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Archive for Honey/Sugar/Syrup

TIP OF THE DAY: Spread Creme Honey On Toast

September is National Honey Month. Why not try a new type of honey?

If you’ve never had creme honey before, it’s a real treat. In many countries around the world, creme honey is preferred to the liquid/syrup form and is used instead of jelly or jam.

Creme honey (also known as churned honey, cremed honey, honey fondant, sugared honey, spun honey and whipped honey) is brought to market in a finely crystallized state.

While all honey will crystallize over time, creme honey is intentionally crystallized via a controlled process so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter.

Honey, a natural product, is better for you than refined sugar-laden jam. And honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar.

Use creme honey:

  • On toast, scones, biscuits and other breads.
  • On pancakes and waffles.
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    Treat yourself to creme honey. Photo by
    River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

     

  • In your favorite cooking or grilling sauces and marinades.
  • In a vinaigrette (stir in half a teaspoon).
  • As a cheese condiment.
  • As a topping for desserts: Make a fat-free hard sauce by mixing creme honey with a splash of brandy. Serve over pound cake, toasted angel food cake slices or quick breads.
  • And of course, any type of honey can be used as a sweetener for tea and other beverages.
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    Treat yourself to our favorite creme honey, from Honey Ridge Farms:

  • Honey Creme Trio In Apricot, Blackberry & Clover.
  • Honey Crème Trio In Cranberry, Cinnamon Spice & Raspberry.
  • Two flavors of your choice.
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    The line is certified kosher parve by Oregon Kosher.

    More About Honey

  • History Of Honey: Where did honeybees come from, and when?
  • Types Of Honey: Can you name at least five types of honey?
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    FOOD TRIVIA
    What’s the difference between creme and cream? Why is it creme honey instead of cream honey?

    Crème, pronounced KREHM, is the French word for cream. In America, French recipes were served at the tables of the wealthy, many of whom knew how to pronounce crème de légumes (mixed cream of vegetable soup).

    As these recipes entered the mainstream, people who did not know French began to pronounce crème as cream. Some people dispensed with the accent mark, and now we have a mashup of French and English. If you were to write “cream honey,” you would not be incorrect; however, the industry has adopted crème or creme.

    The word for honey in French is “miel” (pronounced mee-EL).

      

    Comments

    NEWS: Aspartame Is Still Safe

    For the time being, have all you want!
    Photo courtesy Merisant.

     

    Artificial sweeteners are often the subject of controversy. Since these sweeteners were approved by the FDA in 1974, critics have alleged that the original research supporting their safety was flawed and that conflicts of interest marred the approval process.

    The safety of aspartame has been confirmed by regulatory authorities in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization.

    Studies on the safety of artificial sweeteners are ongoing. As part of a continuing review of scientific studies on aspartame, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a statement on two new studies.

  • One study found that aspartame induces cancer in the livers and lungs of mice. The EFSA concluded that the results presented did not provide a sufficient basis to reconsider its previous evaluations on aspartame.
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  • In a second study, the authors found an association between intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and pre-term delivery. The EFSA assessment concluded that there is no evidence available to support a causal relationship between the consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks and pre-term delivery, and that additional studies would be required to reject or confirm an association.
  •  
    Read the full article.

    What’s the difference between aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda) and all the other noncaloric or low-calorie sweeteners? Here’s the scoop.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Reasons To Use Superfine Sugar

    Pick up some superfine sugar. It dissolves
    instantly in cold drinks. Photo courtesy
    Domino Sugar.

     

    If you put sugar in iced tea or other cold beverages and cocktails, or make frosting, mousse or other uncooked desserts, you may want to pick up a box of superfine sugar.

    Superfine sugar, also known as ultrafine sugar (and caster or castor sugar in the U.K.), is more finely pulverized than table sugar (granulated sugar). The grain size of regular table sugar is about .5mm; superfine sugar grains are about 3.5mm.

    The result is that superfine sugar dissolves instantly. No vigorous stirring is required to get the sugar to dissolve; no undissolved sugar sinks to the bottom of the glass.

    Many pastry chefs and bakers prefer using superfine sugar in order to create higher-rising cakes with a slightly finer crumb (grain). For the same reason, superfine sugar is used to make delicate baked goods such as meringues and angel food cakes. As a result, superfine sugar is sometimes called bakers’ sugar.

    Just substitute the same amount as regular granulated sugar in your recipes.

    You can find superfine sugar in most supermarkets, or buy it online.

     

    Make Superfine Sugar. You can convert table sugar to superfine sugar in a blender or food processor. Let the sugar powder settle for a few minutes before removing the lid of the appliance.

  • Check out the different types of sugar in our Sugar Glossary.
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    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Grenadine

    First, what is grenadine?

    A deep red syrup used for hundreds of years to flavor and give a reddish/pink tinge to drinks and other recipes, true grenadine is made from pomegranate juice and sugar syrup. The name comes from the French grenade and the Spanish grenada, words for pomegranate.

