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Archive for Honey/Sugar/Syrup

TIP OF THE DAY: Honey & Nuts Spread & Topping

Homemade honey with nuts. Photo courtesy
AppleTurnover.tv.

 

Honey Nuts Cheerios, Chex, Shredded Wheat and Special K; honey nut peanut butter and honey-roasted nuts: Honey and nuts are a natural pairing.

If you’ve got nuts and honey, you can take the duo one step further:

Combine them into a delicious bread spread and dessert topping, as people in Greece, Italy and elsewhere in the Mediterranean have been doing for thousands of years.

You can find jars of honey with nuts at stores that specialize in Greek and Italian foods, or in cheese shops. They are lovely gifts and stocking stuffers.

RECIPE: NUTS & HONEY

Ingredients

  • Any honey*
  • Any nuts*
  • Glass jar†
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    *Quantities depend on how much you are making and the capacity of the jar(s). While the photo above is more than half nuts, think of using 2/3 honey to 1/3 nuts—or even 1/4 nuts, if you want just a little. While whole nuts look prettier, they are not as spreadable. So if your goal is to make a bread spread rather than a dessert topping, consider chopping large nuts.

    †If you’re making this for home use, you can recycle an empty jar. If it’s for a gift, look for a prettier jar.

     

    Preparation

    1. TOAST nuts in a hot, dry pan, keeping them moving until the aroma wafts up (how to toast nuts). Cool.

    2. LAYER the nuts and honey in a clean jar. The nuts may migrate to the top of the jar, but you can easily stir them prior to use.
     

    VARIATIONS

    If you like the combination, try different variations: sage honey with walnuts, orange blossom honey with almonds, and so on.

     

    Or buy a jar! Photo courtesy Moon Shine Trading Company.

     

    HOW TO ENJOY HONEY AND NUTS

  • As a bread spread
  • As a cheeses condiment
  • As a dip for pretzels, baby carrots, etc.
  • As a fruit topper
  • On ice cream and loaf cakes
  • On pancakes, waffles and French toast
  • Straight from the jar, on a spoon
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    How would you use honey and nuts?
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Sugar Substitutions

    Try something from this list instead of sugar.
    Photo courtesy Domino Foods.

     

    Don’t want refined sugar in your recipe? Here are substitutes for 1/2 cup sugar:

  • Agave syrup: 1/3 cup
  • Barley malt extract: 1-1/2 cups
  • Carrot juice: 1/2 cup
  • Dried fruit purée: 1-1/4 cups
  • Fruit: 2 cups
  • Fruit juice: 1/2 cup
  • Fruit juice concentrate: 1/2 cup
  • Unsweetened frozen juice concentrate: 1/2 cup
  • Honey: 1/2 cup
  • Maple syrup: 1/2 cup
  • Molasses: 2/3 cup
  • Rice syrup: 1-1/4 cups
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    Remember to decrease or increase the amount of liquid or flour in the recipe, according to the liquid content of the sweetener.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Baking With Honey

    If you love to bake but want to use less refined sugar, consider honey as a substitute. Here are tips on cooking with honey from Honey.com, the website of the National Honey Board, where you can find every type of recipe plus beekeepers in your area:

    SUBSTITUTING HONEY IN BAKING

    Honey helps enhance browning, so it creates beautifully browned baked goods. The extra body provided by honey adds shape to cakes, pastries and other desserts. If you need to prepare baked goods in advance, honey gives them that “bakery fresh” taste, even days later.

  • Substitute honey for up to one-half of the sugar.
  • For easy removal when measuring honey, spray the measuring cup with cooking spray before adding honey.
  • Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
  • Add about ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used in baked goods.
  • You’ll need to increase beating time and speed, since it takes more vigorous beating to achieve the correct texture with honey.
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    Reach for the honey instead of the sugar. Photo courtesy Michael S. Richter | Morguefile.

  • Reduce oven temperatures by 25°F to prevent over-browning of baked goods.
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    SELECTING HONEY FOR BAKING & COOKING

  • Select a mild, paler honey, such as clover, when delicate flavors predominate—baked goods, glazed vegetables, and subtle fruits like bananas, for example.
  • Select stronger, amber-colored honeys to accompany stronger flavors, such as peanut butter, meats and strong cheeses.
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    Seabass with Aji Chile Honey Marinade.
    Photo courtesy Honey.com. Here‘a the recipe.

