Paul and I started Steens Honey nearly 40 years ago, and we're still just as passionate about our bees as we always were. I love using our deliciously raw, grainy honey to create recipes with ingredients fresh from our garden in Papamoa Hills.
That’s quite the mouthful!
I think it would be fair to say most of us know that lemon, honey and ginger go ridiculously well together. Nature is very kind delivering us these beautiful nutrient rich and delicious gifts, particularly at this time of year when the seasons are changing, and feeling a bit under the weather is more common. The mix of tangy, spicy and sweet flavours is a heavenly, culinary match but there is another ingredient that is very worthy a mention and needs to be added to the mix...sage! It has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, and its addition combines to make a very comforting, soothing tonic when feeling poorly.
This is my go-to drink when anyone mentions they are starting to feel unwell, especially with a sore throat and cold symptoms and I have known of others that add a splash of whisky.
I feel very lucky to have Meyer lemon trees bearing beautiful, juicy lemons in the garden, an old sage plant that goes 12 months of the year, (although it’s rather scraggly this time of the year) and my local organic store that supplies me with fresh ginger.
Last but by no means least, there’s our Manuka honey which has a very different floral profile to other honey’s, it’s not a sickly, sweet honey, in fact people often say it has quite a medicinal sense about it and I have to agree with them. The delicious Manuka flavours, aromas and goodness still shine through even with the strong flavours of the lemon, sage and ginger...they all just match.
N.B. There is one really important step in this process so I highly recommend you don’t do what so many in history have done and still do when making this...read on!
A teapot with a strainer is best (easy enough to strain when pouring if you don’t have one.)
2 juicy lemons (vitamin C and polyphenols...esp. in the skin)
Ginger a thumbnail size (compound gingerol is a powerful anti-inflammatory)
Sage leaves - a good handful / approx 12 (loaded with antioxidants that help strengthen the body’s defences)
2 hearty tablespoons of Steens Raw Manuka (antibacterial)
When poorly using a 15+ or above is highly recommended due to the antibacterial activity. The higher the UMF rating the higher the antibacterial activity.
Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the teapot. Add 2 of the squeezed halves into the pot for extra flavour/polyphenols.
Finely chop up ginger add to the strainer
Squish all the sage into the strainer
Pour boiling water over, filling the teapot letting the lemon, sage and ginger steep until the water has cooled considerably.
Here’s the N.B bit...don’t add your honey to the boiling water or pour boiling water over it! All honey has a peroxide activity that is antibacterial but not heat stable and boiling water destroys it along with the all-important digestive enzymes and other nutrients. Manuka honey however is unique in the fact that it contains MGO (methylglyoxal) which is a powerful antibacterial compound and is heat stable but why destroy all the other goodness it offers with boiling water?
Once cooled but still nice and warm add the Manuka honey and stir to dissolve
Pour into your favourite mug
This is a crucial step... Rest is a very important element in recovery and should never be underestimated so GET COMFY, sip away and enjoy the comfort of this warming drink. X
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