Orange Blossom Honey Granola

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One of my all time favorite things to do in the kitchen is make honey granola. I love being able to play with the recipe and make something new every time. I just recently began experimenting with using cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I was super surprised on how well it came out and had to share. This has now become my favorite recipe because it gives me just enough of a chocolate fix! What I love about this granola is that I can use it any time of day and it goes great in yogurt. It is nice to have something that will give you energy that you can carry with you and not worry about spoilage! At The Honey Cottage we are very excited to work with amazing beekeepers and have their honeys in the shop. This specific recipe is really good with a lighter honey; alpine wildflower, cactus blossom, orange blossom, or alfalfa clover are the best! It gives it enough sweetness without over powering the other flavors.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Ingredients:

2 cups quick rolled oats

1/3 cup whole flax seed; grind this fresh with a coffee grinder

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup of raisins

¾ cup walnuts; mashed into bite size pieces

½ cup chocolate chips, ¾ cup if they are mini chocolate chips

½ cup of peanut butter

5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

½ cup orange blossom honey

½ teaspoon orange extract

Directions:

Heat the stove to 300 degrees F. Place the oats, flax seed, coconut, raisins, walnuts, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Place the peanut butter and coconut oil in a small sauce pan and put on the stove to warm it up; set the stove at warm. Once this is warm and thoroughly mixed, turn off the stove, and pour in the honey and the orange extract. Thoroughly mix again and pour over the dry ingredients. Use a spoon and mix it together until everything is combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the granola on top. Press the granola down to make a nice even layer; if using an 11X17 pan bake for 25 min., for 9X13 bake for 35 minutes. Once it is done, let cool for an hour before putting in a container.

Tips:

The granola will be a little softer in a 9X13; if you want it crispier, stick with the 11X17 pan.

You can use these ingredients instead to mix it up:

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw peanuts
  • Use Alpine wildflower, cactus, or alfalfa clover honey

I find that the granola keeps better in glass or plastic containers. Zip locks can be used if you use the granola up quickly.

Honey Chia Yogurt

Honey Yogurt

One of my favorite foods in the world is yogurt! You can do so much with it and you can have it ANY TIME OF THE DAY!!! I dislike buying it pre-done in the store; in my opinion it is loaded with unnecessary sugar and tastes way to sweet. Plus, I want my little ones to learn the value of good old fashioned whole milk yogurt. Yogurt also makes a great dip, frozen popsicle, and is great in smoothies. One of my favorite add ins is chia seeds; they are an amazing superfood and can be a huge benefit to the diet! They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. At The Honey Cottage we add raw honey to our yogurt for a slight sweetness. Here is my favorite recipe for honey chia yogurt; we hope you enjoy!

Honey Chia yogurt

1 cup- Whole milk yogurt

1 Tbsp.-Chia seeds

1 Tbsp. – Raw honey

½ cup- Fruit

¼ cup- Pecans

Directions:

Take the cup of yogurt and put it in a sealable container or in a bowl that can be sealed with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the chia seeds on top of yogurt and mix in; cover and let set for about 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Pull the yogurt out of the refrigerator and place the fruit on top and stir it in the yogurt. Sprinkle the pecans on top and drizzle the honey on top of the pecans. ENJOY!

Tips and Tricks:

You can use frozen fruit; let it thaw before adding to the yogurt. Or put the frozen fruit in the yogurt if you let it set over night. Instead of pecans; use walnuts or almonds. Granola also makes an amazing topper for this yogurt recipe. This is a great way to use local honey so you get those 2 Tbsp. a day!

Honey Comb salad

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Why pay for something when you can make it bee-autifully at home? I LOVE having elegant salads, but I hate paying big bucks for something that I can make at home and way cheaper. This recipe is one of my favorite ways of using honey comb! Honey comb is cut off the frames of honey straight from the hive. Honey comb is the beeswax, honey, and small amounts of pollen. We have many customers that don’t know what to do with it; so I thought I would share one of the many ways you can use honey comb at The Honey Cottage! Enjoy Honey Comb salad this summer!

