Honey is an effective wound healer with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Throughout human existence, honey has been one of nature’s culinary wonders. But the value of this elixir hasn’t been strictly for the taste buds: Honey also has been valued for its healing properties, used to treat ailments of the internal organs and the skin. Hippocrates recommended using honey for optimal health, the ancient Egyptians used it as a salve to treat wounds and Cleopatra considered it part of her daily beauty routine (honey naturally attracts and retains moisture).
Scientists are rediscovering just how diverse honey’s healing properties really are. A natural “nutraceutical,” honey is an effective wound healer with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (see “Honey’s Health Benefits” on Page 50). Honey also functions as an antioxidant (darker-colored honeys usually are more potent), including one unique to honey called pinocembrin that’s an extremely concentrated antioxidant.
This natural bee byproduct contains a swarm of nutrients and enzymes. Its antimicrobial activity is believed to be mostly the result of an enzyme (glucose oxidase) that produces hydrogen peroxide. Certain honeys have even been shown to treat gingivitis and stop the growth of dental plaque.
4 to 6 servings
Any light-colored honey works wonderfully well with this sauce, or try a full-bodied honey like buckwheat. Fruit honeys — such as blackberry or blueberry — are especially tasty. Make extra sauce and drizzle over baked red potatoes and green beans.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 3 pounds chicken, cut into serving pieces
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sauce by combining honey, pineapple juice, mustard, olive oil, butter and curry powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place chicken in a 13-by-9-inch ovenproof pan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Baste occasionally with sauce as the chicken bakes.
- Remove chicken pieces from pan and arrange on a serving dish. Pour remaining sauce from pan over chicken. Serve immediately.