How to Make Herb-Infused Honey Using Heat (with Maria Noël Groves)

How to Make Herb-Infused Honey Using Heat (with Maria Noël Groves)

Hi, I’m Maria Noel Groves, author of Body
Into Balance and Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies and herbalist at Wintergreen
Botanicals in New Hampshire. Today we’re here with Mountain Rose Herbs and we’re
gonna make an herb-infused honey, and there are a couple different ways that
you can make herb-infused honey. One is a raw method which is very similar to
making a tincture or a basic maceration technique of an herbal oil, where you
pretty much just put your herb in a jar you cover it with honey. You can’t shake
it because honey doesn’t exactly shake but you would just every day or so
you just turn it over and kind of keep doing that for about two weeks or so and
then strain out your honey after gently warming it up. But we’re gonna do a
different technique that involves heat. There’s a little bit of controversy
around heat and honey certainly you do lose some of the properties, some of the
healing properties of honey, when you heat it but in this case we’re not
really using honey itself for the healing properties, we’re using it just
because it’s yummy and sweet and we’re gonna be using the heat to extract the
medicinal properties of the plant. And so some of the perks of this method over
the raw method: one is that it’s done in about one day or even within a couple
hours so you have it in a much shorter span of time. Two, you do a really nice job
extracting healing properties out of the plants with that little bit of heat over
the course of a few hours or so. And then three, it is a little bit less apt to go
bad because we’re not introducing a lot of microbes and even if we’re working
with fresh plant material you’ll evaporate off a lot of the moisture of
that fresh plant, whereas if you make a raw honey with fresh plant material, you
can do it, but, they’re really likely to go bad; they’ll ferment over time which
could make something more like mead but you’re not controlling the fermentation
process so it could end up actually growing mold or other more unpleasant
things. So this technique is one that I learned from herbalist Michael Moore
when I went to school at Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, and my very
first herbal honey I ever made was with one of my favorite herbs, bee balm, which
is a lot like oregano and thyme; kind of like a cross between those two
medicinally, and I just did it like on a cook stove in the back of my trunk in
the middle of the woods which was pretty awesome. But now I do it in a home
cooking environment it’s a little bit easier to do. So we are gonna do this
with a dry plant today, we’re gonna do it with lavender, and this method works
really well with aromatic and so I’ll do it with things like
lavender, you can certainly do it with ginger, fresh or dry. You can do it with
bee balm, oregano, thyme, Korean licorice, mint, anise, hyssop, these are all herbs
that I love to do via this method, fresh or dry. They taste so good you can make
them in herbal recipes and you can also attain some of the healing properties of
the plants when you take them. It’s not as medicinally potent as making a
tincture or a tea, honey is not really that great of a solvent but it’s yummy,
it’s sweet, it can be very soothing on the throat, and so it’s just really more
of an enjoyable remedy that has a little bit of healing properties of the plants
at the same time. So I’m just gonna measure out a little bit. You want
about 1/4 or so of a part for your plant material and about 2 parts for your
herbs. So if you have like a 1/4 cup to a half cup of herb and then 2 cups of
honey would be about right, but really I almost never really measure. It’s more
about putting the herbs in the pot and then covering it with honey and that
will work out just fine. But if you want a recipe you could say, one part to four
parts, or you can do a half cup of herb material to 2 cups of honey. So I’m just
gonna eyeball this. We’re gonna do about a quarter, or so a fifth or so of what’s
in here. And then we’ll put that in our pot. I’m not going to turn the pot on yet
because we’re not trying to fry our herbs or toast our herbs, we’re gonna
cover it with honey. Honey is so slow it’s a good practice of patience
getting it out. And you really want to try to avoid wasting honey as much as
possible because it takes, in a bee’s life it only made it about 1/4 or 1/12
of a teaspoon of honey in their lifespan. So I really try to treat this very
respectfully and try not to waste it and so I’ll show you later on as we go to
strain about some ways to preserve so that we don’t waste the honey that ends
up on the sides of the jar. You can make some yummy sweet teas out of that. So you
could just kind of sit here and wait for it to all come out I think this is fine
for now I’ll use this little bit of honey for something else later on as it
collects. Also another thing to keep in mind about honey is the
wait and volume is a little bit different so if you had a cup of or 8
ounces of water it would be about 8 ounces by volume and about 8 ounces by
weight. In the case of honey it’s actually a lot heavier than it takes up
in volume and honey is usually sold by weight so if you have a 32 ounce jar of
honey by how its labeled, it’s not actually a quart in volume it’s a little
less than that, it’s closer to about 20 ounces. So if you were doing this method
you’re like oh you know I’ve got making wedding favors and I want to fill two hundred 1oz
ounce jars with honey and you go to make your recipe and you did it with
measuring by the weight of it, you would actually end up quite a bit short, like
1/3 short of what you’re aiming for, and that’s not even accounting for what ends
up kind of left on the side of the jar that just never quite comes out. So
that’s just something to keep in mind that you can kind of fudge it and throw
a little bit more in, or actually do the calculations. So for about 30 ounces of
honey by weight you’ll end up with about 20 ounces of honey by volume. And then
keep in mind that you will lose some of that on the sides of jars that you can
regain by making tea with it but it probably isn’t going to end up in your
finished product. That only really matters if you’re trying to make a set
