Seems like you never have a popsicle handy when you really want one. So, the smart move is to go ahead and pop them in the freezer now before that summer heat wave rolls around.

These lilac and lemonade popsicles are a definite upgrade from the artificial mystery flavors you had in popsicles as a kid. And, you can make them even more unique with your choice of raw & unfiltered Local Hive Honey to give them that unique flavor.

Prep Time: 5+ Hours

Makes: 6 popsicles

You’ll Need

1/3 cup Local Hive Honey

4 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)

1 3/4 cup water

2 tsp organic lilac flowers (lavender also works great!)

Strainer

Popsicle molds

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small pot over medium-high heat, warm the water until it’s almost boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in Local Hive Honey until fully dissolved. Stir in the lilac flowers and steep for 1–2 hours. Longer is better.
  2. Strain the mixture over a large glass measuring cup, removing all the lilac flowers.
  3. Add the fresh lemon juice and stir until well combined.
  4. Divide the popsicle mixture evenly between the six molds.
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, you may need to run the molds under warm water until the popsicle releases from the mold.

The difference between New Year’s resolutions that stick and the ones that don’t? They become habits. “Duh,” you’re probably thinking, “If you keep doing something, then it’s habit. That’s literally what ‘habit’ means.” While that’s not wrong, there are tricks to establishing new, healthy habits that stick – and honey can help.

Rule #1 of a New Year’s resolutions is that they have to be specific enough to actually achieve. If your resolution is simply to “be healthy” or “get in shape,” there’s no way to know if you’ve accomplished them – or even if you’re heading in the right direction. Here are three common resolutions, and how you can work toward them with a little help from a raw & unfiltered honey.

 

If Your Resolution is to Exercise More

In those moments where you could be exercising – first thing in the morning, after work, during lunch break, weekend mornings – you aren’t even thinking about it. It’s generally not a problem of whether you want to work out or not, it’s that you simply have other habits and things taking up your time.

One trick to building an exercise habit is to mentally map out in advance exactly how you want it to go: “I’m going to wake up at 6:00am and not hit snooze. I will put my hair up, put on my good workout shirt, brush my teeth, make coffee, then hit the gym. I’ll start with 15 minutes on the elliptical…” etc. Basically, you need to anticipate the next time you’re going to work out, so that when it arrives, you aren’t having to make every little decision. It’s like you’re already halfway done by the time you start.

Honey can help you build this habit in quite a few ways:

 

If Your Resolution is to Cut Back on Sugar or Processed Foods

Sugar is a comfort food, often used to cope with stress, but it’s also a ritual for many people. They always put it in their coffee. They always have dessert with dinner. They always get soda at the movies. The same is also true of many processed foods like snacks and sweets.

To cut back on sugar, you can try just saying, “I won’t eat sugar anymore.” Good luck with that. What’s more likely to work is identifying what your rituals are and using them as starting points for new, healthier habits.

Raw & unfiltered honey is just about the easiest thing to replace your sugary habits with because it 1) tastes sweet and 2) tastes sweeter than sugar, so you can get your fix with fewer calories. Try having a spoonful of honey before you would normally have sugar – on the way to the movie theater, before drinking coffee, etc. – and see how much your craving subsides.

 

If Your Resolution is to Quit a Bad Habit

Building on the point above, bad habits are nothing more than rituals. There’s always a trigger that leads to a craving and then a habitual response. Instead of just trying to eliminate the response – binge eating, doomscrolling, procrastinating – focus on the trigger. Maybe it’s boredom. Or stress. Or uncertainty. Or an email from your boss. Regardless, this trigger is your chance to fix a bad habit and replace it with a good one, all at once.

Once you identify the trigger, and there might be several, you’ll want to resolve it by heading it off. You have to plan your response in advance, stepping back and thinking about what it’s going to be like when the trigger arises. And your response? It can be a lot of different things, but it’s best if it’s simple enough to turn into a habit: taking a deep breath, going for a walk, or even eating a spoonful of honey.

