Soy Dipping Sauce with Bench’s Raw Honey

A delicious asian-style dipping sauce made with Bench’s Raw Honey!

Add 4 Tablespoons of Bench's Raw Honey

Ingredients:

  • 14 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Bench’s RAW honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh peeled minced ginger
  • 12 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 14 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients except sesame seeds.
  2. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Removed from refrigerator and add sesame seeds.

Happy Pi Day!

Make this delicious Honey Pie recipe for Pi Day! Recipe courtesy of www.marthastewart.com.  Be sure to use Bench’s Raw Honey when it calls for honey in the recipe!

Martha Stewart's Gabrielle Honey Pie

Martha Stewart’s Gabrielle Honey Pie

Gabrielle’s Honey Pie

For this pie’s crumbly crust, Gabrielle Langholtz uses lard rendered from farm-raised pork. For a similarly memorable pie, use leaf lard; it comes from the fat around the pig’s kidneys and is famed for yielding flaky baked goods. You can order it from your local butcher.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12
  • Yield:Makes one 9-inch pie

    Ingredients

    For the Crust

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • Coarse salt
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and frozen
    • 3/4 cup cold rendered leaf lard or regular lard (5 ounces), cut into small pieces
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

    For the Filling

    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey (preferably organic wildflower)
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • Coarse salt

    Directions

    1. Make the crust: Pulse flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and lard, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to come together (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse.

    2. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour. (Freeze remaining disk for another use.)

    3. Meanwhile, make the filling: Warm honey in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in butter.

    4. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir into honey mixture. Refrigerate until cooled, up to 1 hour.

    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with 1 rack in the middle position and 1 rack in the bottom third of oven. Roll out dough to a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9-inch pie plate with dough. Trim overhang to 1 inch; crimp. Prick bottom all over with fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    6. Line crust with parchment, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes more. Remove dried beans and parchment. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

    7. Stir filling, and pour into cooled crust. Bake on bottom rack until center is set and crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Celebrate National Doughnut Day with these deliciously healthy baked goodies! Adding a bit of Bench’s Raw Honey will help sweeten the doughnuts, give them a golden color, and help lengthen their shelf life!

Baked Honey Doughnuts

Prep 18 Minutes | Cook 12 Minutes | Ready in 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Bench’s Raw Honey
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees .Lightly grease a baking sheet, or donut baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and flour. Mix buttermilk, eggs, honey and butter in a separate medium bowl, and stir into the dry ingredients. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared pan in doughnut shapes.
  • Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.

 

Top with powdered sugar or with Bench’s Lemon & Raw Honey Glaze!

Bees vs Wasps

bumblebee-honeybee-wasp

Physical characteristics of bees vs wasps

Both bees and wasps have different body and leg structure.

Bees have hairy body and legs, whereas wasps have smooth bodies and legs. The abdomen and thorax of a bee is round, whereas in case of a wasp, it is cylindrical. Bees have flat and wide legs and wasps have rounds and waxy legs.

Differences in feeding habits

Bees are pollinators, which essentially means that they collect pollen and sip on nectar. They can be easily found in areas where there are flowers. Bees also drink water. They use water for cleaning their hive as well. The Queen bee eats Royal Jelly a special nectar-like substance that transforms them from a normal bee to a queen.

Wasps are usually predators who eat other insects such as caterpillars and flies. However, sometimes wasps sip on nectar too. They get attracted to the smell of human food, especially sugary beverages and beer.

Behavioral characteristics of bees vs wasps

When bees need to protect their hives or themselves, they use the poison in their stingers. They sting anyone who attempts to disturb their hives. The stinger of a honeybee is sharp and pointy. It stays in the skin after a person is stung. The stringer is ripped from the thorax of the bee and this stress eventually causes its death.

Wasps are more aggressive since they are usually predators. Unlike a bee, a wasp can easily be provoked. Sometimes it can sting you while trying to brush it away. The stinger of a wasp is smooth and easily comes out of the skin. When a wasp sees danger to it or the nest, it releases pheromones that alert its family, who will then come out and attack the person who has hurt it.

Neither wasps nor bees are generally aggressive. The only time they will aggressively try to sting you is if they are being closely handled against the skin, stepped on, or are defending their colonies or nests. There is a wide range of the intensity of a sting. For example, sweat bees have very mild stings, and males of some bee species may appear aggressive but are completely unable to sting. Honeybee stingers, while they can only sting once, can be nasty because they are barbed and remain in the skin with a venom sac attached. The ones to really watch out for are bumble bees and all wasps because they can sting multiple times, and their stingers do not detach and embed in skin.

Why are bees so busy during the fall months?

busybees

You buy a cider doughnut at the apple orchard and they quickly find you. Your kid opens a sports drink at the soccer field and they show up. You dine on the deck on a warm afternoon and sure enough, there they are. This time of year, bees and wasps seem to be everywhere. Why won’t they buzz off?

Bees aren’t trying to sting you or ruin your outdoor fun. It’s just that autumn is a particularly important time for honeybees and native bees as they get ready for winter.