amount of jars of a set size, but if you are doing that that’s something to keep
in mind. So we’re gonna bring this up to temp and we have to be really careful
that we don’t overheat our honey. Honey has a way of boiling over really easily
and when it does it really does ruin it. Like I mentioned earlier
there’s a little bit of controversy over whether or not it’s okay to heat honey.
There are some concerns that it may even form some toxic compounds. I’m not
particularly concerned about that but it is on par with like heating any other
sugary substance, where it’s not really quite as healthy once you’ve done that.
But if you let it boil over it actually burns the honey, and then it just doesn’t
taste good, it doesn’t look good, it’s not as nice so we want to be careful that we
don’t do that. So I’m just gonna kind of stir this up carefully, and of
course at first things just don’t really mix in you see that the herbs kind of
more sitting on top of the honey then really totally covered by it, but as we
stir it and it gradually comes up to temp then it will get a little bit more
liquidy. And so we’ve got these big clumps right there.
And we will just kind of keep going with that and you’re gonna want to keep an
eye on it, let it come to where it seems like it’s almost about to boil and then
shut it off and just keep repeating that. Honey boils at a pretty low temperature
it’s definitely below 200, it varies a little bit depending upon the honey
itself, because honey is not a totally exact substance from you know one batch
to another. But it boils at a pretty low temperature and so most of our cooking
equipment gets hotter than that. If you have a yogurt maker those usually set at
around like 95 to 100 degrees, and that is below honey’s boiling temperature, so
you could easily do this method in that kind of a setting, or you could put it in
a jar and put it in your car for a little while, because your car on a warm
sunny day it’s probably right about 100 degrees. You’ll want to put it in
a bag or something so you don’t leak stickiness everywhere. So there are a lot
of ways that you could play around with this, but if you’re using a heating unit
like this or a crock-pot then you just have to keep turning it on and off and
being really mindful that it doesn’t boil over. So, we’ll let that kind of do
its thing for a little bit it’s getting a little softer. So we’re getting just
about ready to take this off the temp and this is about what it’s gonna look
like at that stage. You’ll start to see almost like really tiny bubbles
throughout it but it’s not actually really actively boiling much yet. And
that’s about where you want to take it off the heat, let it cool down, and then
just do this repeatedly a couple times throughout the day. And you can easily do
this when you’re, you know, doing other things in the kitchen as long as you can
keep an eye on it. But maybe at breakfast time you put it on for a little bit,
remove it from heat. You can leave it uncovered so especially for fresh plant
material it gives a chance for that moisture to evaporate. But, if let’s say,
it’s cooled down and you’re going off to work for the day, you just put a lid on
it so you know no little bugs or things get into it while you’re gone. And then
at night come back, heat it up again, and then on the very last heating is when
we’re gonna strain that out. But we’re not quite ready to do that yet. We’re
gonna let it cool and then we’ll heat it up at least one more time for this video
today, but you can do it repeatedly a couple times. For something really
aromatic, heating it up just a little bit a few times is great. If it’s something
that is tougher like maybe cinnamon sticks, you could do it over the course
of a couple days and that time, even as it sitting in the cold honey,
that time is gonna give a little more chance to pull those flavors out. But for
something really quick and aromatic like holy basil or lavender, you can easily
make a beautiful delicious herbal honey in just a couple hours. So I think we’re
just about ready to go. We’ve reheated it a little bit more and it’s got a nice
strong flavor so we’re just gonna remove that from the heat, it’s important to do
this step while it’s still really warm because it’s gonna be a lot easier to
strain at that stage. And we’re just going to take this strainer here and
carefully strain it through and try to get as much honey as possible
separate from the lavender. And if you happen to have it,
having a bigger strainer is really helpful for this but this just happens
to be the biggest one that I have to work with right now. We’ll give that time
to work its way through. So I’d say we’re just about good for the moment and we
only have a little bit of honey out of this batch because we did a pretty small
batch but we do have a lot of honey just kind of left on our pot and our strainer
that, you know we just hate to waste that. And so here’s a way that you can use
that up and make something really delicious in the process, and it also is
gonna help you with your cleaning process. So just cover all that up with
some water and you’re basically going to make a tea, a nice sweet tea. And we’ll
heat that up so it’s nice and hot and then we’ll strain it out and then you
can enjoy that as a sweet tea, and then you can also make iced teas with it. If
you’re doing any fermentation projects you might be able to incorporate this
into that as well. But mostly we’re using it as like a iced tea or a sweet tea and
you can just play around it and have a lot of fun you can make nice cocktails
with it. But it does only keep for maybe a couple
days tops in the refrigerator, so it’s something you’re going to want to drink
pretty quickly. So now that we have a really nice tea here
gonna strain it out and then you can enjoy that as a beverage. So we’re gonna
strain it out the same way that we strained out the herbal honey. But now
all that really nice lovely honey, all the hard work of those bees, we’re gonna
get to enjoy and we’re not going to be wasting. And then we can just compost
whatever is left of the herb material. Mmmm.
This would be really nice on the skin as well so. So that’s how you make an herb-infused honey, a couple different methods. I hope you enjoy it and happy herbal