No, honey won’t solve all your problems, but it can be a particularly potent replacement for a bad habit. Ultimately, what you need to break a habit is to pause and refocus before jumping to your habitual response, and honey may or may not help with that. But it does have the advantage of being instantly gratifying. Either way, once you realize you can replace old habits with new ones, it might just be the start of something sweet.

Raw & unfiltered honey can work its way into countless recipes, but our favorites are always the easy ones. These three fun, simple recipes make great replacements for sugar-loaded store-bought treats, getting their sugar from all-natural honey. You can give each one that special home-cooked flavor by using your favorite varietal honey from across the U.S.

 

Honey & Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars

Ingredients

1/2 cup Local Hive Colorado Honey

3/4 cup peanut butter

3 cups Cheerios

Directions

  1. Line a small baking pan with foil and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm honey and peanut butter and stir until completely blended.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in cereal until evenly coated.
  4. Place the mixture in foil-lined pan and flatten.
  5. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting into 8–12 bars.

 

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

Ingredients

3 cups fresh strawberries

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp Local Hive Florida Honey

Directions:

  1. Remove leaves from the strawberries, then add the berries and lemon juice in a blender, then pour the mixture into a small saucepan.
  2. Cook the strawberry mixture over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Preheat oven to 175°F.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the honey.
  4. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and spread into an even, thin layer.
  5. Bake at 175°F for approximately three hours, or until the surface of the leather is no longer wet, but not yet dry and brittle.
  6. Slice into strips with a pizza cutter. Roll the strips in wax paper to store and serve. Store in an airtight container.

 

Apple Cinnamon Cookie Honey Bites

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¾ tsp cinnamon

½ cup almond butter

3/8 cup Local Hive Clover Honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 grated apple (about 1 cup)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flaxseed, and cinnamon. In another bowl or measuring cup, stir together the almond butter, honey, vanilla and salt.
  2. Pour the almond butter mixture onto the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated. Stir in the grated apple.
  3. Create small round bites with an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop, compacting them with your fingers.
  4. Refrigerate the honey bites in an airtight container. They will keep up to four days.

It seems like we, as a society, might be getting tired of plain old coffee. Pumpkin spice, buttered coffee, salted coffee, fraps, mochas and countless others have been all the rage for years now. But there’s a simpler, sweeter way to mix up your brew that many people overlook: raw & unfiltered honey.

Sure, the typical move is to sweeten tea with honey and coffee with sugar, but if you think about it, there’s no particular reason why. Honey dissolves just as well in any hot beverage, and if you already like your coffee sweet, honey isn’t too different — it just adds a bit of unique character.

But there’s one benefit honey has that sugar doesn’t.

Sweetening your coffee with sugar will always lead to some kind of sugar crash, even if it’s masked by the effects of caffeine. But raw & unfiltered honey has a lower glycemic index (GI), causing less of a blood sugar spike and sugar crash. This is because honey contains fructose and glucose (as opposed to the sucrose in table sugar) that your body takes longer to absorb.

The glycemic index of honey varies in a wide range: from at least 32 to 85. If you buy mass-produced pasteurized and filtered honey, you’ll likely end up with one that has a glycemic index above 60, which isn’t that far off from table sugar. Raw & unfiltered honeys, with their variety of local pollens and higher fructose content, tend to have a lower GI and a sweeter, more pronounced flavor. Meaning a smaller spoonful of honey will give you all the flavor you want without the crash.

For more on honey and health, as well as how raw honey can play a role in your diet, check out the books by the Honey Doctor, Dr. Ron Fessenden, available from our store. You can also contact Dr. Fessenden directly with questions and comments at honeydoctor@localhivehoney.com.

Charcuterie may sound complicated, but simply put, it’s the perfect way to pair and compare a variety of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. If you’ve only had mustard on sandwiches or parmesan on pasta or honey in tea, these foods can take on a new life as part of a spread.

