Kicking off our first honey of the week for 2022 with Vanilla Infused Honey!
Who doesn’t like vanilla? Not the ridiculously cheap extract from the store that’s likely got scat in it, so gross. Or the artificial fragrance, ewww. No friends, I’m talking about the real deal - actual vanilla bean pods that are sustainably harvested. Since learning about the real stuff about 12 years ago, I’ve only made my own extract and will never buy it again. But, this isn’t about extract (although homemade is so delicious). Today we’re talking honey.
Our first experience with vanilla honey was at a restaurant years ago. The kids loved it so much I had to try making it at home for treats. At that time, we had very few menu choices as we coped with a boat load of food allergies. The limited choices meant only a couple of homemade treats so we were all excited to learn how easy making vanilla honey was. And how many ways it could be used to add flavor to our otherwise unseasoned foods.
To make you’ll need: ~ a couple of vanilla bean pods, split open lengthwise ~ 8 oz (1/2 pint) sterilized jar with lid ~ local raw honey
Place split vanilla pods in jar. Fill jar with about 1/2” head space (just up to neck where threading for lid starts). Gently swirl honey around to encourage any air bubbles to surface. Label jar with ingredients & date. Let infuse for at least 3 days. Give the jar a love flip top to bottom (& then bottom to top) once a day to make sure vanilla stays submerged & any bubbles surface. You can start tasting at any time. When you like the flavor, start adding to your menu! No need to strain. If preferred, pods can be pulled out & used in a recipe before discarding. The longer it infuses, the stronger the flavor will be. This does not need refrigerated since no moisture was added.
Ways to use: Drizzle on fresh fruit, ice cream, biscuits. Bake with it to replace sweetener in recipe. Spread on toast or add a spoonful to hot tea.
Some benefits of vanilla: Research shows that the active ingredient vanillin, can help reduce cholesterol levels improving heart health. Vanilla is rich in antioxidants, which can help with healing cells & tissues. It is said that it has been used for centuries to soothe inflammation particularly with the liver. Vanillin can also help ease arthritis, gout & other inflammatory conditions. Vanilla may soothe anxiety through it’s aroma - it is known to directly impact the brain and induce calmness. Vanilla may also aid in healthy digestion by soothing gut inflammation helping alleviate vomiting, cramping & diarrhea.
I’d love to hear about your honey adventures this year! Comment or use #yearofhoney on IG or Facebook so I can see your posts.