    Alas, today’s mass-marketed “grenadine” is faux grenadine, containining neither pomegranate nor sugar. If you want to pour HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) into your drink, go ahead.

    Otherwise, look for artisan brands and check the label.

    Or, make your own grenadine. Here’s the recipe.

    Making grenadine syrup couldn’t be easier. And once you’ve made a batch, you can use it to make dozens of delicious recipes: not just drinks, but everything from mains to desserts.

    And you can give it as gifts.

  • Grenadine Overview & History
  • Grenadine Recipes
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    Grenadine. Some European brands contain
    alcohol and are drunk as a cordial. Photo
    by Coatilex | Wikimedia.

     

      

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    NEWS: Honeybees On The Farm

    We just received a beautiful email from Greg Quinn, a currant grower whose juice, Currant C, is a NIBBLE favorite and one of the highest antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic foods.

    We love the description of the honeybees on the farm and would like to share it with all honey lovers:

    Well, we’re wrapping up spring in good stead here on the farm. I captured and hived a swarm of honey bees last week and this hive will be the start of a new bee yard over by the currant fields.

    It was a robust swarm of about 8,000 bees (3,500 bees weigh 22 lbs) and they’re doing great in their new home. Within 2 days they had made propolis* from the resin of tree sap and sealed up any small cracks and covered over all the knots in the new hive body. They are making honey and storing pollen and her majesty is laying about 500 eggs a day. In about a month, she’ll be up to 2,000 eggs each day!!!

     

    How cute is this? A honeybee bringing a
    grain of pollen back to the hive. Photo by
    Muhammad Mahdi Karim | Wikimedia.

     

    If all goes well, the population of the hive should be in excess of 30,000 bees going into the winter. Worker bees, all females, live for 4-6 weeks during the working season; but the queen can live up to 6 years. The males, called drones, serve only one function [to breed new bees] and pretty much hang around most of the time eating the honey the females make, so they’re pretty expendable. Often they’ll be kicked out of the hive in the fall, to save the honey for the working members of the community.

    Honey is one of the most perfect foods on the planet, containing many of the amino acids which are the building blocks of life.

    Honey will never go bad and local raw (unpasteurized) honey is great to combat allergies because, homeopathically, it’s made from the same pollen that causes the allergies.

    Honey bees and farms share a very important relationship and I love my bees.

    *BEEHIVE TRIVIA: Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows or other botanical sources. They use it as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive—small gaps of a quarter-inch or smaller. Larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax.
     
    Thanks, Greg!

  • Discover the products of Currant C.
  • Learn all about honey—types of honey, pairing honey, honey trivia, our favorite honeys and honey recipes—in our Honey Section.

      

  • Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Honey Sticks

    If you like honey but are tired of cleaning up the sticky drips, try honey sticks: plastic straws filled with honey. The no-mess packaging is easy to open; the honey squeezes out with no drips.

    This fun and tidy way to serve honey dispenses single servings to anyone who wants some in their tea, on biscuits, on pancakes and so forth.

    Honey also dissolves more readily than sugar in cold drinks such as iced tea and lemonade.

    Oregon’s Nature’s Kick Honeystix makes honey sticks in a nice selection of varietal honeys: blueberry blossom, buckwheat, fireweed, meadowfoam, orange blossom, pumpkin blossom, raspberry blossom, white sage and wildflower.

    There are also flavored honey sticks: cinnamon, lemon, lime and mint.

     

    Star thistle honey in honey sticks. Photo
    courtesy Nature’s Kick Honeystix.

     

    Each straw contains about 2/3 teaspoon honey: enough for one six-ounce cup of tea (excluding the milk).

    A natural product loaded with beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, honey in stick form can also serve as a nutritious, on-the-go energy snack.

  • The different types of honey.
  • Pairing varietal honeys with foods and beverages.
  • The history of honey.
  • Honey trivia quiz.
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    FATHER’S DAY HONEY GIFT IDEA
    Take a look at these gift crates with three different flavors of spreadable cream honeys:

  • Apricot, Blackberry & Clover Honeys
  • Cranberry, Cinnamon Spiced & Raspberry Honeys
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    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Try Varietal Honey Types

    “Supermarket” honey is blended to achieve a
    generic sameness. This very distinctive black
    sage honey is from Savannah Bee Company.

     

    If you like honey as a sweetener, have you ventured beyond “generic” supermarket honey to fine varietal honeys?

    As with wine, it’s the difference between a bland jug wine and a varietal wine, which has the distinctly delightful characteristics of its particular grape.

    And as with wine, different honeys pair better with certain foods. See this comparison of nine top varietal honeys and the foods they complement.

    There are many different kinds of honey—300 varietals in the U.S. alone. While some people might make it a life’s work to try all of them, start small. In fact, start with the pairings we’ve just mentioned.

