What Is Causing This Colorful Honey

What is Causing This Colorful Honey?

Oct. 5, 2012: A coloured honeycomb from a beehive.

There is nothing better than honey, straight from the comb. The luscious golden liquid, drizzled over hot biscuits, or added to a decadent dessert. A staple for southern breakfast tables, its famous golden color used to describe rich yellows in paint colors, hair colors and more.

Now, however, we are starting to see a strange and accidental trend that is altering the famous hues. Blue honey. That’s right! In two different areas of the world, both coincidentally near an M&Ms factory, beekeepers are finding a myriad of colors within their honeycombs.

Upon reflection, beekeepers begun to suspect that the bees were drawn to the sugary waste from the nearby candy factory. There have been reports that, like the famous candies, the honey is coming out in shades of blue, brown and green. Though this makes for a beautifully decorative honeycomb, this leaves the honey unsellable. Though, like M&Ms, the honey tastes the same regardless of color, this is a big problem for the beekeepers who can produce as much 1000 metric tons of honey every year.

The company that operates the plants say that they have put new procedures in place to clean containers and store incoming waste indoors to prevent the bees from being drawn to the sugary goodness.

In a world of oddities, it is surprising that the colorful honey has not become a marketing ploy, with those lucky enough to purchase it paying an even higher price than its natural counterpart. However, beekeepers are so particular when it comes to their product that straying from the original in any unnatural way is simply not in their vocabulary.

So, it is doubtful that you will be able to try this colorful delicacy anytime soon, but just knowing it exists is pretty cool.

The Secret To Easy-To-Peel Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are a wonderful additive to many dishes. When chopped in salads or dressings, the way the egg looks when it comes out of the peel is not important.

However, if you are doing a dish like deviled eggs where the eggs need to be presentable, you have to be careful when peeling. Many times you end up tossing some edible eggs because of their pocked appearance.

So, how can you keep from wasting eggs in this manner?

The first issue could be the TYPE of eggs you are using. Many people look for fresher eggs and buy free-range when they can. However, the fresher the egg, the, the more difficult they are to peel because the albumen, or egg white, sticks to the shell if the egg is fresher. As an egg ages, it doesn’t stick as much.  Here is a secret when using fresher eggs. Add baking soda to the water when boiling! The baking soda passes through the shell and helps to separate the white from the shell when it is ready to peel.

So, to make your eggs easier to peel, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your water and you will be surprised at how nice your eggs look. Now, there will be no waste and you will be happy to share your eggs at the company picnic.

 

Does Egg Color Really Matter

Most people get their eggs from the grocery store, not stopping to think of the color or quality of the eggs, but most are white. If you buy eggs at the farmer’s market, you will most likely find brown eggs. So- what is the difference, really?

Many people assume brown eggs are more nutritious. Assuming all white eggs at the grocery store come from big factory farms and brown eggs come from local farmers who raise free-range chickens … sure. Brown is better.

But is that true?

What determines the color?

An egg’s color is determined by the type of chicken that lays it- regardless of the conditions they are raised in. No breed of hen is proven to lay a more nutritious egg than another, despite the color of the eggshell.

The hen’s conditions can affect the egg’s nutrition

Tests show that true free-range eggs are nutritionally superior when compared to commercial eggs.  Free Range Eggs contain:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene

“True” free-range means hens that have spent their days roaming the barnyard, getting fresh air and eating a natural diet. When “free-range” is on an egg carton, it means hens have access to the outdoors “during their production cycle.” But, access doesn’t always mean time outside. No regulations cover how big the outdoor area must be, or that a chicken ever has to get outside.

That’s why it’s so hard to determine if free-range eggs come from truly free-range chickens. At the farmer’s market, you can ask about the conditions that the hens are raised in before you buy.

Another factor is diet. Chickens are not vegetarians by nature, but grocery store eggs produced by hens fed vegetarian diets tend to have more of certain vitamins and omega-3s than those from hens fed a conventional diet.

So when choosing eggs, don’t judge an egg by its shell color. White eggs can be just as nutritious as brown eggs.

