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Exploring the Potential Benefits of Manuka Honey and Propolis for Arthritis Relief: What the Science Says

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Manuka Honey and Propolis for Arthritis Relief: What the Science Says

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Manuka Honey and Propolis for Arthritis Relief: What the Science Says

  1. What is Arthritis?
  2. What is Manuka Honey?
  3. Benefits & Mechanisms of Action of Manuka Honey for Arthritis
  4. How to Use Manuka Honey for Arthritis
  5. What is Propolis?
  6. Benefits & Mechanisms of Action of Propolis for Arthritis
  7. How to Use Propolis for Arthritis
  8. Disclaimers & Known Drug Interactions

1. What is Arthritis?

An estimated 58 million adults in the U.S. have Arthritis, characterized by joint inflammation. This painful condition can significantly affect one's quality of life. Medications might provide some relief but have many side effects, especially when taken regularly. Many individuals are seeking natural remedies to alleviate their arthritis symptoms. Two such remedies that have gained attention are manuka honey and propolis. In this blog post, we will explore the potential benefits of manuka honey and propolis individually for arthritis relief based on scientific research.

2. What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is made in New Zealand & Australia by bees who pollinate the Manuka tree and contains MGO, short for methylglyoxal, a compound not found in other types of honey. This compound gives manuka honey unique antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

3. Benefits of Manuka Honey for Arthritis

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Manuka honey has exhibited anti-inflammatory effects (1) by reducing the production of inflammatory markers in the joints. 
  • Antioxidant Activity: Manuka honey is rich in bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties, such as methylglyoxal (MGO). It can scavenge harmful free radicals that contribute to joint inflammation and damage in Arthritis.

Mechanisms of Action of Manuka Honey:

  • MGO: Manuka honey's unique antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are attributed to its high methylglyoxal (MGO) content. The antibacterial & anti-inflammatory effects of MGO may help reduce joint inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms.

4. How to Use Manuka Honey for Arthritis:

  • Consuming Manuka Honey: You can consume manuka honey orally by incorporating it into your diet, such as by adding it to your tea, yogurt, or as a sweetener in recipes. You can also take one tablespoon a day straight up!
  • Topical Application: Manuka honey can be applied topically to the affected joints as a natural topical ointment. We recommend mixing the honey with a carrier oil such as castor. You can also add propolis and even manuka oil.

5. What is Propolis? 

Propolis is a bee-made resin using plant resins, a bit of honey, and a little bee saliva. They use it to fill in small cracks in the beehive. It also helps maintain the hive temperature, prevents predators from entering, and protects against dangerous microbes and fungi.

6. Benefits of Propolis for Arthritis 

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects: Propolis has exhibited anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the production of inflammatory markers in the joints. 
  • Antioxidant Activity: Propolis is rich in bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, with antioxidant properties. Flavonoids can scavenge harmful free radicals that contribute to joint inflammation and damage in Arthritis.

Mechanisms of Action of Propolis:

  • Flavonoids: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of propolis are attributed to its high content of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce joint inflammation and alleviate arthritis symptoms.

7. How to Use Propolis for Arthritis:

  • Consuming Propolis: Propolis is best taken in the morning. While there are no official dosage recommendations, ½ - 1 dropper daily is ideal. Place the propolis under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Those who dislike the flavor recommend placing the propolis in a glass of juice. Drink slowly.
  • Topical Application: Propolis can be added directly to the skin, though we recommend mixing it with a carrier oil such as castor. 

8. Disclaimers & Known Drug Interactions

As always, we strive to provide you with the best information backed by scientific studies. However, we are not doctors and cannot recommend any treatment for specific concerns. Talking to your doctor about any concerns you might have is important. 

That said, here is what we think you need to know:

Neither Manuka Honey nor Propolis has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs. 

Take caution when combining propolis with medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs). Propolis is thought to slow blood clotting, though more studies need to be conducted on the topic.

Allergic reactions (skin or respiratory symptoms) may occur, particularly in people who are allergic to bees or bee products.

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Peanut Butter Manuka Honey Cereal Bars

Peanut Butter Manuka Honey Cereal Bars

What makes the perfect snack? We like ours to be healthy, tasty & not straight out of a box. If we already have the ingredients, that’s an added plus! 