    Life’s too short to stick with generic honey.

  • Honey overview and the different types of honey.
  • The history of honey. It’s 40 million years old!
  • Honey trivia and a honey trivia quiz.
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    Like flavored honey? These creme honeys in six flavors—apricot, blackberry, cranberry, lemon, raspberry and spiced—are among our favorites.

     

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Agave Nectar (Agave Syrup)

    Any nutritionally-aware person realizes that sugar tastes great but simply is not good for you.

    How about a natural sugar alternative that tastes great and is good for you?

    That’s agave nectar (also called agave syrup), made from the juices of the same plant that produces tequila: the blue agave. In the bottle, it looks like honey or maple syrup.

    Light agave nectar is a neutral sweetener, though some brands can taste like very light honey. Agave dissolves instantly in cold or hot beverages, and is used to sweeten lighter-flavor foods (like fruit salad).

    Dark agave nectar has caramel flavors, and is used in recipes and as a substitute for maple syrup or honey on pancakes, bread and other foods.

    The best part is that agave is a low-glycemic food. It has half the glycemic index of honey, maple syrup and table sugar; and it’s 25% to 50% sweeter, so you need much less of it.

    Agave is a real find. Make it your “find of the year.”

  • Read the full review of agave nectar.
  • See all the different types of sweeteners in our Sugar & Syrup Glossary.
  • Check out the low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners in our Artificial Sweeteners Glossary.
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    WHAT IS THE GLYCEMIC INDEX?

    The Glycemic Index, or GI, is a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100, based on their effect on blood-sugar levels.

    The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar. Bad carbs have a higher GI, good carbs, lower.

    Here’s a detailed description of the glycemic index.
     
     
    The Glycemic Index Of Popular Sweeteners*

  • Agave: The GI is 32 GI and 60 calories per tablespoon. But it’s twice as sweet as sugar, so use half the amount so you don’t over-sweeten.
  • Brown Rice Syrup:† The GI (glycemic index) is 20 and 55 calories.
  • Maple Syrup: The GI is 54, and 52 calories per tablespoon.
  • Honey: The GI is 58 GI and 64 calories per tablespoon.
  • Sugar: White, brown, refined or natural, the GI is 60-65, and 48 calories per tablespoon.
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    Herradura Agave

    The blue agave plant produces a sweetener that looks like honey, but is lighter, easily pourable, not as sticky and has half the glycemic index, It’s better for you! Photo by Cristian Lazzari | IST. Bottom photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     
    ________________
    *Calorie data source: NutritionData.Self.com.

    †Brown rice syrup is not recommended for diabetics. Consult your healthcare provider.
      

    Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2 ~ Honey Ridge Farms Crème Trio Gift Set

    These superior flavored honeys from Honey Ridge Farms are blended with fruits or spices. Luscious, yet light on the palate, they are delicious on just about anything.

  • Spread on toast, scones, pancakes and waffles
  • Top ice cream
  • Use as a cheese condiment
  • Add to grilling sauces or marinades
  • And by all means, sweeten tea or other beverages
  • Flavors include Apricot, Blackberry, Cranberry, Raspberry and Spiced. The line is certified kosher by Oregon Kosher and is available at TheNibbleGourmetMarket.com.

    Two lucky winners will receive a honey crème trio gift set of three of the flavors.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $18.99.

  • To learn more about Honey Ridge Farms, visit HoneyRidgeFarms.com.
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Artisan Honeys, Gourmet Sugars & Syrups Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, January 3rd at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
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    Spread this honey on just about anything.
    Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

    Comments

    GIFT OF THE DAY: Honey Ridge Farms Flavored Honey

    Here’s something sweet and better-for-you: honey is lower on the glycemic index than sugar.

    These superior flavored honeys from Honey Ridge Farms are blended with fruits or spices. Luscious, yet light on the palate, these honey crèmes are delicious on just about anything.

  • Spread on toast, scones, pancakes and waffles
  • Top ice cream
  • Use as a cheese condiment
  • Add to grilling sauces or marinades
  • And by all means, sweeten tea or other beverages
  • Flavors include Apricot, Blackberry, Cranberry, Lemon, Raspberry and Spiced (Cinnamon). The line is certified kosher by Oregon Kosher.

    You can purchase individual jars or a lovely gift crate with three 5.5-ounce jars:

  • Honey Crèmes, two 12-Ounce Jars, your choice of flavors
  • Honey Gift Crate With Three 5.5-Ounce Jars: Apricot, Blackberry & Clover
  • Honey Gift Crate With Three 5.5-Ounce Jars: Cranberry, Raspberry
    & Spiced (Cinnamon)
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    Learn all about honey, how to pair honey and food, and find recipes in our Honey Section.

    Discover the fascinating history of honey.

     

    A gift box of Honey Ridge Farms Honey
    Crème is a sweet, better-for-you gift.
    Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

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