I don’t know about you, but my allergies have been killer this year.  I’ve heard many people talk about fighting seasonal allergies from pollen, ragweed, and grass spores with local honey.  The thought is that bees will pick up pollen spores on local plants, which in turn will be deposited into the honey.  By eating this honey in its raw, unprocessed form, we introduce a small amount of the allergen into our body, activating our immune system, helping to build up a natural immunity to local allergens over time.

This spring I’ve been taking over-the-counter meds including Allegra and Flonase, but some days feel little relief.  I figured I may as well try the honey remedy and see what happens.  If it turns out to be just an old wives’ tale, at least I get to indulge in a sweet treat!

Last week, Josh’s Farmers Market got a fresh batch of wildflower honey from Coddle Creek Farms, making it easy to try my allergy experiment.  This honey is amazing! A thick, rich, golden amber nectar that is velvety smooth and not overly sweet.  It is the perfect complement to tea but also wonderful on its own (As I’ve caught my husband sneaking spoonfuls of it at various times during the day!)

In a discussion about the proposed benefits of local honey, it was suggested that raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can do wonders for the body.  After a little research, I found that Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is literally the mother of all raw apple cider vinegars because it contains “The Mother” – a dark, cloudy substance on the bottom of the vinegar bottle formed from naturally occurring pectin and apple residues.  As stated on Bragg’s website, the presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed through extensive overprocessing, filtration or overheating. This vinegar is rich in calcium  and potassium, making it a potent antimicrobial and antioxidant stimulating elixir. Some of the presumed benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet include increased energy, sinus and sore throat relief, an aid for digestion, acid reflux, and heartburn, anti-inflammatory properties, weight loss, and skin health.

While I’m not prepared to start taking a few shots of apple cider vinegar with my morning coffee just yet, I thought it would be the perfect complement to my local honey in a delicious dressing or marinade. Since my husband recently confirmed his allergy to gluten, I’ve also been on a mission to create more dressings and marinades at home (Store-bought dressings are chock-full of ingredients needed to preserve shelf-life, many containing gluten).

I combined the vinegar and honey with Dijon mustard, citrus, Tarragon and Rosemary for a grilled chicken marinade. I also think this would be delicious as a salad dressing for hearty greens like kale or spicy arugula. Check out my recipe below!

Honey Mustard Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Honey Mustard Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Honey Mustard Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Local honey and unfiltered apple cider vinegar are thought to have amazing health benefits. I'm combining the two with Dijon mustard, fresh citrus, and herbs in a delicious vinaigrette - great for marinades and dressings!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, such as Bragg's
  • 2 Tbsp local honey, like this amazing wildflower honey from Coddle Creek Farms
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 of a large orange, juiced
  • 1/4 of a lemon, juiced
  • Peel from the lemon and orange, finely grated (This is my favorite microplane for grating garlic, ginger, and citrus peels)
  • 1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Most recipes call for significantly more oil. To cut back on fat and calories without sacrificing flavor, I use less oil and more vinegar/citrus juice.)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until well incorporated. Adjust to taste (Add more honey for sweetness and depth, or a little mustard to bind the ingredients together). Use the vinaigrette as a delicious marinade for chicken or as a dressing for hearty salad greens like kale or arugula.
http://libertyloveblog.com/index.php/2016/05/05/honey-mustard-apple-cider-vinaigrette/