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Hey Honey

Cathy Christensen August 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Honey with wood stick pouring

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Honey, a sticky, sweet substance manufactured by bees, has long been cherished as a priceless beauty secret by some of history's most infamous women. From Cleopatra’s legendary milk and honey baths taken to maintain youthfulness to Queen Anne of England’s honey and oil mixture for lustrous, shiny hair, honey has been making women beautiful for centuries.

In the kitchen

Along with being a beauty staple, the sticky substance also is a natural sweetener primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. More than 300 unique kinds of honey are available, with the color and flavor depending on the bee’s nectar source, and including such diverse types as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossom. Generally, the lighter the color, the milder the flavor.

Honey also contains a variety of flavonoids and phenolic acids that act as antioxidants to scavenge free radicals; darker honey types usually contain a higher antioxidant content. Available in many forms, including comb, cut comb, liquid, naturally crystallized, and whipped or cremed, this sweet concoction can be used in multiple ways on a spa cuisine menu.1

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Quick Facts: Honey

  • Honey bees must tap into two million flowers to make one pound of honey.1
  • Madame du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV, used honey as a form of facial mask.1
  • The average worker bee makes only 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of honey in its lifetime.1
  • Mead is a type of wine manufactured from honey.1
  • Utah is known as The Beehive State.1
  • Traditionally, Chinese women use a blend of honey and ground orange seeds to keep their skin blemish-free.1
  • Bees communicate with each other by doing a dance that alerts other bees about the direction and distance of the nearest pollen.1

Recipe: Honey Banana Bread

from Head Chef Jimmy LeSage, New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, Vermont

Makes 8 servings

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1⁄2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 mashed ripe bananas

2 eggs

3 tablespoons yogurt, plain or vanilla

1. Mix flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

2. Add honey, vanilla, bananas, eggs and yogurt.

3. Coat a 9" x 5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Spread batter into pan and bake at 350°F for 45–50 minutes, or just until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

5. Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes. Invert onto a rack or serving board, cool and slice.

6. Add sliced bananas and about 1⁄3 cup of walnuts, raisin or dried cranberries on top of serving.

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