Manuka honey is no stranger to the press in recent years. So much so that here in the UK, we rightfully associate Manuka with immune support and fighting infections. However, there is some lack of clarity when it comes to the active compounds in manuka and how these are measured. All honeys will have a certain degree of infection fighting potential, due to the presence of perocide in the honey. However, in manuka, the activity goes way beyond that of peroxide, and this activity is sometimes referred to as NPA – Non Peroxide Activity. It is the measure of the NPA that sometimes blurs the water. It is most likely that you would have seen numbers on the front of Manuka honey such as 5+, 10+ etc. This is the ‘UMF’ rating. Whilst that does tell you something, this number is the measure of the potency of the NPA activity, which can be associated with several compounds. The most widely documented active component is a type of sugar called Methyl Glyoxal. At the True Honey Co, the Manuka Honey’s potency is measured in its levels of this potent substance, so you know you are getting a very highly active product.
So, how do you take advantage of the power of MGO and Manuka Honey. The beauty of Manuka Honey is that its use and application is really quite diverse. This is because Methylglyoxal is heat stable. Some great ideas of how to use this wonderful ingredient are:
- In a hot drink. A soothing pick me up with a punch, when you are feeling those first signs of a cold is a drink made of Lemon, Ginger, and True Honey Co Manuka – the higher MGO the better. Take a 2cm piece of ginger and grate it into a cup. Add the juice of 1 lemon and top up with hot water. Leave everything to infuse for about 10 minutes before dissolving 1 teaspoon of the honey into it.
2) In a breakfast smoothie. One of my favourite all in one breakfasts is a chocolate coffee smoothie. Bear with me on this. It is a rich tasty portable on the go breakfast. To a blender, add 200ml of coconut water, 1 shot of espresso, 2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder or raw cacao powder, 1 ripe banana, 1 small handful of raw cashew nuts, 1 heaped teaspoon of True Honey Co Manuka Honey. Blend into a smooth drink.
3) On your morning breakfast. A great winter breakfast is of course porridge. With a few simple tweaks you can supercharge this staple breakfast for winter health. Take 50g of oats (rich in B vitamins), 300ml of coconut milk or almond milk, add to a pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes to create a creamy porridge. Top with 1 tablespoon of ground seeds (rich in immune supporting zinc), and 1 teaspoon of True Honey Co Manuka Honey.
4) To energy balls. These little snacks have become incredibly popular recently, and are super easy to make. Take 2 handfuls of raw walnuts, 2 handfuls of soft pitted dates, 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon of True Honey Co Manuka Honey. Blitz into a paste. Break of small pieces of the paste and roll into balls and place the balls on to a plate. Place the plate in to the fridge and allow the balls to firm up.
5) Off the spoon as a daily tonic. Finally, rather than just viewing this honey as an ingredient, look at it as something functional. During the winter months I frequently just eat a spoonful straight out of the jar as part of my self care routine.
Find out more about The True Honey Co and their Manuka honey range at: https://goo.gl/vIORmb