Cooking with Manuka Honey: Tips and Tricks

Cooking with Manuka Honey: Tips and Tricks
Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

6 minutes

Executive Summary:

  • Manuka honey, rich in flavor, contains unique and beneficial nutrients (antioxidants, MGO, and prebiotics) that enhance the nutritional value of meals.
  • Manuka is best incorporated in recipes that don’t use extreme heat—dressings, dips, and toppings are all delicious options.
  • When cooking with Manuka honey, avoid temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and always store it tightly in a cool, dark place. 
  • Experimenting with Manuka honey in the kitchen is a fun and rewarding way to enjoy its natural goodness—and share it with others.

 

Elevate Your Dishes with Manuka Honey: Tips & Tricks

Manuka honey, proudly produced in the tiny island country of New Zealand, is a rich and delicious indulgence, unlike any other. Created solely from the nectar of the legendary Manuka tea tree, it contains unique and powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant nutrients that set it apart from typical honey found on store shelves. 

While Manuka honey is irresistible on its own, straight out of the jar, its indulgent flavor and perfect texture can elevate and transform many dishes—both in taste and nutritional value. So, let’s dive into the culinary world where Manuka honey stars as a powerful secret ingredient.

 

The Unique Qualities of Manuka Honey

When you incorporate Manuka honey into your meals, you’re adding so much more than flavor. The nutrients present in Manuka honey support health and well-being in many different ways.

For example, methylglyoxal (MGO) is a nutrient found only in Manuka honey. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that together support a healthy immune function. 

Powerful antioxidants also stand out, like Leptosperin. These promote health on a cellular level—supporting the body as it works hard to neutralize free radicals that cause damage. 

Fructo-oligosaccharides present in Manuka honey are naturally occurring prebiotics that further support a healthy gut (microbiome) and immune function.

If you’re wondering how to cook with Manuka, the good news is that there are almost infinite ways to include this liquid gold into your meal plan. So, let’s take a closer look.

 

Tips and Tricks for Cooking with Manuka Honey

Manuka honey can be enjoyed with your favorite meals in various interesting and fun ways. It can be added to smoothies, drizzled on fruit or peanut butter toast, replace almost any sweetener, and even be paired with cheeses on a charcuterie board—but how do you cook with it? 

Manuka honey may be rich and complex in composition, but when it comes to the kitchen, it’s wonderfully simple to cook with. Here are some great ways to elevate and enhance simple dishes with this golden nectar, away from the damaging high temperatures of the oven or stovetop.

 

Savory Dishes with Manuka

Sweet ingredients often shine in savory dishes. Thus, Manuka honey is perfect for adding a touch of sweetness and balancing salty and sour elements. Vinaigrettes, dips, and dressings are great ways to get creative with Manuka honey without compromising its quality. 

Manuka Honey-Lemon Dressing

Create a delicious and light honey-lemon salad dressing by mixing 1 Tbsp Manuka honey, 6 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper and salt—perfect on almost any salad.

Manuka Honey and Mustard Dressing

For a tangier option, you’ll love this dressing. Combine 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp Manuka honey, 60 ml olive oil, 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard, 1 minced shallot, 1 clove garlic, and salt and pepper.

Manuka Honey Soy Dipping Sauce

Manuka honey is delicious with Asian-style food. Inspired by this dipping sauce, combine 60 ml soy sauce, 4 Tbsp Manuka honey, 2 tsp minced ginger, half tsp sesame oil, a small pinch of red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds. 

Other ideas include adding Manuka honey to a mashed avocado with cream cheese and a splash of lemon juice—perfect for a vegetable platter. The possibilities are endless.

 

Sweet Dishes with Manuka

While we don’t recommend putting Manuka honey in the oven or on the stovetop, there are fun ways to still add this delicious nectar, often likened to a thick caramel, to baked treats and desserts.

Manuka Honey Buttercream

Blend equal portions of butter and Manuka honey with a dash of vanilla essence and a pinch of salt for a creamy, delicious, and nourishing cake topping. Thin this down with milk to create a drizzling “glaze.”

Cheesecake or Tart Topping

The easiest option of all—drizzle Manuka honey over your favorite baked or fridge-set cheesecake (or tart) and enjoy the stunning pairing of cheese with Manuka honey. 

Of course, you can add Manuka honey to almost anything, from a bowl of ice-cream to dark chocolate mousse. Experiment. Have some fun with it, and find what you enjoy the most.

 

Do's and Don'ts of Cooking with Manuka Honey

To preserve the delicate and potent beneficial nutrients found in raw, authentic Manuka honey, follow these simple guidelines.

  • Don’t cook with Manuka honey on the stove top or in the oven. Studies have shown that at temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the antioxidants in Manuka honey break down. To protect the natural goodness of Manuka honey, incorporate it into food in the final phases of the meal prep at lower temperatures. 
  • Always keep your Manuka honey in its original jar, return the lid as soon as possible to protect it from any contaminants, and store it in a cool, dry, dark spot—your pantry shelf is perfect!

 

Manukora's Manuka Honey

At Manukora, we pride ourselves in producing raw, authentic Manuka honey full of its natural goodness—just as Mother Nature intended. 

We hold fast to The Art of Ethical Beekeeping. Our hives are placed in remote locations, far from contaminants and surrounded by Manuka tea trees. We disturb the bees as little as possible during harvesting—always leaving plenty for them to survive the winter.

At Manukora, we take pride in offering a range of premium honey products. Our MGO 850 10-pack stick packets are perfect for those on the go, while our Manuka Honey MGO 600 UMF 16 offers a stronger, more potent Manuka experience.

For the highest MGO concentration, consider our Manuka Honey 20+ MGO850, a testament to our commitment to quality. To further your understanding of our products and practices, explore our Honey Guide.

Learn about the longevity of honey in our article, 'Does Honey Expire?', delve into the diet of our bees with 'Do Bees Eat Honey?', discover the unique qualities of the Manuka tree in 'Manuka Tree Characteristics', and trace the journey of our honey from hive to home in 'Back to the Source: Traceability'.

During packaging, each batch of our prized Manuka honey is tested to determine its unique MGO concentration. A QR code detailing these results is then printed on each jar—so you can be sure that the contents of your jar of liquid gold match the Manukora promise.

Cooking with Manuka honey is a fantastic way to enjoy the unique and powerful nutrients naturally found in it. Not only will it boost the nutritional value of any meal, its creamy texture and rich caramel taste will enhance and complement a wide range of flavors and cuisines.

Go ahead and experiment with Manuka honey, create dishes that delight your family and friends, and be sure to share your recipes with us; Who knew healthy eating could taste so good? 

 

 

Sources:

Oligosaccharides Isolated from MGO™ Manuka Honey Inhibit the Adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus Aureus to Human HT-29 cells - PMC

Honey and Lemon Juice Dressing - Jamie Oliver

Balsamic Honey Salad Dressing - the spruce eats

Honey Soy Dipping Sauce - Food.com

A Comprehensive HPTLC-Based Analysis of the Impacts of Temperature on the Chemical Properties and Antioxidant Activity of Honey - NIH

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