Cooking Tips: Recipes With Honey

There are many delights utilizing this sweet alternative to sugar. Information on how to improve your diet.

Honey has long been used for things such as sweetening tea, spreading on toast, and as an ingredient in facials and home remedies that are designed to fight cold and flu symptoms. There's much more to this delightful alternative to sugar than that. Honey, in its own right, has a place in the annals of cooking and can be used to create gloriously delicious dishes - from salad to dessert. Here are some suggestions for foods that integrate honey into their list of ingredients. Recipes are available in a variety of cookbooks and online, using title names as keywords.

ALL AMERICAN FRUIT SALAD

This luscious fruit salad is a blend of trail mix, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, orange segments, sliced bananas, sliced apples and grapefruit sections - topped with a rich dressing that includes plain yogurt (or sour cream), honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. With its variety of tastes and textures, this salad would be a great addition to any summer picnic or luncheon, providing a refreshing dish when served chilled.

APRICOT HONEY BREAD

Cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, dried apricots, raisins and chopped nuts or sunflower seeds are combined to create a sweet, crunchy bread that's ideal for breakfast, a light dessert or evening snack. While this may be a bit heavy on the wallet, due to the number and types of ingredients, it's easy to make and can be served either warm or room temperature, depending upon your preference. You'll have to set aside adequate time for the total preparation if you're baking it for a get-together, since baking time is approximately one hour.

CARIBBEAN CHICKEN WITH HONEY PINEAPPLE SAUCE

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are brought to life with a delightful tropical sauce in this exotic recipe that serves four. Honey, Dijon mustard, pineapple juice, sesame seeds and lemon juice combine to make the dressing for an otherwise ordinary dish, offering a sensational blend of tastes and textures. Easy to make with a baking time of just 20 minutes, this dish can be prepared at the last minute for visiting guests or as a pick-me-up for the family on a very busy day.

CENTRAL VALLEY BRISKET

Turn an ordinary beef brisket into an amazingly delicious dish by adding a combination of dry onion soup mix, honey, apple or orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, grated orange peel, dried apricots and golden raisins. This sweet, fruity dish serves up to nine people, with prep and cooking time totaling approximately four hours. A very tender beef dish, dressed in its fruit mixture, this is complemented quite well by buttered noodles or brown rice.

CHEWY MONKEY BARS

For those with a sweet tooth, these bars will bring everything to the proverbial table, with their combination of marshmallows, honey, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, rolled oats, crispy rice cereal, flaked coconut and peanuts. One 13X9X2 pan can produce 24 of these luscious treats, suitable for children and adults. Whether you need them for snacks, lunchboxes, dessert or a party, these will be a big hit and will disappear very quickly. They're quick and easy to make, without the need for a lot of prep time.



COOL CHERRY SOUP

This rather sophisticated tasting chilled soup is the perfect blend of ingredients to delight the palate - including cherries, plums, salt, ground ginger, Dijon mustard, red wine, honey and buttermilk. Taking only about 10 minutes to prepare - a blender is necessary for this one - Cool Cherry Soup is fast and easy, making a unique soup dish for a spring or summer luncheon guest. The presentation is also quite pleasing, with its lovely color and lime garnish.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE HONEY RING

For a sensational chocolate fluted tube cake, accented with white chocolate glaze, try a Double Chocolate Honey Ring. Made rich and delicious by honey, cocoa powder, sour cream, chocolate chips and nuts, this cake is rich, moist and delicious. A good amount of prep time goes into this, and it needs to spend about an hour in the oven, but the result will tempt all of the senses. After the white chocolate glaze is drizzled over the top of the cake, additional cocoa powder is sprinkled and - for an extra punch - can be garnished with flowers.

FIRECRACKER SHRIMP

Shrimp lovers will delight in this colorful, spicy dish which includes a hefty list of ingredients. Among them are honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, grated orange peel, red pepper flakes, garlic, fresh ginger, red bell pepper, snow peas, onions and - of course - shrimp. Stir-fried and served over cooked white rice, this makes a wonderful, zesty dish for a gathering or as a new alternative to a tired menu. This dish is not for the faint of heart, as it's really quite spicy - thus, the name.

FRESH MELON SALSA

The mellow flavor of melon combines with the tastes of honey, lime juice, red bell pepper, cilantro, salt and jalapeno pepper to produce a delicious fruity salsa that really shines when served over grilled chicken or fish. This dish needs to be made ahead of time, since it must be refrigerated overnight in order for the flavors to blend well. Other than the time it takes for the ingredients to set, the prep is very quick and easy and makes approximately three cups of salsa.

GOLDEN GLOW MUFFINS

These moist, fruity muffins with a hint of spice are a wonderful addition to the breakfast table. Ingredients such as cinnamon, nuts, raisins, orange juice, honey, vanilla, orange peel and grated carrot come together to create a delightful taste sensation which can be enjoyed at home or given as a homemade offering to friends and neighbors. Easy to make, with less than ½ hour cooking time, Golden Glow Muffins will soon become a favorite at your house.

HONEY JOES

A cousin to the Sloppy Joe, with a slightly sweet undertone, this hot sandwich recipe is extremely tasty and takes just a few minutes to prepare once the vegetable ingredients are chopped. Included in this recipe are onions, celery, grated carrots, ground beef (or turkey), tomato paste, honey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Served hot on hamburger buns, Honey Joes make a quick and delicious meal and are especially hearty on a cold winter day.

HONEY RAISIN NIBBLES

Using just a few ingredients, this recipe offers a scrumptious candy snack that will have your mouth watering. By combining raisins, honey, peanut butter (either smooth or chunky, depending upon your preference and the effect that you wish to achieve) and flaked coconut, you can create a sweet, healthy snack with no processed sugar additives. After preparing, these must be kept in the refrigerator in order to retain the proper consistency.

There are virtually thousands of recipes that are available - both online and in cookbooks - which utilize honey as one of the ingredients. And, if you're so inclined, you can even find recipes for facials, medicinals and other types of inedibles that offer honey as a primary or secondary ingredient.

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