Learn to Cook and Bake with Honey
Bee America recommends Chef Carrie Schloss’ cookbook, The Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Recipes. In chef Carrie’s book, she includes 130 recipes inspired by 28 honey varietals and blends. From cool cocktails, small bites, dinner or desserts, the recipes are delicious and will appeal to foodies, busy moms, healthy cooks and more. Chef Carrie wrote each recipe with the home cook in mind. She replaces refined sugar with a variety of honeys to ensure that her recipes are healthy and delicious for parents looking for wholesome, sweet treats. All of the recipes have been tested by Carrie’s friends and family to ensure they can be easily duplicated in their own kitchen and still taste great!
Chef Carrie shared with Bee America some tips for busy families looking to eat healthier meals.
- Try substituting honey for refined sugar or other processed sweeteners in your recipes. For savory dishes, you don't have to be precise with the substitution. However with baked goods, the substitution is a bit more complicated, so use a recipe that uses honey.
- Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you can actually use less when making the substitution. In general, for every cup of sugar in a recipe, you will only use 3/4 cup of honey.
- Try to make as much as you can yourself rather than buying something that is pre-made. Processed foods have lots of hidden sugars and chemicals and preservatives. You can control the ingredients that are going into your kids’ bodies. It is really easy to make things like granola, pizza, snack bars, etc.
- When making something, try to double the recipe, and then you can portion leftovers and freeze them to use at a later date.
- Cook with your kids so that you can spend time with them while you're cooking.
One of our favorite recipes from Chef Carrie’s cookbook is her favorite spring meal: Chipotle Honey Marinated Skirt Steak with Milk and Honey Dinner Rolls and Kale, Clementine, and Hazelnut Salad. It would make a perfect family dinner celebration.
Chipotle Honey Marinated Skirt Steak
Chef Carrie was introduced to chipotle, or smoke-dried jalapeño, as a young girl, and that hot, smoky flavor has been one of her favorites ever since. Although this marinade uses both chipotles and chipotle honey, the resulting steak isn’t overly spicy; it’s just really flavorful. The meat only needs to marinate for an hour, but it can marinate for up to 24 hours if you have the time.
Makes 5 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ large yellow onion, chopped into ¼-inch cubes (½ cup)
1½ tablespoons minced garlic
3 chipotle chiles, chopped into ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Asheville Bee Charmer’s Smokin’ Hot Honey (chipotle-infused honey) (or Bee America Artisanal Pioneer honey)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ cup olive oil
2½ pounds skirt steak, cut into 2 to 3 pieces
To make the marinade, mix together the lime juice, onion, garlic, chipotle chiles, honey, cumin, salt, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, and olive oil in a small bowl until well incorporated. Place the steak in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the marinade and coat the steak well. Seal the bag and let the steak marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Wipe off the excess marinade from the steak and discard the marinade. Grill the steak for 6 to 7 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked to your liking.
Transfer the meat to a plate, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut the steak at an angle against the grain into ¼-inch- or ½-inch-thick slices. Serve immediately. Store leftover steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Note: If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the steak under a broiler.
Kale, Clementine, and Hazelnut Salad
This is one of Chef Carrie’s favorite salads to make. It’s easy and you can store it in the refrigerator. Typically, a dressed salad would wilt, but there’s something interesting about this one: the longer it sits, the tastier it gets. The massaged kale is a great base for a wide range of fruits and nuts—be creative and make this salad with some of your favorites. She personally loves using dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans.
Makes 4 servings
1 pound curly kale, stemmed, washed, and dried thoroughly
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 clementines, peeled and segmented
1 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Bee America Orange Blossom honey
To make the salad, tear the kale into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Gently massage the kale for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale has deflated by roughly half. Add the clementines and hazelnuts and toss well.
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat completely. Serve the salad immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Note: If you don’t have curly kale on hand, you can use any other kind of kale you like, including black kale, lacinato kale, Siberian kale, red Russian kale, or redbor kale.
Milk and Honey Dinner Rolls
These dinner rolls are almost reminiscent of Hawaiian rolls or challah. They have a sweet quality to them because of the honey, but they are also rich because of the milk. Once these are baked and cooled, Chef Carrie usually freeze half of them for later. Simply reheat them in the oven to warm them up and serve. They are nice to have alongside dinner, to use to make a small sandwich, or as a snack with some cheese or a big pat of butter.
Makes 15 rolls
1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup 2% milk, warmed to about 90°F
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons wildflower honey (or Bee America Artisanal Prairie honey)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs, divided
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the yeast and milk. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until it foams.
Add the flour, honey, salt, 1 of the eggs, and the butter. Mix on low speed for 4 minutes, or until well combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for another 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease a large bowl lightly with grapeseed oil. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in an unheated oven for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
Divide the dough into 15 (2-ounce) balls. Roll one ball into a 9-inch rope. Wrap the rope around your fingers. Take one end over the top of the rope and pull it through the hole in the center. Lightly pinch the other end of the rope to the bottom of the roll. It should look like a small round with a button in the center. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Let the rolls rise, uncovered, in an unheated oven for 1 hour.
Remove the rolls from the oven and preheat it to 350°F. To make an egg wash, whisk the remaining egg and the water together. Lightly brush the rolls with the egg wash.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a roll registers 190°F. Remove the rolls from the oven and serve slightly warm. Store leftover rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
Recipes reprinted with permission from The Asheville Bee Charmer Cookbook by Carrie Schloss, Agate Surrey, 2017.
Where Can You Buy Excellent Quality, Raw Honey?
- Research local apiaries that raise honey bees (like Bee America!)
- Look for honey at farmers markets
- Buy honey when you're on vacation
- Find local stores you know carry quality brands like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods
Where Can You Buy The Ashville Bee Charmer Cookbook?
It’s for sale on Amazon.
Photo credits: Photo © Angela B. Garbot.