It is kind of funny how the second a bit of sunny weather and slightly raised temperatures can result in almost epidemic levels of bare legs and summer clothes, even when there is still a biting wind. It’s not that warm guys! Still, it is lovely to feel the sun on your back and see all the spring flowers blooming and these seasonal changes definitely make me want to eat more smoothies and fresh fruit. So when Holland and Barrett* offered to send me some manuka honey to use in their immunity-boosting smoothie recipe, I was delighted to have a go.
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and is monofloral, as it is made from the nectar of the Manuka Tree flowers. So what makes manuka honey so much better than other honeys, and worth the price tag? It is all to do with the antibacterial properties of the honey. Due to the presence of hydrogen peroxide in honey (don’t worry; it is nowhere near potent enough to do you any harm!) and other compounds, all honey is antibacterial to a degree. But what makes manuka honey special, it that it has several other compounds, including methylglyoxal (MG), which is formed from another compound that is found in high concentrations in the manuka flowers. The concentration of MG in manuka honey relates to a rating called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) that you will see on the bottles of manuka honey. If you have been feeling run down, are unwell or have a nasty blemish, this is the best time to utilise your manuka honey. For sweetening healthy treats or general usage, I’d suggest utilising a more standard honey (ideally local, especially if you have hay fever) to make your manuka honey last longer. Just make sure it is from a brand or company that supports the preservation of bees.
Immunity-Boosting Smoothie – makes one large glass
- 1 medium carrot, washed
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 tbsp manuka honey (try this*)
- 1 cm slice ginger
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 cup (250 ml) water