Honey Heaven

honey

Honey, especially the NZ Manuka honey is amazing. Not only does it taste good, it has got all these anti bacterial qualities. The Maori already knew this 100s of years ago, and used the honey to treat wounds for example. Fairly recent research has shown that there are indeed natural antibiotics in pure Manuka honey that are potentially stronger then the chemical ones we’ve gotten so used to.

Eating a spoon of Manuka honey when having a sore throat will actually sooth it, but also kill the bacteria. And you can use it for example if you have nothing else at hand to clean and close scratches on your body.

The great thing is it just also tastes so good! Rub some honey over some lamb chops, add some thyme and grill them. Or put some camembert on a piece of French bread, poor some honey over it, sprinkle some ground pepper and rosemary and grill it for a minute or so until slightly softened. or as i did tonight mix some fresh ginger and honey with soysauce and sesame oil for a great stirfry mixture.

Honey heaven!

Grapes grow here!

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Grapes, growing up in the Netherlands, were a fruit of sunny Mediterranean holiday lunches. We would buy bunches on the roadside with some fresh bread, cheese and a piece of those beautiful dried sausages and have a picnic under large plantain trees in the middle of village square. We would have a proper siesta, letting the hottest part of the day go by, whilst munching on the sweet juicy grapes. I never thought then that growing them myself was ever going to be an option.

But of course in New Zealand, land of the most beautiful wines, grapes do grow! And even though I haven’t done so yet, I know I can grow them in my garden. Friends and neighbours definitely do! I still find it amazing to see these beautiful bunches grow in common gardens. It just looks so exotic to me.

Even better is to see the rolling hills of vineyards planted up, ready for harvest to make another year of their gorgeous juice: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Malbec.. There are so many good wines to choose from here in New Zealand! It’s not a very old winemaking country, but gosh have they caught up with the rest of the world! I blame the clean air and the great balanced climate. If you haven’t tried, you really should!

Tonight I might just use the grapes I was given by a friend yesterday roasted with some onions, garlic and fresh salmon. And of course I’ll have a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc with that!

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Avocado alternative

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Avocados are one of these trees I am really keen on growing. It produces such a lovely fruit and I use it all the time. Wouldn’t it be amazing to walk into the garden and have an abundance of these lovely shiny green fruits.

 They can easily be grown here in New Zealand, as I do buy only local ones these days. They’re much nicer and fresher than their imported cousins. It does mean there are times of the year I have to live without them, but at the moment there are still avocado’s aplenty! Lucky me, as I am looking for alternatives to the commercial Easter chocolate overload and avocados provide just that!

 Have you tried cacao avocado mousse? If you haven’t – give it a go, it is so good and so simple:

 2 avocados
1/3 cup raw cacao powder ( of course I recommend to use a good Dutch brand)
4 tablespoons of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of manuka honey

Blend until smooth, spoon into 4 cups and cool for about 15 minutes

 How’s that for a great chocolate alternative?!

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