Ingredients

1 cup of lettuce

¼ cup of purple cabbage

2 Tbsp. shredded carrot

¼ cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese

1-2 radishes sliced up

½ a tomato

½ cup of blueberries

2 Tbsp. of cashews

5- 1 by 1 inch pieces of honey comb

Dressing

½ Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp of raw honey

Directions

Take a cup of lettuce and place it into a bowl or on a plate. Then shred the cabbage, carrots, and cheddar cheese and sprinkle half of each on the lettuce, toss it together. Then add the rest of the cabbage, carrot, and cheese. Slice up the radishes and slice the half of tomato into quarter slices. Decorate the top of the salad with the radishes and tomatoes; top with blueberries and cashews. Lastly, take a clean knife and cut a strip of honey comb, cut them into 1 inch squares, use a fork to carefully pull them out of container, and top onto the salad.

Tips: This salad is amazing topped with chicken, shrimp, or steak pieces! I also love adding strawberries or raspberries. Great with pecans and walnuts too!

This makes a single serving.

Orange Blossom and Honey Scrubs

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Mother’s Day is almost here!! It is time to put something together that will bee amazing! Our suggestion is make a gift basket with honey, honey lotions, tea, chocolate, and something handmade.  At The Honey Cottage, we bee-lieve that all Mother’s deserve a day to feel like the Queen Bee! So pamper your mom by making these yummy honey scrubs to show her how much you love her!

Salt Scrub-

1 ½ cup of salt

½ a cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

13 drops of lavender essential oil

2 Tbsp. of orange blossom honey

Sugar Scrub-

1 ½ cup of sugar

½ a cup of olive oil or sunflower oil

13 drops of lavender essential oil

2 Tbsp. of orange blossom honey

Directions:

Take the ½ cup of oil and warm it up; do not let it get hot just warm enough for the honey to mix in. Next, take the honey and essential oil and mix them with the oil until combined. Lastly, add the salt or sugar into the oil mixture and mix until thoroughly mixed. Put the scrubs in a well sealed container or in a zip lock bag; the oil can leak out if not properly sealed.

Tips:There are so many ways to make these scrubs unique; you can use a different honey, essential oil, or oil. You can put flowers into the mix or use natural coloring to make it look pretty. I personally like using the honey sugar scrub on my face and honey salt scrub on my feet, but they can be used either way. These make amazing gifts!!

*Please bee careful to not get water in the scrubs because it is natural and will grow mold. E-mail Crystal@thehoneycottage.com if there are any questions.

HELP SAVE THE BEES!!

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At The Honey Cottage we are dedicated in educating and helping teach people about the importance of bees. Beekeeping should not be just about honey or money, but we are seeing a drastic increase in demand for raw honey. There are a lot of pressing issues that need to be looked at if we are going to save the bees. It takes EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to help either. We actually recommend against it; there is only so much forage per area. Too many beekeepers in one area is taxing on the ecosystem and is stressful for the native bees. Each hive needs approximately one and half acres of constantly blooming plants to be successful. There is a misconception that bees only need the flowers in spring and early summer. This is not true; bees need late summer plants and plants that bloom in fall to be successful during the winter. This is why we are making a BIG push for everyone to HELP beekeepers. PLANT more plants than ever and plant a variety of plants, don’t use pesticides, support your local beekeepers, support your local garden clubs and nursery’s, and set out water sources.

-The more plants we plant as a community means there are more food sources for bees and other pollinators. They also need a large variety of plants so that they have a varied diet and will be much healthier. Plus, flowers will bloom not just in the spring, but summer and fall! They need to eat all the time just like humans do! They need to be able to put enough honey away for the long winters.

– Please don’t use pesticides on the plants!!! Bees pollinate our flowers and our food. If the poison is on the plants it is also going to be in the plant and now will go you’re into your system. Bees also make honey from the nectar that is in the flower. If they are getting the poison in their diet, it is also going in YOUR system. Push for co-planting instead; like planting peppermint, this will deter bugs from eating the plants.

