board’s website, which has an extensive selection of recipes. The Honey Oatmeal Muffins caught my attention because I’m always looking for an easy breakfast recipe that will get me through the week.

These muffins are just right—not too sweet, so you don’t feel like you’re eating cake for breakfast (though what’s wrong with that, right?), and they’re the perfect backdrop for butter, jam, or more honey! I also think they would taste great with dried fruits and nuts added into the mix. My husband, Michael, suggested chocolate chips. :) (See why I married him!)

Honey Oatmeal Muffins
Recipe from The National Honey Board
Makes 12 muffins

3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine oats, flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and soda; mix well. Beat eggs, honey, milk and oil together; mix well. Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients; mix only until moistened. Spoon into oiled muffin tins. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

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