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Honey: Nature's Natural Superfood

Merry Christmas to all of the honey and Beeble lovers out there! With only days to go, it’s time to start baking and mixing cocktails and mocktails to welcome in the holiday season. and that doesn’t mean we have to let our gut health go down the tubes completely. Honey can come to our rescue! Recent research shows it not only acts as a powerful antimicrobial but also as a prebiotic, helping to keep our gut microbiome balanced. 

Honey
Honey was possibly the first great superfood. It has been collected since the third millennium BCE. Ancient Egyptian texts list over 900 remedies using honey, and it was used as late as WW1 as a salve for battlefield wounds. With a high concentration of naturally occurring antibiotics, it has been used since ancient times both as an external wound healer and internally as a remedy for sore throats, tooth infections, and upset tummy’s. More recently, it has been investigated as a potent prebiotic due to its high content of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). These sugars encourage the growth of friendly gut bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp, which in turn help keep our guts balanced and functioning properly.

 
The antimicrobial aspects of honey may work in conjunction with these bacteria to fight various pathogens, adding another powerful tool to help keep our guts happy and functioning at their best. And a happy gut means good digestion and a strong immune system. In addition, 70% of our serotonin is made in the gut, and in turn this very important neuro-chemical does the lion's share of work keeping our spirits up and depression at bay.  So, I reckon honey may be the perfect Christmas superfood as well!  And what better way to enjoy this holiday season than with a delicious recipe fully of healthy, prebiotic, microbial-busting honey! 

With that in mind, here are two delicious ways to incorporate honey into your Christmas festivities this year. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Cinnamon Cocoa Coated Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds

  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. honey or agave nectar

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch sea salt

Method:

    1. Mix cocoa powder, cinnamon and sea salt together in a food processor

    2. Pour into a gallon-sized zip-lock bag and set aside

    3. Over a vert low heat stir almonds, honey and vanilla until lightly coated (NB: the almonds should not be heated - the low heat is just to make the honey liquify better to easily coat the almonds

    4. Pour almonds into the bag with the cocoa powder mixture

    5. Seal the bag and shake until almonds are well coated

    6. Store in an airtight container


Pomegranate/Ginger Champagne

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/4-inch-thick slice fresh ginger
  • 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau)
  • 1 x 750 ml bottle chilled Champagne
Method:
  1. Simmer pomegranate juice, honey and ginger in a heavy saucepan until syrup is reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring regularly (takes approx. 10 mins)
  2. Cool
  3. Pour 4 tsp pomegranate syrup, 1tbsp orange juice and 1/4tsp orange liqueur into each of the 4 6-ounce champagne flutes
  4. Top the flutes up with champagne

 

Pomegranate champagne cocktail
Written by Nutritionist Lauren Clancy (Guest writer)





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