Yummy Dairy Free Menu Options

For one of a number of reasons, you have decided to go dairy-free. Finding reciepies can be challenging, but there are a few items that youc an add to your list to help you on your dairy-free journey. Nut and seed butters can be huge in making dressings and sauces and they are packed in healthy fats and protiens. It is also smart to have a dairy replacements like coconut or hemp based plant beverages that can be added to smoothies, coffee and other recipes.

Breakfast: Tropical Green Smoothie

This smoothy helps to start your day in the green as well as an addition of mango and bananas, which will be packed with fiber, fats, protien, vitamins and minerals.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Organic Unsweetened Coconut Original Non-Dairy Beverage
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • ½ cup frozen zucchini
  • 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
  • Suggested toppings: Hemp seeds, toasted coconut flakes

Method

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Top with hemp seeds and coconut flakes.

Lunch: Kale Cobb Salad With Tahini Hemp Ranch Dressing

Lunch needs to be similar to breakfast including fiber, protein and healthy fats to keep you packed with energy. Add something creamy like ranch style salad dressing.

Serves 1

Salad Ingredients

  • ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed, washed and cut into thin ribbons
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
  • ½ cup roasted sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • Avocado oil (enough to cover entire skillet)
  • ½ cup organic corn kernels (if fresh, removed from the cob)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ½ an avocado, cut into small chunks
  • Sea salt, to taste

Tahini Hemp Ranch Dressing Ingredients

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup Pacific Foods Unsweetened Hemp Original Beverage
  • Juice of ½ a small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a medium skillet or pan, heat enough avocado oil to cover the base of the skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn kernels and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring only once or twice, until kernels are golden and sweet. Remove from heat.
  2. To make dressing, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until well-combined. Taste for seasoning.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine kale and two spoonfuls of dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds.
  4. Serve kale topped with the corn, sweet potato, tomatoes, avocado, and egg, if using (peeled and sliced into rounds). Drizzle with more dressing and season with salt as desired.

Savory Snack: Veggies & Dip

Snacks should keep you focused on your eating goals. For a creamy snack, use leftover Tahini Hemp Ranch as a dip for radishes, cucumbers, grain-free chips—whatever dairy-free dippers your heart desires! You could also try dips like hummus and baba ganoush, which are both naturally free of dairy and can easily be found premade.

Sweet Snack: Chai-Spiced Energy Balls

Sweetened with spices and dates, these protein-packed energy balls are great for tackling those afternoon cravings without any dairy or added sugar.

 

Dinner: Veggie Pasta

Dairy-free pasta or vegetable-based noodles are a great way to eat without the lactose.

Search for these recipes:

  • One-Pot Summer Veggie Linguine
  • Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Sauce
  • Zoodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto

Dessert: Banana Peanut Butter Nice Cream

Dairy free ice cream often contains additives and sugars so it is better to create your own sweet treat!

Serves 1 to 2

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Coconut Original Non-Dairy Beverage
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Suggested toppings: Dairy-free chocolate chips, berries, toasted coconut flakes

Method

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree frozen bananas and coconut beverage until smooth. Add peanut butter and process until well-combined.
  2. Serve with desired toppings.

Cook Through History With Kids!

It’s often hard to get kids interested in history, but they’re rarely disillusioned about lunch. If you’re struggling for a way to ignite a passion for the past in your child’s mind (or if you have a kid who really likes to cook), why not combine their history homework with an actual journey into America’s culinary bygones?

For instance, if they’re studying colonial America, you can actually make cheese curds at home in the method they used in the 1600s! You do need a backyard for this one if you want to be 100% historically accurate, because they have to be made over an open flame. However, if you want to fudge the details for the sake of your lawn, these can be made just as easily on a stove. Check it out:

Fried chicken is an American tradition, and this next recipe comes from a cookbook published in 1736! Again, you can make this right outside on your lawn, but we’re betting for safety you’ll want to fry indoors. Make sure to talk to your kids about how and why, in the 18th century, it would’ve been safer outside! This is bound to be different than your grandma’s fried chicken because it calls for a tangy marinade before frying:

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=42&v=GsyjNef2ydQ

Finally, if your children are doing an early 20th century unit, check out these videos from Clara Cannucciari. She lived through the Depression and talks about all kinds of things, but usually cooks a dish that relates to her first-hand knowledge!

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuMkW35BwK8