In late summer and fall, worker bees labor long hours, collecting enough nectar to feed and maintain the colony throughout the winter. Bees visit flowers to obtain carbohydrates (nectar) and protein (found in the pollen).  Late-blooming flowers that feed the bees include asters, chrysanthemums, goldenrod and Russian sage.

As the days shorten, the bees know it’s time to go into this food-gathering mode, if supplies run low during the winter, beekeepers can feed bees various sugary concoctions—for example, sugar syrup, corn syrup or granulated sugar in the form of sugar boards. But wild bees are out of luck in this regard. Their colonies may not survive if they didn’t make adequate preparations.

For the most part, bees hunker down and stay in the hives all winter. On unseasonably warm winter days, they will come out to remove waste from their abdomens and the hive, clean themselves, and forage. Of course, there isn’t much to forage in the dead of winter so provisions gathered in fall are critical to the success of the hive.

So when you’re at the pumpkin patch this weekend, don’t be nervous. The bees are just checking you out, and will leave you alone as soon as they realize you’re not a food source.

Slow Cooker Honey Sweet and Sour Chicken with Crushed Red Pepper and Caramelized Onions

Slow Cooker Honey Sweet and Sour Chicken with Crushed Red Pepper and Caramelized Onions

Easy to assemble, let the chicken slowly cook while tending to other things. Be sure to use Bench’s Raw Honey which is a wildflower honey and will merry together the flavor profiles of the marinade.

slowcookerchicken

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (about 8) large  – bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup  – tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup  – honey
  • ¼ cup = – apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon  – crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons – extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups  – onions, thin lengthwise slices

    Directions

    Spray the insert of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

    Lightly season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place the pieces in the slow cooker. In a bowl stir the tomato sauce, honey, vinegar and red pepper until blended. Pour over the chicken.

    Cover and cook the chicken on low until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 hours, depending on your slow cooker.  Lift the cooked chicken from the juices and place in an oven proof serving dish. Cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven. Reserve the juices. There will be 1 to 2 cups.

    Meanwhile heat oil in a medium skillet until hot enough to sizzle a piece of onion. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat, until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Add the reserved juices and gently boil until reduced by about half. Spoon the onion mixture over the chicken and garnish with the parsley or oregano.

    Recipe courtesy of www.honey.com

Why the Crystallization of Honey is your Friend

crystallize

For some reason, there is a perception that honey that crystallizes has “gone bad” or that it is a sign of contamination. No! It’s actually a sign of high quality honey. Don’t throw your crystallized honey out, unless you like to waste delicious food. Crystallization is honey’s natural way of preserving itself.

Despite its liquid appearance, honey has a low moisture content that deters bacteria and yeast. If you were to look at a bowl of white sugar, you could see thousands of small crystals. When you look at cloudy or thick honey, you can also see sugar crystals. The only difference is that the honey crystals clump together.

All honey will eventually crystallize. Honey is a super-saturated solution of two sugars: glucose and fructose. Since it’s super-saturated, it’s a natural chemical process that some of the sugars eventually come out of solution.  Honey will even crystallize when it’s still in the comb. There are many factors that contribute to crystallization including the type of flower or plant the bees gathered the pollen from to make the honey. Temperature also plays a part. It’s best to store your honey around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures will increase the rate of crystallization while warmer temperatures will degrade the honey.

If your honey has crystallized, you can make it smooth and golden once again.

  1. Simply heat a pan of water with low heat.
  2. Remove the pan from the stove and place your honey jar inside. Be sure to take the lid off your jar before placing it in the warm water.
  3. Now, all you have to do is let the honey sit until it softens.
  4. Once the honey has come to a liquid state, put the lid back on and shake the jar. You may need to use an oven mitt or wrap the jar in a towel.
  5. It’s just as important to cool your honey slowly as it is to heat it slowly. You’ll want to place the honey back in the warm water, make sure there is enough water to reach the top of the honey line in the jar.
  6. Let the water and the honey cool together. If you can touch the water and it’s the same temperature as the room then your honey is ready.

Or you could leave it crystallized… Crystallized honey is delicious in tea, on yogurt, on a toasted bagel, and on oatmeal. It’s a fabulous spread glaze for cooking chicken or stir-fry.

Honey with pollen in it is great honey, but crystallization happens faster when there are small particles available to build on. Fresh, raw honey has a lot of those in the form of pollen grains. Because Americans tend to be a bit paranoid about cosmetic defects in food, a lot of honey is now filtered to remove pollen.  This does creates a more shelf-stable honey, and it is clearer and brighter in color. Basically, it’s cosmetic surgery to make your honey pretty.The problem with pollen-less honey is you don’t know where it came from, or what kind of plants the bees were feeding on.  Filtering has a shady side effect: it makes it easier for honey to be processed and shipped longer distances (like from China) and means that many different kinds of honey can be blended together without any knowledge to the consumer.

How can you get the best honey? Buy local. And by local, I mean look for honey that is not part of a chain store brand, but something from a beekeeper that is in your state, with a traceable address and name.
A word of caution:
You may be tempted to heat the honey faster or simply put it in the microwave, but high temperatures (over 118 degrees) can remove the vitamins and nutrients naturally found in honey.  Also, heating and cooling too quickly can increase the crystallization process.
http://www.whitelakefarms.com/how-to-save-crystallized-honey.htm