-If you have an interest in beekeeping; start by learning and supporting a local beekeeper and garden clubs. This will help them and you at the same time. Education’s the key; to be a good beekeeper you need to know the bees, the flowers, and the habit in your area.

– Store bought plants can have GMO pesticides and growth retardants on them when they arrive at the store. This is to keep the flowers looking nice by the time they make it to the store; however, the pesticides harm bees. Working with the local garden club can help the club and makes sure the plants are well taken care of and don’t have the pesticides on them. You also support the local economy by working with local beekeeper’s and garden clubs!

– Water sources are very important for bees! We recommend a water basin or bird bath with gravel or 1 inch river stones. The bees are terrible swimmers and the stones will give them plenty of places to land to take a drink of water.

From our hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

 

Honey yogurt and dip

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If I told you some people did not grow up eating honey, would that surprise you? It sure shocked me, but not everyone grows up eating the same things. So it has been lots of fun talking with customers on how to use honey. It has been even more fun showing people how they can add honey to their diet so that they can fight allergies at the same time. I am excited to say that adding honey to the diet is super easy and super yummy. One of my favorite ways to use honey is in my yogurt; I can’t stand the yogurt loaded in sugar, it is way too much and ruins the flavor. With plain yogurt I am able to add different honeys to make a totally new yogurt every time. Then you have the many fruit combinations that can take yogurt to a whole new level. The best part is this is a recipe that adults and kids love!!

Homemade honey yogurt:

6- 8 ounces of plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon of your favorite honey

1/3 cup of your favorite fruit

*If you use frozen fruit, set out a couple of hours before use. Place 8 ounces of plain yogurt in a bowl and add the 1 Tablespoon of honey; mix well and add the ¼ cup of fruit. The fruit can be mixed in or just used as a topping. Enjoy!

Homemade honey yogurt dip:

6 ounces of plain yogurt

1 Tablespoon of honey

¼ – ½ cup of 5 different fruits; banana’s, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Place the 6 ounces of yogurt and the 1 Tablespoon of honey and mix together thoroughly. Place bowl in the center of a plate and place cut and/ or washed fruit around the bowl. Dip the fruit into the yogurt dip and Enjoy!!

Tips: Use the yogurt or dip within 2-3 days for maximum freshness. Sliced bananas and apples should lightly be squirted with lemon or orange juice to keep them from browning; they should be used right away when possible.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

 

Lily’s love cupcake’s!!

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One of our favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day, the day to show everyone LOVE! I have always loved being in the kitchen and now love it even more because Lily wants to learn how to cook. One of our favorite mother and daughter recipes is honey cupcakes. This month Lily wanted to put her own spin on it, so here is the recipe for Lily’s love cupcakes!

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil (liquefied)

¾ cup of honey

1 cup of applesauce (room temperature works best)

½- ¾ cup of pureed strawberry

1½ cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

Topping:

12 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)

¼- ½ cup of honey (depending on sweet tooth)

1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together the coconut oil, honey, applesauce, and the strawberry puree until smooth. Then add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; mix until everything is mixed, about 2 minutes. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spray with your favorite cooking spray; we LOVE using FSC certified baking cups because then you don’t have to spray them. Fill the baking cups with batter a little over half way full; makes about 16 cupcakes. Place in the oven and cook for 17-20 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean, then pull out of the oven and let cool. Some ovens work differently so make sure to keep an eye on them.

While the cupcakes are cooling; take the cream cheese, honey, and cocoa powder and mix with a mixer until nice and smooth and creamy. When the cupcakes are cooled down; either spread or use a piping bag to top the cupcakes. Then decorate the cupcakes with bits of strawberry and/or chocolate chips. Enjoy!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee and Lily Bee

 

Ambrosia the gift of LOVE!

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February is here and love is in the air. The Honey Cottage believes that one should not give the gift of flowers, but you should…

Give the gift of the flowers, Honey.

Give the gift of the sun, honey.

Give the magical gift of nature, Honey.

