Food of the month: Heavenly honey

Friday, 2 August 2013

Honey food of the monthWhat it is: Honey is a sweet, sticky yellow-brown liquid, made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Honeybees make honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation, storing it in wax honeycombs inside a beehive.

Where it’s from:
Honeybees originated about 130 million years ago. Honey dates back to 2 100B.C. – it was mentioned in old Sumerian and Babylonian writings, the sacred writings of India and Egypt and many others. It is presumed that honey is even older than that!

Where it’s produced:
Although humans have been colleting honey from wild bees for thousands of years, efforts to domesticate them are shown in Egyptian art around 4 500 years ago. Beekeeping (apiculture) involves maintaining honeybee colonies in hives. Today, China, Turkey and the Ukraine are the top producers of natural honey, while significant regional producers include the United States and Russia.

What it tastes and looks like:
The flavour of honey depends on the nectar gathered by bees from various flower sources. They can range from mild to aromatic or spicy and are often combined to create the perfect balance. Colours range from near white to yellow, yellow-green, gold, amber, dark brown or even red and nearly black.

How to eat / use it:

Honey comes in a variety of forms, such as liquid, comb, cut-comb, solid (granulated or crystallised) and chunk. You can use honey as a sweetener in your tea, substitute honey for sugar in your recipes or drizzle it over your muesli for breakfast. Honey is also primarily used in baking goods because of its ability to absorb and retain moisture.

A good source of:
Similar to the synthetically produced inverted sugar syrup, honey mainly consists of fructose and glucose. With trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, honey also includes maltose, sucrose and water.


A commonly known benefit of honey is its ability to reduce cough and throat irritation. It has been found to be just as effective as dextromethorphan – an active ingredient in many cough and cold medicines. Current scientific research suggests that honey may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis, and may help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Honey has also been shown to have antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

Yoghurt drizzled with Honey and Walnuts
Delight your taste buds with this mouth-watering recipe courtesy of

• About ¾ cup walnut halves
• 1 cup good-quality honey (such as clover or wildflower)
• 680g plain low-fat yoghurt (try using low-fat Greek-style yoghurt as its thicker and richer in flavour)

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until fragrant and golden brown – about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to plate. Rub with a damp kitchen towel to remove as much loose skin as possible.
Step 2: While still warm, place walnuts in a small bowl, pour honey on top and stir to coat evenly. Let cool for about 2 minutes.
Step 3: Divide yoghurt among six dessert bowls, and spoon honey mixture over each. Serve immediately.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Food of the month: Coconut oil 
Food of the month: Oats 
Different types of sweetener 
Going batty for Brazil nuts 
Healthy party snacks

Written by

Danica Potgieter is a sassy sub-editor, witty writer and lover of high heels, lipgloss & her flat iron! (Hates bios, so this is all there is!)

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  1. Sammy

    I’m not much of a honey fan, but what I do know is it’s a great ingredient to moisturise the skin. The Body Shop range has their honey mania collection out and simply loving the body butter.

    6 years ago •

  1. Leana

    Honey is really my go to beauty product. I love the qualities of natural honey!

    6 years ago •

  1. Tiaan Smith

    I use honey all the time! Great recipe, thanks.

    6 years ago •

  1. StephanieM

    Thank you so much for the recipe.

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    There is a lot more this heavenly manna can do. Sore throat and coughs is my number one use for honey.

    6 years ago •

  1. Miss Kay

    Honey is great! My favourite uses: in my oats, in my tea and on my face.

    6 years ago •

  1. blackrose

    I tried it but I’m not a lover of it….

    6 years ago •

  1. me

    With a beekeeper for a father, I was practically raised on honey and still love it.

    6 years ago •

  1. Miss Tee

    I use honey as a substitute for sugar in everything….so healthy and tasty

    6 years ago •

  1. Jara

    Yummy with Rooibos tea. I will also try this recipe…

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I love honey, especially on my oats! It is a much better choice than syrup!

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I don’t use sugar in anything so honey has been my go-to for almost a year now and I love it. You also learn to slow down with adding something to sweeten a drink/meal over time.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    Love honey and yoghurt with seeds in it! Delish!

    6 years ago •

  1. Riekie

    Never experiments with honey, might try a few things other than eating it.

    6 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    I wonder who thought to take the honey from the hive and eat it? I love honey and I use it as a substitute for sugar is pretty much everything. At first the taste was a bit weird but I got used to it, and it makes a great face mask when applied with cinnamon.

    6 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Awesome, there is a honey cough mixture that our family drinks when we are sick and it works like a bomb, teamed with honey and ginger tea you are good to go. But there are a lot of beauty products that also use honey.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lah

    Yum yum yum!!! I drink hot water with honey and lemon every morning!

    6 years ago •

  1. Abby

    I love Honey in tea, it’s delicious and such a useful product. I always use it in salad dressing with fat free plain yogurt, fresh grated garlic and dried basil. Delicious over baby spinach salad.

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Honey is indeed a great product to have in your home.

    6 years ago •

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