What do you need for a perfect charcuterie board? Variety. Nuts, cheese, fruit, cured meats, honey, crackers, veggies, crudité, spreads, dips, sauces, and olives can all play a part. Giving guests a wide array of choices to play with is an easy way to stir up conversation at any luncheon, picnic or get-together. And with 23 varietals of Local Hive Honey to pick from, there’ll no shortage of ways to sweeten what’s on their plate. Here’s how to get started putting it all together.

Start With Cheese

While we’re pretty sweet on honey, we have to admit that cheese is the main attraction for any charcuterie board. Start with a neutral, popular cheese like hard cheddar, then add in a variety of colors and textures, like soft goat cheese and even softer brie — always a favorite.

Ricotta, bleu, manchego, provolone (especially smoked) and parmigiano (AKA parmesan) each unlock even more flavor when paired with raw & unfiltered honey. There are really no wrong answers here, but the best honey and cheese pairings combine notes of the five flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, tangy and umami.

Add Plenty of Texture

Crackers, of course, don’t just have to be crackers. Pretzel crisps, crostini, sliced baguettes and more can all make a perfect base for stacking and combining meats, cheese, honey and more.

The “charcuterie” in charcuterie board means the meats, and no board would be complete without a great selection of cured and sweet meats. If you’re not sure where to start, try soppressata, salami, and prosciutto. To give guests a full experience, make sure to include something pre-sliced as well as something they can slice themselves, whether a hard meat like salami or a soft cheese like brie.

Finally, make sure there are several options of the salty and savory variety. This could include pickles, pickled pepperoncini, giardiniera, pâté, terrine, mustard, even hummus and veggies. These provide a much-needed acidity and texture to balance out the sweets, rich cheeses and savory meats.

Sweeten the Whole Deal

 Including a few different unique honeys not only allows guests to appreciate the range of flavors in honey, it brings out different flavors in the meats, cheeses and breads you pair with them. Try our Midwest varietal honey on an herby cracker, then a drizzle of our Florida varietal on a slice of baguette, and you’ll instantly notice the possibilities of honey.

As a final note, here are some tips to make sure your board includes everything you need to make an impression and keep people sampling.

Charcuterie Checklist:

– Use a wooden or marble cutting board or serving board.

– Play with the arrangement on the board. Instead of grouping all the cheeses and meats together, encourage guests to experiment by mixing up cheeses, meats and accents.

– Add fresh herbs like basil and rosemary to fill extra space.

– Serve cheese at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge 20–30 minutes before serving.

– Include labeled ramekins for sauces and dips like honey, hummus and paté.

– Provide a cheese knife, tongs, and any other utensils needed.

If you’ve already considered a wildflower pollinator garden and are looking for something that’s tasty for you too, an herb garden could do just the trick. There are plenty of herbs that are easy to grow in your own backyard and favored by the bees.

What herbs do bees like?

Bees tend to look for plants that flower in full sun: six to eight hours of sun a day. They seek out blooms large and small, to find pollen, so you’ll want to make sure the herbs you plant actually bloom. Fortunately, most herbs do well in full sun. A few of our (and bees) favorites are basil, bee balm, borage, catnip, chamomile, cilantro, fennel, lavender, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme – a healthy variety for any new herb garden.

Is my backyard right for an herb garden?

Most backyard herbs just need two things: sunlight and well-drained soil. This means that when considering places in your yard to plant an herb garden, you need to look for a location that gets six or more hours of sunlight a day. However, in extremely hot summer climates like the southwest, you’ll want to find a spot that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, or a spot with partial shade, like below a large tree.

To ensure you get plenty of drainage, start by digging and loosening up the soil. This makes it easier for plants to grow their roots. Adding compost on top of the soil can also help, especially if the soil is sandy or heavy with clay. Make sure not to use composted manures – commonly sold at garden supply stores – because they can result in less flavorful herbs.

How much work is pollinator friendly herb gardening?

