Infusing honey with fruit or herbs is a great way to add enhanced taste to honey, as well as additional health benefits. In the wintertime, I regularly make lemon, ginger infused honey and elderberry syrup to boost my family’s immune system, but have never made infused honeys for edible enjoyment. I decided to give it a try and came up with some delightful infusions I wanted to share.
Infused honeys can be enjoyed on fresh fruit, oatmeal, breads, desserts, smoothies, beverages, marinades and even drizzled over yummy homemade yogurt. All you need is your favorite honey (I bought mine from a local beekeeper) and your favorite herbs.
There are two methods in making infused honey: 1. Fast method which involves slowly heating the honey until it reaches a temperature of 185 F (85C) for ten minutes. I prefer not to use this method, as it may kill off the beneficial parts of the honey. 2. The slow method involves allowing the honey to sit in the herbs and/or spices for two weeks. This method may be slow, but you will know that the health benefits are still there.
- Fresh or dried herbs: Lavender, Rose petals, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Basil, Ginger, Sage, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Star Anise, Rosemary, and Thyme are just a few of the many options.
- Raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized honey
- Empty tea bags or cheese cloth
- Kitchen string
- Glass jar
- To prevent added bacteria, wash and completely dry off any fresh herbs or flowers you plan on using. As well, if you are using citrus zest, grate your citrus rinds the night before to allow it to dry out.
- On a cutting board, chop or muddle the spices to release the aromatic flavors.
- Place loose herbs and spices in tea bag or cheesecloth and tie with string to keep the bag remained closed.
- Pour honey over the top of the tea bag, filling the jar. Use a chopstick or skewer to stir the honey, then top off the jar with additional honey if needed. Screw lid on tightly.
- Allow flavors to infuse for two weeks. Tip: Invert your honey jar whenever your tea bag floats to the surface to keep your herbs and spices submerged and to mix the honey ever so slightly.
- Open jar and remove tea bag. Replace your jar lid, screwing it on tightly.
Read these tips of properly storing honey.
1. Lemon-Rosemary Honey
This is great for marinades
- 1 tablespoon dried, grated lemon zest (allow fresh lemon zest to sit on a windowsill overnight)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried or 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2. Vanilla Bean-Cardamom Honey
Delicious on desserts
- 1 vanilla bean, chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon cardamom pods (about 25)
3. Vanilla Orange Honey
A nice addition to hot or cold tea
- 2 tablespoon dried, grated orange zest (about 1/2 large orange)
- 1/2 Chopped Vanilla Bean
4. Hot Pepper Honey
Great for marinades or drizzled to steamed vegetables
- 1 jalapeno or 2 teaspoons pepper/chili seeds (can be substituted with other peppers)
5. Cinnamon-Anise Honey
- 5 sticks of cinnamon
- 3 anise stars
6. Sage Honey
This one is great for upper respiratory issues
- 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried, grated lemon zest
7. Rose Petal Honey
- Rose petals from 5 roses
8. Lavender-Vanilla Honey
- 3 tablespoons of culinary grade lavender buds
- 1 vanilla bean, chopped
9. Ginger-Clove Vanilla Honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
- 6 whole cloves
10. Chamomile Lemon Balm Honey
A wonderful honey that soothes and relaxes
- 2 tablespoons chamomile
- 1 tablespoon lemon balm leaves
So there you have it – ten delicious recipes to start out with. You will love the results and see how easy it really is. Happy Infusing!