Manuka honey is produced when bees gather the nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as Tea Tree bush or more specifically, Leptospermum Scoparium. Manuka is native to New Zealand and Southeast Australia, including Tasmania. Manuka honey is distinctively flavoured, dark and rich in taste, and has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Melita’s Tasmanian Manuka honey is produced from hives placed in wild, uncultivated areas with abundant growth of Manuka bushes, giving it potent antimicrobial properties.
Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties are what set it apart from traditional honey. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is its active ingredient and likely responsible for these antibacterial effects. MGO comes from the conversion of another compound in Manuka honey known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a high concentration of which is found in the nectar of Manuka flowers. Manuka honey also has antibacterial and antioxidant benefits and may assist with:
- Burn and wound healing
- Influenza and cold symptoms
- Fight a broad spectrum of bacteria & fungi
- The body’s own immune system
- Energy boosting
- Improving digestive issues
In saying all of that, here are 5 ways that we like to enjoy Manuka Honey and ways that you can also incorporate it into your life and reap the wonderful rewards!
1. Straight off the spoon
This one is quite obvious but it's great to mention as eating Manuka Honey straight out of the jar is the best way to ensure you are getting the maximum health benefits. Super simple and delicious as a morning energy kick and/or afternoon pick me up. Manuka Honey is best consumed before a meal.
2. In a Smoothie
Another easy way to incorporate Manuka Honey into your diet is in a healthy smoothie made however you like! Here are some example combinations that we love...
Healthy Green Smoothie: banana, avocado, parsley, ginger, your choice of milk or water & Manuka Honey.
Berry Delicious Smoothie: banana, blueberries, almond butter, oats, plain or Greek yoghurt, your choice of milk or water & Manuka Honey.
Nutty Chocolate Smoothie: banana, raw cacao powder, peanut butter, flaxseed meal, your choice of milk or water & Manuka Honey.
(hint: freeze the banana to make the smoothie extra thick and creamy and also chill it without the need for ice, which some blenders don't like)
Manuka Honey can be applied directly to your skin either as a disinfectant for a wound, to aid recovery and keep germs out, or as a natural DIY face mask. The natural antimicrobial properties of Manuka honey make it a great way to help clear skin of acne or blemishes, while also soothing any irritation.
Here is our go-to DIY Manuka Honey Face Mask that combines all the healing, soothing and exfoliating properties you could ask for:
Manuka Honey DIY Face Mask:
1tsp of Manuka Honey
1tsp of Jojoba Oil
1tsp of Aloe Vera (if you can't get fresh then use the gel)
1tsp of Oat Flour (blend whole oats in a blender to make flour)
Leave on for 20-30mins and gently remove with warm water, the oat flour acts as an exfoliator. Make sure to patch test prior to putting on your face. Can be stored in fridge for up to a week if some is leftover.
4. In a no-bake treat
The best way to maintain the beneficial health properties of Manuka Honey is to not heat it. Therefore, why not include it in a no-bake treat to add delicious sweetness and make it healthier. One of our all-time favourite snacks, great for on-the-go and super nutritious and delicious are these Manuka Honey Bliss Balls...
Manuka Honey Bliss Balls:
1/2 cup Macadamias
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
8 Medjool Dates (pip removed)
1tbsp Manuka Honey
1 tbsp Tahini
Zest of 1 Lemon
Add macadamias, walnuts and coconut to a food processor and blend, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend again. Form into balls and roll in more coconut if you like.
5. Drizzled Over your Meal
We like to think that Manuka Honey goes with just about anything! But we realise that we might be the exception. What we know for sure is that it definitely goes with yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is our favourite as the honey adds all the sweetness we like. Manuka Honey stirred through the yoghurt can make a delicious and healthy snack, or add fruit and muesli for a healthy breakfast.
So now we have listed the 5 top ways that we like to enjoy our Manuka Honey, we would love to hear from you... How do you like to enjoy Manuka Honey? Leave us a comment below.