There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.
Henry David Thoreau
I grew up on my grandparent’s farm outside of Caldwell, on Chicken Dinner Road, among vegetable gardens, berry patches, orchards, flower gardens….and bees. Grandpa Herman held many passions but at the top of the list were roses, walnuts and bees.
Grandpa’s bee hives would come to life every spring as soon as the first violets appeared. The apricot and crab apple trees buzzed with life and the melodious hum meant fresh honey. In a few weeks we would be blessed with plates of oozing honeycomb. The honey, gently flavored with whatever was blooming, ranged in color from golds to nearly black was fragrant and delicious. Mmmmm.
A Little History
The collection of honey dates back to 7000 b.c.e., and it shows up in nearly every form of medicine. However, honey fell out of popular use due to the availability and ease of processed white refined sugar. Let’s face it, refined sugar is cheaper and easier to obtain. You don’t have to risk stings or wait for the right season, you don’t have to manage a hive and its queen. Honey also adds a distinct flavor to whatever it goes into, another put-off to spoiled taste buds, but I digress.
Like all real food, bee products hold medicinal properties and energetics–the post metabolic phenomenon of what it does in the body (heat, cool, etc.)– once it is ingested. Here’s a brief picture of our bees’ bounty.
Spiced nuts are staple in my kitchen. I make up a large batch and freeze them. A small bowl is set out on the counter for snacks and we toss them onto salads, over hot grain cereals, into granola or send them off to school for a nutritious snack. This recipe is a general guide, feel free to use your favorite spice combinations or to add in minced candied ginger or dried fruits like cranberries.Honey Spiced Nuts – – mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts…choose your favorites), honey or maple syrup (start with less and increase to just cover the nuts, to avoid gooey nuts), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, salt and pepper (to taste), – Healing Benefits: Although nuts will vary in their content of protein, oils, vitamins and minerals we can look at them overall and get the general idea of what they have to offer. As a group nuts build and strengthen the body. Â They add on weight and fight deficiencies. Â Yin building (fluids and fats) and warming nuts are good for thin, weak and frail types but should be avoided if there is excess dampness, phlegm or yeast. Â Too many nuts can scatter the energy making a person feel ungrounded or unfocused.
Primary Season: Autumn and Winter.
A great whole foods sweet snack using figs, honey, greek yogurt and nuts!