Beekeeping For Dummies
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Typically, beekeepers are able to harvest 40 or more pounds of honey from each of their hives. That’s a lot of honey. Unless you eat a whole lot of toast, you may want to consider other ways to use your copious crop. Honey is not only wholesome, delicious, sweet, and fat-free, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You’ll find uses for honey in a myriad of recipes that call for a touch of sweetness.

Here are 10 favorite recipes from the National Honey Board. For additional recipes, be sure to visit its website or write to the National Honey Board, 11409 Business Park Circle, Ste. 210, Firestone, CO 80504-9200; phone 303-776-2337.

The recipes here cover appetizers, baked goods, main dishes, and desserts.

Here are some tips for cooking with honey:

  • Because of its high fructose content, honey has a higher sweetening power than sugar. This means you can use less honey than sugar to achieve the desired sweetness.
  • To substitute honey for sugar in recipes, start by substituting up to half of the sugar called for. With a little experimentation, honey can replace all the sugar in some recipes.
  • If you are measuring honey by weight, 1 cup of honey will weigh 12 ounces.
  • For easy cleanup when measuring honey, coat the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil before adding the honey. The honey will slide right out.
  • In baking, honey helps baked goods stay fresh and moist longer. It also gives any baked creation a warm, golden color. When substituting honey for sugar in baked goods, follow these guidelines:
    • Reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used.
    • Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey used.
    • Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent overbrowning.

Honey Curry Vegetable Dip

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

YIELD: approximately 1 cup


1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Assorted fresh raw vegetables (celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)


  1. Combine mayonnaise, honey, curry, and vinegar; mix well.
  2. Refrigerate about 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve as a dip with vegetables.
PER SERVING (PER TABLESPOON): Calories: 37 (From Fat 44%); Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 18mg; Carbohydrate: 5.3g (Dietary Fiber 0.1g); Protein: 0.3g.

Golden Cornbread

honey cornbread © Janet Moore /

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 25 minutes

YIELD: 8 servings


3 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk or low-fat yogurt

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup honey

3 eggs, beaten


  1. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Combine buttermilk, butter, honey, and eggs in separate large bowl.
  3. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture just until moistened.
  4. Pour into greased 12-x-8-x-2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and cut into 8 squares.
PER SERVING (PER SQUARE): Calories: 552 (From Fat 27%); Fat: 17g; Cholesterol: 132mg; Sodium: 584mg; Carbohydrate: 8g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein: 19g.

Honey Picante Chicken Wings

honey chicken wings © spline_x /

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 50 minutes

YIELD: 24 to 30 servings


1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup prepared picante sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Microwave honey in a 1-quart microwave-safe bowl, on high (100%) 4 to 5 minutes or until honey boils and thickens.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except chicken wings; microwave on high 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Cut wings in half at joint; arrange wings in shallow baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Raise temperature to 375 degrees.
  5. Turn each piece, brush generously with sauce in pan and bake 45 minutes longer or until glazed and completely cooked, turning chicken and brushing with sauce every 15 minutes.
PER SERVING (ONE WING): Calories: 118 (From Fat 50%); Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 26mg; Sodium: 152mg; Carbohydrate: 6g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein: 9g.

Apricot Honey Bread

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

COOK TIME: 60 minutes

YIELD: 12 servings


3 cups whole-wheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1/4 cups 2% low-fat milk

1 cup honey

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped, dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

1/2 cup raisins


  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the milk, honey, egg, and oil in a separate large bowl.
  3. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
  4. Gently fold in the apricots, nuts, and raisins.
  5. Pour into a greased 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
PER SERVING: Calories: 302 (From Fat 15%); Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 154mg; Carbohydrate: 61g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein: 7g.

Asian Honey-Tea Grilled Prawns

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 6 minutes

YIELD: 4 servings


1 cup brewed double-strength orange spice tea, cooled

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste

2 green onions, thinly sliced


  1. In plastic bag, combine marinade ingredients (everything but the shrimp, salt, and onions). Remove 1/2 cup marinade; set aside for dipping sauce.
  2. Add shrimp to marinade in bag, turning to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  3. Remove shrimp from marinade; discard marinade.
  4. Thread shrimp onto 8 skewers, dividing evenly.
  5. Grill over medium coals 4 to 6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and are just firm to the touch, turning once. Season with salt, as desired.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare dipping sauce by placing reserved 1/2 cup marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in green onions.
PER SERVING (1/4 OF RECIPE): Calories: 202 (From Fat 13%); Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 259mg; Sodium: 511mg; Carbohydrate: 7g (Dietary Fiber >1g); Protein: 35g.

