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Fri

03

Feb

2017

How to use Santa Monica Honey instead of Sugar

When someone talks about losing weight and getting in shape normally they think about exercise and eliminating their junk food intake. However, another thing to think about is what could you replace it with to make the process a little easier???  How about #Honey?

 

Do you have a favorite recipe or meal that is going to be hard to go without? What if you could use a simple conversion and replace the sugar with honey and still enjoy your favorite treat once in awhile?  

 

Before I share the easy conversions with you I want to give you a few pointers… When using honey to bake there are a few things that are different than using sugar.  First of all honey will brown more quickly in the oven or frying pan. In order to avoid burning be sure to lower the temperature on the stove or the oven.  Honey is actually more dense, wetter and heavier than sugar too.  It is a good idea to increase than quantity of leavening a tad to counteract this issue.  Lastly the honey will be sweeter and have a stronger flavor than the sugar so be sure to decrease the amount of honey used that was originally in the recipe as sugar.  If you don’t the honey will block the other flavors and also cause the dish to be too sweet.  

 

I got this handy list from The Survival Mom Blog

 

Ingredients

 

·  1/4 cup sugar--> 3 T. honey, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees

 

·  1/3 cup sugar--> 3 T. + 1 tsp. honey, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees

 

·  1/2 cup sugar--> 1/3 cup honey, add 1/4 tsp. baking soda, reduce potential liquid by 1 T., reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees

 

·  1 cup sugar--> 3/4 cup honey, add 1/2 tsp. baking soda, reduce potential liquid by 1/8 cup (2 T.), reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees

 

·  2 cups sugar--> 1 cup + 6 T. honey, add 1 tsp. baking soda, reduce potential liquid by 1/4 cup, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees

 

 

 

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Mon

12

Sep

2016

Benefits of Bees

Have you ever stopped and realized exactly how much bees do for us? Did you know that if they didn’t exist how different our world would be? Bees have been around for about 125 million years and sadly those numbers are declining.  These amazing creatures are invaluable resources to Earth and its people in several ways.   Animals and plants both benefit from bees but human beings should be the most thankful to bees.  Back in 6000 BCE we started to really benefit from bees making honey and now have grown to take advantage of their efforts.  Think about it… we actually use the honey as a food source, medication, wax as a sealant and candle making, and even as a form of currency.  Bees truly are amazing animals.
How does a bee benefit a plant?
Bees and flower-bearing plants are a great representation of an asymbiotic  relationship.  This is when they both have something that the other needs and can share to benefit them both.  In this case the Bees need pollen and nectar for food and honey making; flowers need their pollen transported to other flowers, and then another flower’s pollen brought back to it in order to reproduce and make seeds. By simply traveling from flower to flower, bees effortlessly accomplish these needs of both parties.
How do bees benefit humans?
There are many agricultural benefits to bees.  Did you know that their pollination services to crops are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat?
About 80 percent of food in grocery stores is available on the shelves, thanks to bee-pollinated crops.
We are the most efficient animals when it comes to obtaining honey but plenty of other animal species also enjoy it as well. As we know bears are notorious for raiding hives but other animals are just as guilty (bats, raccoons, skunks, opossums just to name a few).
As I mentioned before the bee population is unfortunately declining.  Bees need help, and for so long we have relied on them for their laborious work.  They now need our help…. stay tuned for my next post on how we can help.

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Thu

04

Aug

2016

Herb infused honey

Herb infused honey is really popular right now.  This is a great way to enhance the taste and increase the health benefits of the honey.  You can put the honey on bread, desserts, fruit and even over yogurt just to name a few.  There are several ways to infuse honey for not only edible enjoyment but also for health benefits.  The ingredients are simple, all you need is your favorite honey and your favorite herbs.  You can infuse the honey with a single herb or multiple depending on the use.  Sage Honey for example is a great way to relieve a sore throat just as chamomile is great to infuse with to promote relaxation. 
There are two different ways that you can infuse the honey one taking longer than the other.  The first way is pretty fast and is done by slowly heating the honey on the stove for 10 minutes however the heat tends to rid the infused honey of the health benefits.  The second method takes longer (2 weeks to be exact) however the benefits stay intact. This is done by the herbs sitting in the honey for 2 weeks and then consuming.

Below is a great method I found at Thekitchen.com to make Herb Infused Honey.

