So I recently stumbled across a recipe I thought I would stick away for another time; I bookmarked it and went on with my day. Next on my list was grocery shopping, and ironically, the main ingredient, blueberries, was on a crazy sale that day. 2lbs of blueberries for $1.99. Can’t beat that! The recipe is a delicious, multipurpose Blueberry Lemon Honey syrup. I had fresh lemons at home already, as well as a jar of fresh honey from a local beekeeper. Needless to say, my plans changed and I decided to give this syrup a whirl.
The nice thing about the syrup is that it can be used in pretty much anything you can think of. It’s delicious in teas like chamomile, regular lipton, green tea, etc…and it gives a great antioxidant boost! I also tried it out on belgian waffles with a little butter, and it was absolutely tasty. My husband was drooling over my shoulder hoping I wouldn’t finish it all. I did. Sorry hubs, maybe next time. I also thought that it might make a good ice cream topping, or an addition to a mixed drink for adults. The possibilities could be endless with a little imagination! Maybe a topping for a fresh angel food cake, versus the classic strawberry? If anyone comes up with anything interesting, definitely share it here in the comments, I’m always open for new ideas and love learning new things!
Anyway, by now I’m sure you’re drooling and want me to just get down to business and share the recipe with you, huh?
Blueberry Syrup with Lemon and Honey
Recipe From Rachel @ Grow a Good Life
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is ideal, as you will need the zest from a lemon as well)
- Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel five 1-inch strips of zest from the lemon then juice the lemon reserving 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Set aside.
- Extract the blueberry juice by combining blueberries and water in a saucepan over low heat. Gently mash the blueberries with a potato masher and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the juice into a heatproof bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the solids. **Tip from A Recipe to Life: Another way you can do this, especially if you’d like to leave a little of the blueberry solids in there for either decoration or flavor is to use an immersion blender and break down the berries to consistency that you want them. I did this before I heated them, but you could do either.
- Return the blueberry juice to the saucepan and add the lemon zest and honey. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon or registers 225° on a candy thermometer. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Continue stirring and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat, discard lemon zest, and allow the blueberry syrup to cool. Pour into just-cleaned bottles. Seal and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
What CAN honey do for you? No no, I don’t mean that silly but adorable couch ornament some of us call our significant other (ahem, I promise, I really do love him!)…I mean the liquid gold that comes from those obnoxious summery bee friends that we are in fact lucky to have around. Honey is unique in the fact that there are lots of different types, some are lightly flavored and some are very rich flavored. Because there are many different bee types and the fact that the world’s geography is so different from place to place is how we are able to have these different varieties of honey. Honey isn’t just a fantastic sweetener or addition to a recipe though. It can be used in other ways as well. This particular post will share them with you, and I sure hope at least one or two ways might come in handy at some point!
Honey can be used on the skin, as it makes a fantastic moisturizer. You can add it in to your lotions or soaps. It’s fantastic because honey is what is called a humectant. It draws moisture out from the air and then binds to it. If you are making soap, a little goes a long way. Because of this fact, it can cause soap recipes to not “set up” properly. You can also apply honey directly to your face! Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse. Your face will feel fabulous after! Careful though, if you have pets, they might decide your face is rather tasty while you’re basking in your mask. 😉
Surprisingly, honey can be used internally as well, not just as an addition to your biscuits or to a recipe. It can be used to combat allergies that are local to your region. Because honey is made from pollen, the pollen is present inside the honey in small amounts. Your body can then build up an immunity to the pollen. For example, if you are allergic to fireweed, if you eat fireweed honey, it will not cause an allergic reaction, but it will begin the immunity process. I can’t promise you it will work for sure, each human’s body is different but it’s worth a shot!
You can also use honey on wounds, it is an antibacterial and because of it’s consistency, it can be used to seal out other moisture and germs. Use it just like you would use neosporin, put a bit on your band-aid and you’re all set. Honey will also act as a hydrogen peroxide because of it’s enzymes, you can also use it to disinfect wounds and it will also reduce swelling.
Now that you know all this, where can you find some good honey, you ask?
The best place to look for local, farm produced honey is at your area Farmer’s Market. You can also call around to farms in your area and ask if they know of any honey producers. A fantastic website is http://www.localharvest.com , you can find out what is produced in your locale and where to find it. Stay away from store bought honey if possible, it has added preservatives and has typically been refined or pasteurized, as well as some are loaded with extra sugars.
And remember, cooking with honey is fun too. You can add a little bit of honey in place of refined sugars in some recipes as well. There are so many options out there! Be creative!