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Is it true that honey calms coughs better than cough medicine does?

Answer From James M. Steckelberg, M.D.

Drinking tea or warm lemon water mixed with honey is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat. But honey alone may be an effective cough suppressant, too.

In one study, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep.

In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as a common cough suppressant ingredient, dextromethorphan, in typical over-the-counter doses. Since honey is low-cost and widely available, it might be worth a try.

However, due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning, never give honey to a child younger than age 1.

And remember: Coughing isn't all bad. It helps clear mucus from your airway. If you or your child is otherwise healthy, there's usually no reason to suppress a cough.

These delicious Beehive Cookies call for no oil, sugar, butter or white flour – cookie-recipe staples – so the baked cookie has a unique texture. However, they’re delicious and a very respectable “healthy” sweet treat.  

Beehive Cookies

3⁄4 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1⁄2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1⁄4 teaspoon salt 

Heat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, combine sour cream, honey, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Apple Quick Bread 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups peeled and finely diced Granny Smith apples (or other tart apple)
1 cup finely chopped pecans 

Heat oven to 350°F.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together milk, honey, eggs and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in apples and pecans.

Divide batter between two greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on wire rack. Serve with butter and honey, if desired. Store in plastic bag. Yields 2 loaves.


A little toasting and some butter and cinnamon on this Apple Quick Bread recipe will more than do the trick for breakfast.

Honey is not only more healthful, it imparts a unique, earthy flavor to baked goods that can be altered based on the variety of honey you choose. It can replace sugar in almost any recipe if you follow a few rules:

1) always reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees

2) for every cup of honey used, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1⁄4 cup

3) when modifying or creating your own recipes, remember to add a pinch (up to 1⁄2 teaspoon) of baking soda to neutralize the acidity of honey (unless the recipe calls for sour cream or sour milk).

On average, honey is 1 to 11⁄2 times sweeter (on a dry-weight basis) than sugar.

Since honey varies greatly in flavor and composition, you will experience differences in consistency, flavor, cooking time, and the amounts of other ingredients needed. When substituting all or most of the sugar in a recipe, use a mild-flavored honey (like clover) so it will not overpower other ingredients (unless of course, that’s what you’re going for).

When switching to honey in baked goods, you’ll notice many differences throughout the process: The batter will be thinner; your baked goods will brown more quickly in the oven (this is normal – just watch carefully and make sure they don’t reach the point of no return); and the finished products will be springy and retain freshness for a longer period of time.

Bodacious Brownies 

1⁄3 cup butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3⁄4 cup whole-wheat flour
3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3⁄4 cup honey
1⁄2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1⁄2 cup chopped pecans 

Heat oven to 325°F. Butter 8-by-8-inch baking dish; set aside.

In saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together, or microwave in microwave-safe bowl until smooth.

In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in honey. Beat in small amount of chocolate mixture, then gradually beat in remaining chocolate mixture.

Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans.

Pour batter into prepared dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Yields 9 brownies.


Better have a glass of cold milk ready for these!

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Fudgy Paleo Brownies


Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
21 mins
Total Time
26 mins
 
Servings: 9 brownies
Ingredients

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fair trade espresso powder optional, but recommended

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat oven medium heat, whisking until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
Take off the heat and stir in the honey. This should cause the mixture to slightly thicken.
Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Add in the coconut flour, salt, and espresso powder. Mix until no dry pockets remain.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-23 minutes.
Store in the fridge after the first day to keep fresh.