Broiled Scallops with Honey-Lime Marinade

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 7 minutes

YIELD: 2 servings


2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel

Hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound bay, calico, or sea scallops

1 lime, cut in wedges


  1. Combine honey, oil, lime juice, lime peel, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk briskly until mixed well.
  2. Pat scallops dry with paper towel and add to marinade. Marinate, stirring occasionally, up to 1 hour or cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat broiler. Arrange scallops and marinade in a single layer in 2 individual broiler-proof dishes or in scallop shells.
  4. Broil 4 inches from source of heat 4 to 7 minutes, depending on size of scallops, or until opaque throughout and lightly browned.
  5. Serve with lime wedges and, if desired, hot, crusty French bread to soak up the juices. Can be doubled, tripled, or halved.
PER SERVING (1/2 OF RECIPE): Calories: 240 (From Fat 29%); Fat: 8g; Cholesterol: 48mg; Sodium: 514mg; Carbohydrate: 23g (Dietary Fiber <1g); Protein: 21g.

A Honey of a Chili

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

YIELD: 8 servings


One 15-ounce package firm tofu

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

One 15-1/2-ounce can red kidney beans, undrained

One 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Using a cheese grater, shred tofu and freeze in a zippered bag or an airtight container.
  2. Thaw tofu; place in a strainer and press out excess liquid.
  3. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot; cook and stir onion, green pepper, and garlic 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown.
  4. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
  5. Stir in tofu; cook and stir 1 minute.
  6. Stir in diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, honey, and vinegar.
  7. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
PER SERVING: Calories: 295 (From Fat 26%); Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1,022mg; Carbohydrate: 41g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein: 18g.

Beef and Potato Tzimmes

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

COOK TIME: 120 minutes

YIELD: 6 servings


2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 pounds stew meat, cut in 1-1/2-inch chunks

2 cups chopped onion

2 cups sliced (1-inch thick) carrots

2 teaspoons garlic salt


2 cups cubed (1-inch thick) potato

2 cups cubed (1-inch thick) sweet potato

1⁄3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄8 teaspoon ground pepper

4 ounces dried apricots

4 ounces pitted prunes

2 tablespoons flour, optional

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy, 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add beef and brown on all sides.
  2. Remove beef from pan, add remaining oil, if necessary, and sauté onion until tender.
  3. Return beef to pan; add carrots, salt, and about 4 cups water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour.
  4. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey, cinnamon, and pepper; stir and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes or until potatoes are barely cooked.
  5. Add dried fruit and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Liquid should be slightly thickened. If necessary, dissolve flour in 3 tablespoons water and stir into stew; return to simmer, stirring frequently.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley before serving, if desired.
PER SERVING: Calories: 616 (From Fat 23%); Fat: 15.9g; Cholesterol: 111mg; Sodium: 716mg; Carbohydrate: 79.7g (Dietary Fiber 7.8g); Protein: 41.6g.

Chewy Honey Oatmeal Cookies

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOK TIME: 14 minutes

YIELD: 24 cookies


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup raisins, or chocolate or butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, beat butter with sugar until thoroughly blended.
  3. Blend in honey. Blend in egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  4. In separate bowl, mix together oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; blend into honey mixture. Blend in raisins or chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until cookies are golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool 2 to 3 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
PER SERVING (1 COOKIE WITH RAISINS): Calories: 130 (From Fat 29%); Fat: 4.5g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 85mg; Carbohydrate: 23g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein: 2g.

Apple Honey Tart

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 25 minutes

YIELD: 4 servings


One 17-1/4-ounce puff pastry dough

1 egg, well beaten

1 cup white zinfandel wine*

1/2 cup honey

One 3-inch stick cinnamon

3 whole cloves

One 1/4-inch slice fresh ginger root

3 medium apples, pared, cored, and sliced

Whipped cream or low-fat dairy sour cream

* If desired, apple juice may be substituted for wine.


  1. Cut two 5-inch hearts out of puff pastry. Cut 1/2-inch-wide strips of pastry from remaining dough.
  2. Brush edges of hearts with beaten egg.
  3. Twist and line edges of hearts with dough strips, joining ends of strips with egg mixture as necessary. Bake according to package directions.
  4. When golden and baked, remove or push down puffy centers of hearts to allow space for apple filling.
  5. Bring wine, honey, and spices to boil in 9- to 10-inch skillet; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add apples in one layer, return mixture to boil, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until apples are tender.
  7. Carefully remove slices from liquid and drain thoroughly. Reduce liquid until syrupy; cool.
  8. Brush bottom of crust with syrup; arrange poached apples over syrup.
  9. Serve with dollops of whipped or sour cream.
PER SERVING: Calories: 837 (From Fat 51%); Fat: 45g; Cholesterol: 53mg; Sodium: 525mg; Carbohydrate: 94.3g (Dietary Fiber 3.5g); Protein: 6.4g.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

C. Marina Marchese is an author, beekeeper, and honey sensory expert. She is also the founder of the American Honey Tasting Society and the Red Bee ® brand.

Howland Blackiston is the bestselling author of Beekeeping For Dummies and Building Beehives For Dummies, and founding board member and past president of Con­necticut’s Back Yard Beekeepers Association.

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