By Joel MacCharles People often think of preserving as a difficult chore involving a stovetop full of pots and pans in the middle of the summer. While preserving can be like that (it is fun, though!), there are at least seven different ways to preserve foods, including chilling, canning, pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting, curing, and infusing. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. If you're looking to avoid a lot of work and keep your kitchen cool, consider making a quick infusion like this one. Before beginning, let's cover some basics: Honey makes an ideal food for infusing since it's high in acid and has a low water content. You can use different herbs (thyme, rosemary, summer savoury, mint, herbal teas, and hops would all work) but—for food-safety reasons—you must use dried herbs. Their flavours will be concentrated and, because they are dehydrated, they will not alter the water content of the honey or become breeding grounds for bacteria. Try to use only certified-organic dried herbs; most conventional dried herbs and spices have been irradiated and can also contain pesticide residues. Using liquid honey makes for the easiest infusion. This recipe is particularly exciting with raw honey because, since there's no cooking involved, all of the benefits of the unpasteurized honey will remain intact. Use the infused honey in cooking (a tiny amount in tomato sauce or a stir-fry), beverages (sweeten lemonade with it), serve it with a cheese platter (hard cheeses will work best), or as a glaze for proteins! You can scale the recipe up or down as you like. 2 cups liquid honey
1 tbsp dried herbs (use less if you want the infusion to be less intensely flavoured) In a medium bowl, stir together the honey and herbs; cover the bowl and set aside. Stir and taste the honey mixture about every 12 hours. When it tastes strong enough for your liking (generally at 4 days or less), it's ready! Strain the honey through a fine metal sieve. Store the honey in a glass jar in a cool, dry place. (You don't need to keep it in the fridge.) Make a sweet tea with the herbs, if desired: Place the sieve into a large bowl. Pour boiling water into the sieve and steep the herbs for a few minutes. Enjoy!
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