I’d like to share with you something that I’m really quite excited about: honey hot chocolate.
If you know me personally, you’ll know that I am pretty much obsessed with bees. The humble bumblebee is unbelievably important to the conservation of our planet, and it is our duty both morally and out of the selfish obligation to preserve our own species to protect the bees at all costs. Something you can do quite easily to support our bees is quite simply to buy honey. Honeybees tend to be looked after by beekeepers rather than living in wild colonies, which means that buying honey creates a demand for the supply of honey and, consequently, the preservation of bee colonies.
The question of ethics has long been raised with regards to bees, with many people taking issue with the fact that we consume the food supply of the bees, seemingly in the same way that we rob cows of milk that is specifically for their young and not for human beings. However, these are very different scenarios. Bees produce surplus honey naturally and without suffering any harm, and this honey is then harvested so that the bees can continue to produce honey. Because the beekeepers want the bees to continue producing honey, they are able to consume the amounts that they need to not only survive but thrive. Cattle and bees are also very different in that the excessive breeding of cows is directly detrimental to the environment, whereas the preservation and growth of bee colonies can only be a good thing. So please, buy honey – and make honey hot chocolate.
The wonderful thing about honey is that there are so many different types, all of which have very distinct flavours. It’s worth noting that clear honeys are usually the product of high temperatures, meaning that very little pollen is still actually present in the final product. For this reason, local honey is said to have more health benefits – including an alleged cure to hayfever. Buying local honey is also a great way to support beekeepers in your local area. For a classic tasting hot chocolate, I’d suggest acacia honey as it is very mild and sweet, but Mexican orange blossom honey is gorgeous with a distinct citrus flavour. If you can get hold of some, try out your local honey for a really unique honey hot chocolate.
There’s no set recipe for this, as you can add more or less honey depending on how sweet or bitter you prefer your hot chocolate – but for a rough guide, I like to use 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 drop of vanilla, all mixed into 1 small cup of milk and heated to produce 1 small honey hot chocolate!
Have a go and let me know how it turns out in the comments!