Don’t own acres of rolling New Zealand countryside or a trusty beekeeping outfit?
Here’s my cheat’s guide to making your very own ‘mocknuka’ honey from homegrown manuka flowers.
Manuka honey has shot to prominence in recent years for its powerful antimicrobial effects (and hefty price tag!). Yet any old shop bought honey can be given the unique scent of manuka and many of the same health benefits by simply being infused with the fresh leaves and twigs of this common garden plant. Inexpensive, super-easy and virtually food mile-free, this is one of my favourite sticky summer treats.
‘MOCKNUKA’ HONEY RECIPE
STEP 1: Making your own Mock-nuka honey couldn’t be easier. All you need is two ingredients, manuka twigs (actually a common UK garden plant!) & honey.
Just in case you weren’t sure what the plant looked like, here’s a quick snap of my manuka bush in full flower. Look out for them under the name ‘Leptospermum’ in most good garden centres.
STEP 2: Chop up a good handful or two of young manuka bush twigs with a strong secateurs.
STEP 3: Pour the clippings into a double boiler and tumble over just enough honey to cover them. It doesn’t have to be fancy stuff either, whatever you have to hand.
STEP 4: Stir through the mix, cover with a plate & pop it the whole thing on a low heat for 45 minutes. Don’t try doing this in a regular pan as without the low, sustained heat of a double boiler the honey will burn and the delicate aromatics of the manuka will be destroyed.
STEP 5: Ta- Dah! That’s it. All you need to do now is strain the warm honey through a sieve & bottle it up. Dunk a sprig in for decoration if you fancy.
Sorry I couldn’t resist: Here’s another final close-up. Mock-nuka honey tastes great, has loads of the same health benefits & comes at a fraction of the price. Makes a pretty nifty gift too!