Almost all herbs will grow for one season or more, but many have to be replanted every year, like sweet basil and cilantro, which are annuals. When planting, you’ll need to choose between planting seeds (which can be cheaper) and planting plants (which can be easier.) Either way, the first day of gardening is the hardest, followed by simple maintenance afterwards. You’ll start by breaking up the soil, adding compost, and properly spacing out your seed or plants. Throughout the growing season, you’ll need to provide at least two inches of water each week. You can check if your herbs need water by feeling an inch or so under the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water them.

Also, make sure to harvest your herbs frequently. It doesn’t hurt the plants to lose some of their leaves now and then. In fact, it encourages growth, leading to bigger plants and bigger harvests.

This may or may not qualify as “work” in your mind, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t use herbicides or pesticides in your pollinator herb garden. You wouldn’t want to attract bees and butterflies just to kill them, right? So, you’ll want to regularly pull weeds – at least twice a month – to ensure your herbs are able to survive.

Herb gardening is one of the easiest ways to support pollinators and keep your neighborhood green. Combine that with some raw & unfiltered honey, and you’ll be able to make incredible recipes like this Chicken with Rosemary, Lemon & Olives

Raw & unfiltered honey makes for clean plates, but it can help with clean hands, too. There’s no end to the surprising ways honey can help out around the house, and while we’re all paying extra attention to our hygiene. If you’ve spent any time online in the past few months, you’ve seen it: handwashing content. It’s everywhere. There’s this instructional video from the WHO. And this article from the New York Times; it’s almost as thorough as a proper handwashing. Or, if those aren’t exciting enough for you, there are catalogues of songs to help you keep washing longer.

Well, we’re here to make your hand hygiene a little sweeter – and maybe even save you some money – with a homemade honey hand soap. This post was inspired by one of our followers on Facebook, Doll Champ, who makes her own hand soap.

It turns out, it’s remarkably easy to pull off. Her recipe calls for just four ingredients:

– Castile soap:

The potassium hydroxide inside will do most of the heavy (germ) lifting in your hand soap. For a popular, organic option, try Dr. Bronner’s.

– Vitamin E (optional):

This preservative and antioxidant helps keep your hands soft and moisturized. You can add more in, but you don’t have to. It’s also in Dr. Bronner’s in the form of tocopherol.

Local Hive Honey: we’ve blogged before about raw & unfiltered honey’s antibacterial properties, and its texture makes it a perfect addition to a DIY cleanser for your hands, face or anything else.

– Essential oil

This is primarily for scent, so the exact combination is up to you. Lavender, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus – all are great choices. You can even mix them to create your own unique scent.

Instructions:

  1. Grab a foaming hand soap dispenser. Sure, you could buy one, but why not just reuse one you’ve already got at the house?
  2. Fill it about 1/6 full with undiluted Castile soap.
  3. Add the same amount of honey. Your bottle should be about 1/3 full.
  4. Add a few (5-10) drops each of Vitamin E and essential oils.
  5. Using a funnel, fill the rest of the bottle with hot water. Shake or swirl gently until it’s all mixed together.
  6. Scrub away, and don’t delay. The CDC recommends washing your hands as least 10 times a day.

In the middle of a global crisis, many parents are faced with a time crunch like never before. There simply aren’t enough hours to balance work, childcare and chores. The go-to advice from mom bloggers and the like is to make a schedule and stick to it. That’s a tall order in a time when no one knows what’s coming next.If we’re being honest, most of us can’t even keep our own schedule, let alone make our kids stick to one. That’s why now, when the entire Internet is promoting productivity “hacks,” at-home activities and endless tips & tricks, we’ve decided to take a different tack.Right now, the best way to get more done is to focus on your kids. Really focus on them. Give them the uninterrupted attention they need every day. Be curious about what they’re saying and feeling.

It will still take plenty of time, but showing your children a new kind of genuine interest can pay off for both them and you. If you continue to postpone and water down the time you spend with them, you’re delaying the inevitable: tantrums, attention-seeking, breakdowns.

Their world has been shaken up, and they’re still figuring things out. Right now, they need you to make sense of it for them. For most kids, this doesn’t mean explaining the crisis in more detail. It’s about showing them how to deal with it through your actions and attitudes. Ad-libbing. Improvising. Unschooling. Being a thermostat, not a thermometer. Being here in this moment with your kids, as tough as this moment may be.

