September is National Honey Month, and while every day seems like a good enough excuse to celebrate this naturally sweet, super powered ingredient, you could take your culinary creativity up a few notches by trying some honey-infused recipes that may be new to your repertoire. With a little advice from food and beverage experts, you can easily whip up sauces, sweet treats, and even a few simple cocktails that highlight honey in the best way — which could be the perfect antidote to your current cooking slump.
In case its inherent sweetness wasn't enough reason to stock up on honey this month, it's worth mentioning it's also been proven to offer benefits to your skin and hair, and some believe its antibacterial properties may also boost your immune system. There are a few different ways to get these benefits (beauty products, supplements), but if you prefer to use honey as a star component of a delicious dish or drink, you've got a ton to choose from.
Need some inspiration? Read ahead for eight different options — both sweet and savory — that are perfectly kissed with honey, from gluten-free desserts to a spicy take on fried chicken, plus a boozy beverage or two.
Honey-Infused Recipes: Bee's Knees Cocktail
"Honey has a lot of unique textural components. We use it a lot in a classic Bee’s Knees with gin and lemonade," says Matt Landes, owner of Cocktail Academy. To make your own, start by creating a honey syrup: Add one part hot water to three parts honey and mix until fully combined. Then, in a shaker with ice, add 3/4 ounces of the syrup with 2 ounces of gin and 1 ounce fresh lemon juice. Shake well, strain, and sip.
Honey-Infused Recipes: Honey Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
Good-for-you granola brand Purely Elizabeth recently collaborated with recipe developers to create honey-infused recipes that complement its latest launch, Honey Almond Probiotic Granola. And that includes this dairy-free, wheat-free dessert.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Tai Pei Street Corn
Chef Will Stormant or Dr. BBQ in St. Petersburg Florida loves using honey in this Taiwanese twist on elote, or Mexican street corn. Mix Sriracha and honey to create a glaze on the ears of corn before grilling. This should give you a nice caramelization effect, plus a ton of flavor. Finish off the dish with a little extra sauce, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
Joolies offers this simple but totally satisfying recipe for a no-fail appetizer: Start with eight to 10 dates, pitted and sliced. Stuff with goat cheese and top with crushed nuts (the brand recommends pistachios) and a drizzle of honey and voila! You won't even have to turn on your oven.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Hot Fried Chicken
Want to take your favorite fried chicken recipe up a notch? Do what Chef Chris Dane of Lucky Bird does and whisk a little honey into hot sauce for a spicy-sweet glaze. "Honey cuts through fat beautifully," he says.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Oatmeal Nut Butter Cookies
You only need four simple ingredients to create this cookie recipe from Butterfly Superfoods: nut butter, oats, an egg, and honey. Mix, bake for 10 minutes, and you've got the perfect fall treat at your fingertips.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Peaches & Honey Cocktail
"Honey is a wholesome choice when I'm whipping up something delicious and satisfying because it has so many varietals with unique flavors, making it an easy addition to any brunch, lunch, dinner, or snack," says registered dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, who collaborated with the National Honey Board for a healthy honey-infused cocktail.
First, create a honey-lime syrup with 1/3 cup honey, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/3 cup fresh lime juice. To make one cocktail, muddle a few leaves of basil in a glass, add 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1 1/2 ounces of the syrup, and a few peach slices, then top with 1 to 2 ounces of sparkling water.
Honey-Infused Recipe: Spicy-Sweet Dressing For Salads & Pasta
Give your everyday desk salad or go-to pasta dish an upgrade with a simple honey-infused dressing that's packed with flavor — and a kick. Created by my dressing brand Brizo, the recipe includes 1/4 cup of Brizo Mild, 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey, 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper.