Product Review: Honey Ridge Farms' Honey Cremes, plus a recipe for a Citrus Omelet w/ Honey Creme Drizzle

New nutrition majors are militant. They’re overzealous, enthusiastic, and on a mission to cure the world of all nutrient maladies. It’s endearing, in a sense. I was one of them. My view on food is still much more strict than the average Joe’s, but I’m a far cry from the pseudo food Nazi that I was even just one year ago. The one battle I still forge on in is the one against sugar. I have demonized sugar a thousand times over in my head. I can indulge and treat myself to a cupcake or ice cream cone without batting an eye, but try to sneak a few extra grams of that simple carbohydrate into my yogurt? My almond milk? My dried fruit, which already has such high concentrations of sugar to begin with? Forget it. My brain has drawn a glaring red line between dessert foods and everything else I eat throughout the day, and you can guess which side sugar and its associated ingredients/food products are confined to.

I know I need to work on this. It isn’t that I want to move toward a complete, uncontested and unequivocal acceptance of sugar, but I need to be less rigid. I even cringe at honey, agave, and some dried fruits. So when I got two little jars of the most adorable honey crèmes I have ever seen with my Around the Plate goodie box, it was a bitter-sweet feeling. They sounded fantastic, but what would I eat them on? They sounded way too sugary, way too rich for spreading on a breakfast scone (heck, right now I wouldn’t even eat most scones for breakfast – honey crème or not - due to their nutritional profile); fruit already had its own sweetness, so I wasn’t sure I could add it to that, either. I worried that I would let these products go to waste, and the folks from Honey Ridge Farms and their products deserved more than that.

You see, Honey Ridge Farms is a family business run out of Brush Prairie, Washington. They produce single-floral source honeys in many varieties, all of them 100% from the United States. When it comes to more commercial honeys, many of them can’t even be considered honey anymore, and it can be incredibly challenging to find a 100% U.S. made brand. Although I will most likely continue to purchase my honey from more local sources, since Washington is still on the opposite side of the country for me, it’s refreshing to hear of an American company with its feet still planted firmly in the ground and its values entrenched in the wellness of our world - people, places, and “things.” Honey Ridge Farms even goes a step beyond supporting local bee keepers and the use of only the highest quality ingredients – they donate a portion of their profits to fund research aimed at promoting bee colony health. As deathly afraid of bees as I am, I know the devastation our ecosystem would face if they were to vanish, and their populations are being seriously threatened. You can feel good about buying honey from Honey Ridge Farms, and that’s not something that can be said of most honey manufacturers and distributors.

So now you know why I couldn’t just shrug off these honey crème samples – the company was too good to ignore. So, I swallowed my militant, anti-sugar qualms and incorporated it twice (yes, you heard me right – not once, but twice!) into my breakfast routine. Scandalous, I know, but we all need baby steps sometimes. I still have only tried the lemon honey crème – I was nervous to open both and have them go bad, since it will admittedly take me some time to go through a full container on my own (a little goes a long way!) – although the more I think about it, the more appealing some sort of blackberry-lemon honey crème combination sounds, doesn’t it? But I digress.

I opened that jar of lemon honey crème and found a thick, creamy texture that reminded me just a little of a semi-liquid fondant. Because it’s so sweet on its own, I find that it’s easier to use in the right proportions if you heat it first to thin it out and spread it out across whatever it is you’re eating it with. I’m not sure if this ruins the integrity of the honey, as the company prides itself on the fact that they don’t heat it during the process of making it. I hope I haven’t broken some cardinal rule of honey crème eating by thinning it out. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, go ahead and slather it on your favorite muffin recipe or mix it into oatmeal as it is.

I used the honey crème to make a sweet drizzle to go over a citrus egg white omelet, which was excellent. The strong sweetness of the honey balanced out the intensity of the grapefruit. Next time, I would consider chopping the fruit into smaller pieces and letting them soak in the honey and spice mixture, reserving some honey for the topping but switching most to the filling. It was a beautiful way to use the honey crème, though, and would definitely recommend it. Scroll down for the recipe (which has been changed to reflect the alterations I just mentioned)!

The second time I tried the honey crème was also with grapefruit (I know, I know, not very adventurous of me). This time, I mixed it in with diced grapefruit chunks and broiled it until it began to glow. Did you know that grapefruit glows when it heats and caramelizes? It develops a very warm tone to it, seriously. I then let it cool completely and stirred in some vanilla greek yogurt for a citrus honey parfait, which was also wonderful.

So, after all of that, what do I really think about Honey Ridge Farms’ cute little jars of honey crème? I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. I still don’t find myself reaching into the fridge every chance I get to use it, but it’s a nice treat every now and then. I’d love to try it thinned out as a salad dressing (fruit or veggies!), maybe blended with some frozen bananas for an extra sweet banana “ice cream” dessert or with some almond milk and fresh fruit for a smoothie, or stirred into hot tea for an extra special cup. I can really think of a number of ways to enjoy it, and it’s certainly different from regular honey, which makes it an even nicer treat. These would make great gifts for people – how about pairing a jar or 2 with a batch of your favorite muffin or scone? They’re also not wildly expensive, considering the level of attention and care the business puts into its product and the fact that you can use it so sparingly and still get a punch of flavor. The only downsides I found were its slight spreading difficulty at its natural consistency (but that’s certainly not enough to prevent me from liking the product) and the missing nutrition facts panel. I’d be interested in a nutritional profile (the ingredients are listed on the container and are very impressive, but there’s no indication of serving sizes, sugar content, etc.), though I would imagine it’s fairly comparable to regular honey. The fact that it’s missing is not uncommon for a smaller, family-based business.

If you like honey and incorporating it into your recipes, I would definitely recommend this product. Even if a part of me still shies away from straight sugar (and yes, even if honey isn’t processed like white sugar is, it’s still sugar), I can still praise Honey Ridge Farms for all of their efforts to stay green and responsible. The next time you find yourself in need of a small gift for someone, or you run out of your favorite honey and are itching for something new, try ordering from Honey Ridge Farms. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

For more information on Honey Ridge Farms and its products, you can explore their website or Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter via @HoneyRidgeBuzz.

And if you do buy their lemon honey crème, try making this omelet. It’s kind of fantastic.

Citrus Omelet with Lemon Honey Crème Drizzle
Yield: 1 serving

The Ingredients
¾ orange, segmented and chopped
¼ grapefruit, segmented and chopped
lemon zest and cinnamon, to taste
1 ¼ teaspoons lemon honey crème, divided
1 teaspoon walnut oil
⅓-½ cup egg whites

The Method
Melt the honey crème in the microwave to thin it. Combine 1 teaspoon of the honey crème with the orange, grapefruit, lemon zest, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Reserve the remaining ¼ teaspoon of honey crème.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in an omelet pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour in the egg whites and cook until set, lifting up the edges to let the unset parts run onto the bottom of the pan. When the eggs are virtually completely set, add the citrus mixture to half of the omelet, and fold the other half over it. Turn off the heat (or, if you have a gas stove, turn it to the lowest setting), and allow it to sit on the warm burner to heat through and finish cooking. Serve the omelet drizzled with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of honey crème.

The opinions expressed and images shared in this review are entirely my own. Although Honey Ridge Farms donated the products sent to me via the wonderful people behind the Around the Plate community, no further compensation or incentive was given. I am not affiliated in any way with Honey Ridge Farms.


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