Spending ten minutes doing an activity together shows that you’re here and still in control – and it pays off in terms of productivity. Afterwards, let them have screen time or self-directed play. It’ll be easier to get away and work on your own for a while once your kid feels seen and heard.

There is no parental panacea right now. Parents are not ok, and that’s okay. Everything is changing, so don’t expect to keep up with everything 100%. Start by giving your kids the attention they desperately need, then move on to the tips and tricks for getting more done. Work during their naps. Use screen time strategically. Plan activities together. Practice self-care (with some raw & unfiltered honey.) And maybe, just maybe, even try making a schedule.

For years, we’ve been warned that we’re spending too much time sitting and staring at screens, and the recent wave of school closures, social distancing policies and lockdowns is making both practically unavoidable. We’re here to help, with seven activities to get you and the kids off the couch and making the most of your time at home.

#1: Treasure Map

Have your children take turns hiding a treasure around the house and then creating a map to help find it. Or, make the map yourself and challenge your child(ren) to find it. The treasure can be anything that gets the kids excited: a toy, a snack, etc. Help them make the map colorful and full of fun pictures, with directions that take them all over the house and backyard.

#2: Baking and Cooking

Nowhere to go means no rush to grab dinner on the way to practice or rehearsal. Now’s a great chance to cook and bake as a team. First, try our New-Orleans-Style Beignets recipe. The kids can pitch in kneading and rolling the dough, then get a taste of the Big Easy’s best. Or, bring out your kids’ inner Wonka with our Easy Honey Suckers recipe.

#3: Create a Book

With school out, your kids will need some inspiration to get writing. Give them a topic – maybe a ghost story or funny anecdote – and give them time to work on their creations. If writing isn’t their thing, have them make a comic book: they draw, you add the words. Then, make storytime extra fun afterwards by gathering the whole family around. Once they’re proud of their creation, get it “published” through SnapFish or Shutterfly.

#4: Laser Maze

Now that they’ve written a book, it’s time for the kiddos to star in a heist movie. With yarn and tape, create a “laser” maze in a hallway and time your kids to see how fast they can twist and limbo their way through. It’s easy to set up and clean up.

#5: Bean Ball Pit

There’s one pantry staple you’re probably overloaded with right now: beans. For some relaxing, tactile fun, fill your kids’ play table, kiddie pool or other enclosed area with a bag of uncooked pinto beans. They’ll love the chance to play with their food; just make sure to put a sheet down for easier cleanup.

#6: Rain in a Jar

We love this rain in a jar science experiment from A Dab of Glue Will Do. With just a few simple ingredients, it shows kids how water in clouds turns into rain with a colorful, memorable demonstration.

#7: Plant a Pollinator Garden

Follow up precipitation with a lesson in pollination. It’s easier than ever to plant a backyard pollinator garden, which provides food for many species of wild bees. Check out our backyard gardening blog for some helpful tips and the Xerces Society for pollinator friendly plants specific to your region. Plus, you can order the seeds online. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of protecting pollinators and how pollination works. See our friends at PACE for more info on how to help conserve pollinators.

This sweet Sore Throat Salve comes to us from Cindy S. Lowry, one of our fans on the Local Hive Facebook Page. Every few weeks, we hold a recipe contest in the comments and reward the winner with a bottle of their favorite raw and unfiltered Local Hive Honey. Join in next time for a chance to share your sweet recipe with the world.

We’ve blogged about honey’s cough-conquering properties before, but Cindy’s recipe struck us as especially potent and worth sharing. Plus, it just tastes so much better than store-bought cough syrup, without any of the alcohol or artificial ingredients.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Warm the water over medium-low heat. Mix well until saturated. Take about a tablespoon at a time, as needed, for sore throat, cough and cold symptoms.

Recipe provided by Cindy S. Lowry via the Local Hive Facebook page.