Health Benefits of Honey

By day, guest blogger Maris Callahan is a publicist in New York City. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer and food blogger at In Good Taste, a blog about cooking and eating good healthy food when you’re busy or on-the-go (with a few indulgences, because everyone needs those!) When she isn’t cooking or writing she enjoys running, knitting, photography and a good latte.honey

We all know to put honey in our tea when we have sore throats, but most of us don’t stop to ask why. For centuries, honey has been used as a topical application to help prevent infection, due to naturally occurring antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. With the invention of antibiotics, this practice became less frequent, but consuming honey is still said to have health benefits and might even reduce sensitivity to certain environmental allergens.

Honey is great drizzled on toast, but that alone isn’t a substantial dinner. However, if you add a reasonable portion of cheese for a protein boost and some of your daily calcium, you can’t go wrong with this recipe for honey-drizzled cheese toasts that I posted on my food blog in August.

I adapted this recipe from the Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, one of my favorite books for healthy comfort food.

Honey-Drizzled Cheese Toast
(Serves one, but for a larger group, see note below)

honey cheese toastIngredients:
1 (3 oz) piece whole grain baguette (sliced in half horizontally, then into 2 inch pieces)
1 1/2 – 2 oz. soft, pungent cheese, such as Brie or Camembert
1 tablespoon honey (local, if possible)

1. Preheat broiler to high. Slice bread in half horizontally and cut into 4-6 inch lengths. Top each with a generous portion of cheese (I used brie, my favorite!).
2. Broil in the center of the oven until the edges of the bread have browned and cheese is bubbling, about five minutes. Watch carefully to ensure that the cheese doesn’t burn.
3. Remove from oven and place a couple of toasts onto a serving plate. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of honey and serve immediately.

For a well-rounded meal, serve with fresh fruit or a mixed green salad.

NOTE: For a larger group (or a big appetite), use approximately a pound of cheese and 1/2-cup honey to one twelve-ounce baguette. The whole recipe serves 8-10 people and is also a great alternative to garlic bread as a side dish or appetizer.

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