All honeys (not ambrosia) are a gift of three from nature; the mighty warmth of the sun, the beauty of the flowers, and the passion of the bees. Take just one out of the mix and we have nothing left. No love, no passion, no life. So give the gift of love, passion, and life. Give the gift of HONEY to your special flower and let’s let the bees have the flowers.

What about ambrosia? What is ambrosia? What if your love (like mine) is more than a flower, but is in fact a goddess that brings you warmth, love, and yes life to your world. Only the food of the gods will do. Only the magical gift that rains down from the stars at night to settle on the foliage as dew drops. No not morning dew, but as the ancient Greeks described it honey dew; for its sweetness. The Greeks followed the bees as they collected the magical gift of the heavens, the honey dew, and in their hive turned this gift into ambrosia the food of the gods (honey dew honey). Ambrosia is the elixir of choice used on the arrows of cupid; the god of love. When one was struck by a single arrow launched from cupids bow, true love would bee found. Ambrosia is the only gift suitable for the goddess in your life.

It’s remarkable with all of the powers of the gods; the little bee is the key to the elixir of love, the creator of passion, the very meaning of life.

Could the bee…bee a god? The Mayans believed so, what about you?

At The Honey Cottage we have a passion for honeys, for bees, for love. We have true ambrosia; Honey dew honey.

Stop by and try a taste, and get the gift of love for your love.

From my hive to your hive,

The Beekeeper

Honey BBQ Sauce

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At The Honey Cottage we are as obsessed with honey as much as we are with food! One of my favorite recipes is bbq sauce; it can be used in the summer time on the grill or in the winter time in a crock pot. I love the sweet and tangy flavor that bbq sauce adds to meat to make it pop!

Honey BBQ Sauce

Put all of the following ingredients in a sauce pan:

1 packet of French onion soup mix

1 ½ cups of water

½ cup of vinegar

¼ of honey

½ cup of butter

2 Tablespoons of mustard

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

Cook on medium heat, bring to a light boil, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, add 1 cup of ketchup, and stir until thoroughly mixed. This makes a quart of bbq sauce that is ready to use.

Some of our favorite ways to use this recipe; BBQ chicken legs, BBQ shredded pork sandwiches, and BBQ Brisket! This is a versatile sauce that can be used in the crockpot or the sauce can be put on the meat as it is cooking on the grill.

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee

Caramel and Chocolate Honey popcorn

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At The Honey Cottage we are all about experimenting with honey to make things taste bee-licious! I FINALLY figured out how to make one of my favorite foods; caramel and chocolate popcorn. I don’t know why I did not think of it sooner, but I used one of our favorite products from the shop. Honeyville makes whipped honey and adds the most amazing flavors to make your food pop! I have been very frustrated for a while looking at the different products in the grocery store and finding nothing but junk. I am so happy to say the simplicity of the ingredients in Honeyville is what makes me so happy to share this product. I make my popcorn from scratch on the stove; it is not hard and it turns out yummy every time.

Caramel and chocolate popcorn

For the popcorn;

2 Tablespoons of coconut oil

¾ cup popcorn kernals

Salt to taste

Place a 6 quart sauce pan on the stove and turn on the heat to high; have a lid ready on the side. Place the 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in the pan and let melt, place the ¾ cup of popcorn kernels in the oil, and put the lid on. Give a good shake to make sure all the kernels are coated with oil. Wait until you see the first kernels of popcorn pop, and then shake the pan. Continue shaking the pan (to prevent burning), turn off the heat when the popping speed of the popcorn slows down and let sit for 30 seconds. Take off the lid and place in a bowl; salt to taste.

Warm up the Honeyville whipped caramel sauce and the chocolate buzz honey fudge sauce in a pan of water. Do not let it come to a boil!! Just warm enough to get it to drizzle on the popcorn. I used about 1 ½ Tablespoons of both, but you can add more or less depending on your taste buds. Bee prepared it gets sticky, but the flavor is amazing and is so worth it!!

From our bee hive to yours,

Queen Bee