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Recipe Swap, April 5

A honey of a deal

It won’t be long now before we’ll start to see a welcome sight — honeybees hovering around spring’s buffet of early-flowering trees and plants.

Bees were the buzz at Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council’s recent annual meeting, where Rob Currie, department head of entomology at the University of Manitoba gave a presentation on behalf of Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association, talking about important research MRAC is helping fund to figure out what’s killing our bees and how to save them.

He also gave his audience a taste of the beekeeping industry across Canada and why it’s so important.

If we can’t resolve the problems bees have been having, clearly it won’t just be honey producers affected. Many of the crops grown on the Canadian Prairies require the use of pollinators, making the bee’s labour worth as much as $1 billion a year. Local crops such as canola, alfalfa and sunflower benefit immensely from the use of our honeybees as pollinators, as do, of course, many trees and flowering plants.

Next time you’re dribbling a dollop of honey on your toast or into your tea, consider it brought to you by a critical partner in both our ecosystem and the agricultural systems depending on them.

And choose “Product of Canada” when you buy honey. Doing so, we play our own part in supporting local agriculture and the natural ecosystem.

Honey Joes

  • 1/4 c. chopped onions1/4 c. chopped celery1/4 c. grated carrots2 tbsp. vegetable oil1 lb. ground turkey or beef1/2 c. tomato paste1/4 c. honey3 tbsp. water1 tbsp. vinegar2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce1-1/2 tsp. chili powder4 hamburger bunsSalt and pepper to taste

Honey Carrot Soup

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced *1 onion, chopped2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth1/4 c. Bee Maid liquid honey1 c. 2 per cent low-fat milkGround nutmegMinced chives* Substitute 1 (20-oz.) package of frozen sliced carrots, if desired

Dutch Style Green Beans

  • 1 pkg. frozen green beans (10 oz., 283 grams)2 tbsp. butter1/2 c. chopped onions2 tbsp. flour1/2 tsp. salt1/4 tsp. pepper1/4 c. vinegar2 tbsp. Bee Maid Liquid honey3/4 c. bean liquid and water

Cook beans following package directions. Drain, saving liquid. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan; add onion and cook until soft but not brown. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add vinegar and honey and gradually stir in bean liquid. Cook over low heat stirring until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and gently fold cooked beans into the sauce. Source: Canadian Honey Council

Pumpkin Muffinswith Cream Cheese

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon1 tsp. baking soda1/2 tsp. salt1/2 c. chopped walnuts1 c. solid-pack pumpkin1 c. honey1/4 c. vegetable oil2 eggs at room temperature, slightly beaten1/4 c. low-fat buttermilk1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in walnuts. In a separate bowl, blend pumpkin, honey, oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture over dry ingredients. Stir just until mixed. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each to just below the rim. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centre of muffins comes out clean. Let pan cool on rack for five minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool on rack completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a small bowl, with electric mixer, beat eight ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature) with 1/3 cup honey, until fluffy. Makes 12 muffins.

Frosting is optional on these muffins. Without it, they are ideal for breakfast; with it, they become a sweet afternoon snack.

About the author

Reporter

Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.

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