11 Replies to “How to Make Herb-Infused Honey Using Heat (with Maria Noël Groves)”

  1. Love these videos I wish I was closer so as to take classes. I absolutely love these videos great educational value ❤❤

  2. Thank you for the video.I have two questions. Number one I have a very small tiny crockpot that just stays warm all the time if I used it to infuse honey and herbs how long would I cook it? And question two Is how would you use this honey infused herb?

  3. Please do not heat honey; it has been understood to create highly toxic byproducts in the body called "AMA" when heated, according to the ancient science and art of Ayurveda.

  4. Cool technique, little wasteful for me. Could you add some raw honey in later to get the benefits? Like a half/half when you take it? Would a double boiler work better for heating? Thank you for these awesome videos!?

  5. Nice video, and great tip about the yogurt maker. For people who have, erm, "delicate" taste buds, I like to mix drops of alcohol tinctures with honey, especially linden flower honey.

    Was that a porcelain lined pot, or was it just the lighting?

  6. What can be used to replace honey? I have a friend who is highly allergic to honey but would love a herbal infused sweet like this. Would agave work the same way?

  7. This is an amazing idea. I absolutly love lavender. The only change I would have made is to make tea and use the tea water to dissolve the honey.

  8. I’ve been trying to figure out how to strain my raw infused goldenrod honey ever since I first put it in the jar ?! Thanks for the quick tip about gentle heat!

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