Spring is upon us and new crops will soon be poking their tender sprouts through the soil. While we will have a few early Spring greens such as lettuce, collards and kale, we really have to transition with what remaining Winter root veggies, any meat, poultry or fish that is in the freezer and even items that were canned in the fall. One of those mainstays is honey. Come to find out, after an amazing interview with dentist and beekeeper Dr. Stace Lind DMD, DDS, honey is one of nature’s most nutritious and healing foods on the planet. Here is an excerpt* from that interview:
Chef Trusan: How long have you been bee keeping?
Dr. Lind: I’ve been bee keeping for about 5 years. It’s been enjoyable.
Chef Trusan: What sparked your interest in it?
Dr. Lind: All my allergies. I had tons of allergies. I was taking Seldane, I was taking shots, taking all these meds, antihistamines. My eyes would be itchy, my nose would run, the back of my throat would get scratchy, I’d cough and I got tired of taking meds. Someone told me about pollen and how the bees when they collected everything from all the flowers, all the things that make my nose run, and they collect it in a little ball and I eat it, my body builds up antibodies within my immune system to those markers, so all of a sudden it increases my resistance and helps my tolerance. I haven’t taken allergy meds in probably five years.
Chef Trusan: Great, I didn’t realize how that worked.
Dr. Lind: Its pretty amazing when you look at it. It’s nature’s best way to build up antibodies for immunity against all the pollens in the air by letting your digestive track bring those in and to build an immunity to them. It takes about nine to fourteen days so you have to start before the season. If you try to hurry and eat some pollen the day your eyes are itchy and your nose is runny, then it’s a little bit late to build up your system.
Chef Trusan: What is the difference between store-bought honey and honey that is hand harvested?
Dr. Lind: The store bought honey is very scary, particularly within the last few years. Actually some of it is so tainted that Sue Bee and the Federal Government had to dump 40 million dollars worth of honey that had come over from China laced with all sorts of heavy metals and elements that you don’t want in your honey. So I do not eat store bought honey. Store bought honey is what I call “Bee Syrup”. It’s not honey, its the sugars left over from all the good stuff, the pollen, the nectar and other things. When they boil or treat the honey in that way they mix it with corn syrup. They’re actually using corn syrup in about everything. And even though it says 100% honey, it is one hundred percent honey but it’s amazing how many people are getting away with saying its pure honey and they’re adding corn syrups or they’re boiling it or taking out the pollens or worried about any issues that people have. So it’s just like taking maple syrup out of the maple tree and having it processed and refined three or four times and just basically having sugar that tastes like maple. There’s a big difference. Once you try natural honey vs. store bought honey it’s hard to go back.
If you’re interested in bee keeping, Dr. Lind would be happy to help you set up your hive and teach you the fundamentals of bee keeping. Dr. Lind can be reached at:
Heritage Dental: 303-770-9901
Here are some awesome early Spring recipes utilizing honey:
Honey Glazed Salmon en Papillote
2 6 – 8 oz. ea. Wild caught Salmon fillets
8 Ounces Local Wild Honey
1 Large Vine Ripened Tomato (sliced into 1/4” slices)
1 Bunch Spring Onions (scallions or green onions – minced)
1 Tablespoon Capers
2 Sprigs Fresh Dill
1 Large Lemon (zested and juiced)
1 Pinch ea. Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter (1/2 stick)
1 Sheet Parchment paper (18” x 26”)
Pre-heat oven to 400f. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Cut parchment paper in half so you have two 10” x 13’ pieces. Fold each piece in half and starting at the top of the creased side, cut a Valentine’s heart at the outermost edges of the paper. Repeat with the second sheet. Brush one of the heart shaped paper with the melted butter. Place two or three tomato slices on one half, just enough to support the salmon fillet. Add enough lemon juice to the honey to thin it out a bit, but not too drippy. Brush both sides of the salmon fillet with the lemon honey mixture. Place salmon on tomato slices. Place a sprig of dill on top of the fillet and sprinkle with half of the capers and enough onion to balance it out. Top with a pinch of lemon zest, salt and pepper. Fold the other side over the fillet and starting at the bottom point of the heart, fold and crease a small section repeating in 1 inch segments cascading folding and creasing till you reach the top of the paper. This will seal in the moisture and help steam the salmon and veggies. Repeat for the second salmon fillet.
Place on a baking sheet and set in oven for 10 min.
Serve directly out of the oven.
Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
1 Pound Carrots
1 Pound Parsnips
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 TBS. Melted Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Local Wild Honey
1 teas. Sea Salt
½ teas. Fresh Ground Pepper
1 teas. Chopped Fresh Thyme
Pre-heat oven to 400f. Peel and cut carrots and parsnips into coins. Toss in olive oil and spread them out over a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme and roast for 10 min. While they are roasting, whisk the melted butter in with the honey. After they have roasted for the initial 10 min, turn them over and drizzle with the honey butter mixture. Roast for an additional 10 min. or until they are nice and golden brown and caramelized.
Lemon and Lavender infused Honey Pie
Makes 1 Pie
1 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour (or Spelt flour)
1 Pinch Salt
1/4 teas. Sugar
1 1/2 Sticks Frozen Butter (cut into very small cubes)
1/2 -3/4 Cup Ice Cold Water
1 Cup Honey (plus extra for glaze)
4 Large Eggs (beaten)
3 Tablespoons Butter (unsalted)
Zest of one Lemon (plus extra for garnish)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
4 teaspoons Lavender Buds (plus extra for garnish)
Pre-heat oven to 325 f.
Cut butter into flour, salt and sugar until the texture is in between peas and cornmeal. Add 1/2 of the very cold water and mix. Keep adding 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix just until a ball starts to form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min. while preparing filling.
Bring double boiler to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add honey, lemon zest and lavender buds and steep for 20 – 30 min. Strain and add the lemon juice and butter until it is melted. Slowly drizzle into beaten eggs while whisking until mixed thoroughly. Let cool to room temperature.
Roll out dough on floured surface and cover bottom of pie plate. Use a fork to perforate the bottom of the dough so it won’t bubble up. Pour filling into the pie crust and bake for approx. 50 min. or until the center is set and top is golden brown. Let cool slightly.
Glaze with remaining warm honey and garnish with lemon zest and lavender buds.
NOTE OF INTEREST
Some famous bee keepers: