Make your own Infused Honey with household herbs & spices

Cinnamon infused honey I know we see a lot of DIY crafts in the more traditional sense on Handmade Philly, but crafting in the kitchen is equally creative, as any chef or culinary enthusiast will tell you. Infusing honey, sugar, and other ingredients ahead of time can provide not only a tasty addition to coffee and tea, but also a flavorful base to baking and stove top concoctions, including creme brulees, puddings, and custards. Just today I made walnut shortbread with vanilla-infused sugar!

Aside from the favors inherent in infused honey, however, one can also benefit from the incredible medicinal qualities inherent in the kitchen spices and herbs that surround us. Intense infusions bring out these benefits, whether through their volatile oils or chemical compounds, and an infused honey can help with digestion, sleep, energy, and other qualities that the chosen herb imparts. The spice I used for this project is cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), which stimulates appetite and aids common digestive complaints including cramps, nausea, and gas. Cinnamon has superb levels of anti-oxidants and can add a tremendous boost to your anti-oxidant intake when you add it to coffee and tea beverages.

But let’s not forget that cinnamon & the infused honey are plain delicious! It’s an incredibly well-recognized taste cross-culturally, and the honey is very versatile in all kinds of kitchen experiments. Keep in mind, however, that you can go through the steps below with other herbs, including rosemary (a wonderful, pungent herbaceous taste), lavender (a beautiful, relaxing, and aromatic honey), thyme (herbaceous and savory), cummin seeds, fennel seeds, chamomile blossoms, and organic rose petals. In the summer, I also make infused honey from lemon balm and mint, both of which are rich in aromatic volatile oils.

Cinnamon infused honey Step 1: Select a good quality honey, preferably raw honey for highest benefit. I recommend visiting Bee Natural at Reading Terminal Market for excellent honey.

Step 2: Use a heavy cast iron or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of herb or spice to about 2-3 cups of honey.

Step 3: On the lowest possible stove top setting, gently bring honey to a near-boil. WATCH CAREFULLY. You do not want the honey to boil or you will use some of the benefits of the honey, and second, if the pot boils over, it makes a royal mess! (believe me). Stir once or twice. When it’s getting close, you will see a whitish foam form on the top.

Step 4: When it gets to this point, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Step 5: Repeat heating and cooling 2-3 more times for a stronger taste. (I usually heat at least twice). You can allow the honey to cool somewhat after the last heating, but keep in mind that the warmer the honey is, the easier it will be to strain.

Step 6: Strain herbs using a funnel & cheesecloth, herb funnel (with built-in sieve), or a regular mesh sieve. Pour into sterilized glass canning jars and cap. Place a wee sprig of the herb or a few seeds or chips of the spice on the top of the honey before capping.

Herbal Honey Good sources for herbs:
Herbiary ~ a new herb source in Reading Terminal Market
The Apothecary Garden ~ (same people, but their Chestnut Hill location)
The Random Tea Room ~ in Northern Liberties
Penn Herb ~ in Northern Liberties (questionable quality herbs, however)
Mountain Rose Herbs
Pacific Botanicals.

Sarah Powell, an herbalist, medical anthropologist and proprietor of the natural bath & body business, Lilith’s Apothecary. Visit her blog at www.lilithsapothecary.wordpress.com for more natural herbal tips and recipes.

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17 Responses to “Make your own Infused Honey with household herbs & spices”

  1. Making Infused Honey with Household Spices & Herbs « Lilith’s Apothecary Herbal Body Care

    […] Infused Honey with Household Spices & Herbs I wrote this DIY post for a local group of handmade artisans here in Philadelphia, for the Handmade Philly blog. But what […]

  2. Ruth

    I’d like to try this. Lovely photos.

    • lilithsapothecary

      Thanks Ruth! It’s easy and at the end of the day, you get beautiful honey that everyone will love! win-win!
      ~Sarah

  3. gigglepotamus

    This looks great, Sarah! Thanks for sharing. It was nice meeting you on Saturday at the bake sale 🙂

    ~Lauren

  4. allthesoftplaces

    tasty idea!

  5. kenazka

    Hi, I liked the idea of infused honey very much. But I have one remark: it is important not to heat honey more than to 40 degrees Celsius. Because after this temperature threshold is passed, almost all valuable and useful elements in honey are destroyed!
    Instead some harmful are created.
    So, I tried not to heat honey vary much, but leave it for longer time – one week . During that week I have just a little heated honey several times and mixed it with a wooden spoon from time to time.

  6. Gary

    Can you tell me how to store this and the shelf life
    Thanks for the recipe and answer

  7. Maid Mirawyn

    Thanks for the tutorial! It occurred to me that infused honey could also add health benefits to any of the many skin care recipes that use honey…I use honey in face masks, facial cleanser, sugar scrubs, and lip balm all the time.

  8. Linda Berlin

    I was looking for herbal infused maple syrup how-to or purchase as I am down to the last drops of a rosemary, thyme and lemon maple syrup I purchased at Ross or Marshalls a couple years ago and have been hoarding it because it is so good and apparently they have discontinued making this combo. I’m guessing the tips for honey would work the same for maple syrup. This is a fine tutorial. thanks. I’m going to put this site on my desktop. I am originally from Upper Darby and love sites that take me back to the homeplace! Ahhhh, Reading Terminal…don’t cry for me, Philadelphia…[well, maybe just a teensy bit…]

  9. Anny Langer

    Reblogged this on Anny Langer artwork and commented:
    :o)

  10. Andrea

    Sarah, how very cool! Loved the photos, thank you for taking the time to create this little lesson on infusing honey. I too use honey in my body care products and I think I’ll be trying this out. Is it really necessary to cook the honey though? I am a big fan of raw food but I understand some herbs/spices like a little heat applied to unlock the properties of it. I wonder if you could just place the honey and herb/spice mixture in a jar and put it outside in the sun and get a similar effect?

    We just got a topbar bee hive to complement our new garden and are hoping to have fresh honey and herbs this fall, yay! I’ve tried mountain rose herbs in the past but right now, I’ve been getting organic herbs and spices from http://maisonterre.net and have been very pleased with the quality.

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    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I came across this during my search for something concerning this.

  12. Anita Andell

    Just got fresh raw cinnamon in 3 forms,fresh local honey,and I getting ready to in fuse !wish me luck!

  13. Anita Andell

    Success !!!!!!!

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