Ingredients
Basic formula: Use about 1-2 tablespoons of dried herbs per 1 cup (8 ounces) of honey.
Honey: A light, mild flavored honey generally works best.
Herbs: Use a single herb or a combination. Rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, rose petals, and pine needles all make lovely infused honeys. You can also use spices like vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Herbs should be dry; see instructions below.
Equipment
Clean, dry jars and lids (half-pint and pint mason jars work well)
Chopstick, wooden spoon handle, or other stirrer (avoid metal, which can scratch jars)
Clean cloth for wiping jar rims
Strainer
Instructions
1. Prepare herbs: Herbs should be dry (see safety note, below) and may be in the form of whole sprigs or separated leaves, buds, and petals. Chopped herbs may infuse more quickly, but they may also be harder to strain out. (To dry fresh herbs, use an air or oven drying method, dehydrator, or microwave.)
2. Combine herbs and honey: Place herbs in the bottom of a jar and fill the jar almost to the top with honey. Using a chopstick or other implement, stir to coat the herbs with honey. Top off with more honey to fill the jar. Wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth and cover tightly.
Tip: Label the jar with the contents and date so you don't forget!
3. Infuse: Let the herbs infuse for at least 5 days. If the herbs float to the top, turn the jar over a few times to keep them well coated. For a more intense flavor, infuse for another week or longer.
4. Strain: Strain the honey into a clean jar. Depending on the volume of honey and herbs and the size of the strainer, you may need to do this in stages. (Tip: Use the leftover herbs to make a tisane.)
5. Store: Store the honey in a tightly covered jar in a cool, dry place. It will last indefinitely.
A Note on Safety:
Although some people make infused honeys with fresh herbs, this process calls for dried herbs in order to limit water activity and the growth of Clostridium botulinum spores.

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Wed

27

Jul

2016

DIY Beeswax Lip Balm

 
As you know your lips can dry out very fast and if you are like me you have tried every lip balm under (pre beeswax fascination if you will) the sun but eventually have to reapply all of them as the petroleum soaks into your skin.  Many lip balms on the market will feel good at first but just leave you needing to reapply it over and over again.  These lip balms will also create a barrier that just sits on top of your skin, and locks out any moisture it might be getting from the air. By making the lip balm yourself you are creating a balm that will lock in the moisture as well as actually sink into your lips. 
You will need:
1 tbs. Beeswax, 1 tbs. Virgin Coconut oil, a dash of organic raw honey, 2 vitamin e capsules, several drops of  essential oil (optional).

Beeswax: will act as a moisturizer and protect your lips as well as giving your lip balm the consistency to be taken with you and applied to your lips whenever necessary.  
Coconut Oil: moisturizes deep down. The fatty acids in the coconut oil hold onto moisture, and help promote hydration. 
Honey: naturally attracts and holds onto water molecules.
Why vitamin E: it is full of antioxidants.  It can neutralize the effect of free radicals that damage healthy skin cells and result in dry lips.
Essential oil (optional): you can add in a few drops of your favorite scent just for fun.
Directions
1.    Melt down the beeswax in a double boiler
2.    Add in the coconut oil and honey when about half of the beeswax liquid
3.    After it’s all melted and blended together, stir in the 2 vitamin E capsules.
4.    Pour into container or a tube and let cool.
5.    Apply as needed-but not in excess. Resist! There can always be too much of a good thing.
These are great any time of the year and also make great little gifts for any occasion! Enjoy!

 

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Wed

13

Jul

2016

Busy as a Bee?

We often hear the term, “busy as a bee” but what does that actually mean? Yes, we know bees make honey and I am sure it is not an easy job however do you know just how fascinating these bees are?  They actually have a highly organized society inside their colonies.  These colonies consist of a surprising 20,000 - 80,000 female worker bees, a queen and hundreds of drones.     
Queen Bee
The only fertile female in the colony
Repeatedly emits pheromones that only the bees in the hive can smell
The other female worker-bees are kept sterile by these pheromones.
After mating early in life she keeps million of sperm in her body until she needs them. 
A queen bee lives for 3- 5 years.
Drones
A drone is hatched from an unfertilized egg.
Has only one parent and one set of genes
Does not have a stinger or the necessary parts to collect pollen or nectar
Their only purpose is to mate with the queen bee
Worker Bees
Largest population in the colony
They are all females
Can NOT produce fertilized eggs
Each one has different responsibilities and performs specific job duties as she reaches a certain age, this is determined by her biological clock. 
    - Cleaners: responsible for cleaning and polishing the empty cells that ready to receive   new eggs and store nectar and pollen.
    - Undertakers:  remove dead bees and carry corpses as far away from the hive as possible
    - Nurses:  Care for the developing larvae
    - Builders: At a young age these bees are responsible for secreting and developing beeswax.

    - Temperature Controllers: Collect water and spread it around the hive to control the temp

    - Guards: These bees check every bee that returns to the hive for a familiar scent. Only members of the hive are allowed to enter.

    - Foragers: At about 2 weeks old these bees search of nectar, water, pollen and propolis from nearby flowers.

 

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Disclaimer

This blog is not intended for personal medical guidance nor is it meant to be a substitute in any way for proper medical care. The medical and health information published here is intended to be for educational purposes. Any treatment mentioned here is at the reader’s discretion and sole risk. Santa Monica don’t take responsibility for any treatment, procedure, action or application by any person reading or following the information posted in this blog. Each person and situation is unique. Therefore before taking any action of a health nature, consult with qualified, licensed, and well-informed doctor or health care provider who is knowledgeable about the topics described in here. That personal caregiver will share responsibility for your health with you.

For your health!

Santa Monica Honey

 

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