     

    GREAT HONEY COMBINATIONS

  • FRUIT: The combination of sweet fruits and honey brings out the best flavors of each. Apple slices dipped in honey is a luscious snack. Try sliced bananas, hazelnut spread and honey on toast or graham crackers for a tasty blend of flavors and textures.
  • ICE CREAM: Honey acts as an anti-freeze, which makes the ice cream’s consistency smoother and protects against crystallization. Here’s a recipe for peach ice cream with honey.
  • SALTY SNACKS: The combination of salt and sweet is a palate pleaser. We love dipping pretzels into honey, and making honey Cornflakes clusters instead of Rice Krispies treats.
  • CANDIED BACON: This recent craze is a special treat, but here‘s a tip: When making honey-candied bacon, the honey should be added to the bacon strips only after they have been cooked part of the way through. If the honey is added too soon, the honey will caramelize too quickly and the bacon will burn.
  • BREAD: Honey is a delicious bread spread instead of jam. Honey with buttermilk biscuits can’t be beat.
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  • SALAD DRESSING: If you like sweetness in your salad dressing, add a half teaspoon of honey. It acts as a stabilizer, too, so the vinaigrette won’t separate.
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE HONEY

    From appetizers and main dishes to sauces and sides, anywhere a sweetener is used you can substitute honey. We love it as a meat glaze and in marinades. Honey enhances browning and crisping, providing a more beautiful roast.

    Check out the honey-accented recipes at Honey.com.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Soften Brown Sugar ~ Fast!

    Even though we stored our brown sugar in a supposedly airtight glass canister, it invariably became rock-hard in a few weeks, its natural high level of moisture evaporating into…well, who knows where it went?

    The old “Hints From Heloise” on how to soften brown sugar don’t work if you’re in a hurry. They include putting slices of apple or a slice of fresh bread into the airtight container. In a day or so, the moisture from the apple or bread will infuse into the sugar and soften it.

    But if you discover, as you’re making a recipe, that your brown sugar is one big hard lump, you need a fast solution.

     

    This simple gadget keeps brown sugar soft. Photo courtesy Improvements.

     
    Our friend Rose offered the solution: Place the brown sugar in a plastic bag (or in a microwavable container) with moist paper towel and microwave it for 20-30 seconds. Voilà, soft brown sugar.

    We subsequently came across these Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Disks. Soak a disk in water for 15 minutes, then add it to the container of brown sugar. The terra cotta (which is porous, unglazed baked clay) holds moisture, and releases it slowly to keep brown sugar or other foods moist for weeks.

    You can pick up a set of Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Disks ($8.99 for three) and give the other two to friends.

    Should you happen to have a small piece of terra cotta hanging around, you can try it first. We used a shard from a broken flower pot, wrapping it in cheesecloth to ensure that none of the broken surface would come into contact with the sugar.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Hey Shuga! Organic Sugar Cane Syrup & Stevia Syrup

    What if there were a sweetener that was all natural, organic and delicious? Lower in calories? Better for you? And as a bonus, packaged in a fun enough way to be giftable?

    Refined sugars (such as table sugar) are stripped of nutrients; most noncaloric sweeteners are artificial. Sugar isn’t all that convenient when you’re trying to get it to dissolve in iced coffee, iced tea or lemonade.

    One solution: liquid cane sugar and liquid stevia dissolve easily and are available in natural food stores. But one family business is treating them with imagination and sass. We bought quite a few bottles for ourselves and for holiday gifts.

    The Hey Shuga! line of all natural, organic liquid sweeteners dissolve instantly in cold beverages and cocktails, and are equally delicious in hot beverages, as topping for cereal and fruit, in baking and glazing.

    The two initial products are:

     

    Lil’ Shuga liquid stevia-cane sugar blend and Hey Shuga! liquid cane sugar. Photo courtesy Hey Shuga!

     

  • Hey Shuga! is a flavorful organic sugar cane syrup, 20 calories per teaspoon.
  • Lil’ Shuga! cuts calories by blending sugar with noncaloric stevia, 15 calories per teaspoon. However, since stevia makes the blend much sweeter than sugar, you use 1/3 as much: 5 calories’ worth.
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    Both are alternatives to agave. corn syrup/golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, refined white sugar and conventional stevia. Lil’ Suga! has so few calories, you can use it instead of noncaloric sweeteners.

    Both have a delicious cane sugar taste, nothing artificial and are USDA organic certified, GMO free, gluten free and kosher certified by SKS.

    The line expects to expand next year to all-natural Hazelnut, Irish Cream, Maple and Vanilla flavors.

    You can purchase them on Amazon or on the HeyShuga.com website, which sells:

  • Hey Shuga! 12-ounce bottle, $7.99; case of 12, $80.000 ($6.66/bottle)
  • Lil’ Shuga! 8.5-ounce bottle, $9.99; case of 12, $94.00 ($7.83/bottle)
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    There are also tall bottles, glamorous for gifting:

  • Hey Shuga! 33.8-ounce bottle, $20.00
  • Lil’ Shuga! 23.7-ounce bottle, $24.00
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    Check out all the different types of sugar in our Sugar Glossary.

      

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