We hope these PB-MH Bars check all of your boxes too. It only requires about 10 minutes of your time and then a bit of patience while they firm up in the fridge. This is also a great recipe for the kids to help with and is easily customized. Here are some ways you could switch it up:

  • Use your favorite cereal
  • Use your favorite nut or seed butter
  • Add nuts, seeds or dried fruit
  • Melt your favorite Manuka Dark Chocolate Patty flavor over the top!

Any way you do it, they make a tasty part of a balanced breakfast, after-lunch dessert or on-the-go snack.

Here is what you need:

Instructions:

  1. Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine peanut butter with manuka honey and coconut oil and stir on low heat until well incorporated throughout (2-3 minutes). 
  3. Turn the heat off and stir in vanilla and sea salt. Then add in 3 cups of cheerios and stir until they are covered in the peanut honey mixture. Pour in the remaining 3 cups and gently stir until well incorporated. It should be similar to rice crispy treats and stick together.
  4. Pour the cheerio mixture into the parchment lined pan and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until firm.
  5. Slice into bars and enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the fridge to enjoy for a week or freeze to enjoy later.
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Hot Manuka Honey Salami Pizza

Hot Manuka Honey Salami Pizza

Spicy, savory, salty and just the right amount of sweet - this pizza has it all! Using store bought crust makes it a quick & easy weeknight meal but we also included a link to our gluten free dough recipe in case you want to go all in.

If you’ve never tried hot honey on your pizza please be aware that it is highly addictive. Customize the spice level to your preference or just serve it on the side for those who can’t handle any heat. They’ll never know what they’re missing out on. 

Pair it with a simple side salad and you have a well-rounded meal and we’re not just talking about the shape of the pizza! 

Hot Manuka Honey

Pizza Ingredients:

  • 1 lb store-bought or homemade pizza dough 
  • 1 jar pizza sauce (use as needed)
  • 1 ½ cups low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 5-8 slices calabrese salami
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced for topping
  • red pepper flakes, for topping
  • 2 tbsp everything bagel seasoning, for crust (optional)
  • homemade hot manuka honey

Hot Honey Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine manuka honey, red pepper flakes and hot sauce.
  2. Stir well on low heat, once it starts to bubble up (around 3 minutes) turn the heat off and continue to stir.
  3. Strain the honey over a mesh sieve to remove the pepper flakes and transfer to a jar to cool. Set aside.

Pizza Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475F, let pizza dough sit according to package instructions. 
  2. Lightly flour a cutting board and roll out dough or use your hands to form the shape of pizza desired.
  3. Place parchment paper over a pizza stone or pizza pan, then transfer the pizza dough onto it.
  4. Cover the pizza with sauce, using as much or little as you like. Then top with a generous amount of low mozzarella, calabrese salami and red onion. Brush olive oil on the crust and sprinkle everything bagel seasoning on the edges.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the dough is golden and the cheese has melted.
  6. Remove from heat and top with fresh basil, red pepper flakes and a generous drizzle of hot honey over top.
  7. Slice and enjoy!
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Sweets For Your Sweet: 5 Easy Treats Anyone Can Make For Their Honey

Sweets For Your Sweet: 5 Easy Treats Anyone Can Make For Their Honey

Sweets for your sweet: 5 easy treats anyone can make for their honey.

With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's time to start thinking about something special you can do for your honey or yourself! 

Whether they enjoy something sweet, tart, chocolatey, crunchy, or boozy, we have you covered with our Valentine’s Day recipe round-up.

Here are five of our most popular easy treats anyone can whip up:

#1 - Chocolate Fudge Truffles: starting with our dairy-free sweetened condensed milk base, this no-bake recipe might have you drooling over the pan. 

#2 - Peach Pistachio Cardamom Honey Tart: if you want a treat that looks and sounds fancy but is secretly simple, this recipe is for you! 

#3 - Honey Buns: The name alone makes this the perfect Valentine's Day treat. Plus, what's better than the aroma of freshly baked buns, especially when you can make them in your air fryer? 

#4 - Chocolate Caramel Popcorn: Perfect for an intimate movie date and just fancy looking enough to show you put in some effort! This recipe uses our chocolate patties which come in six flavors so that you can pick their favorite. 

#5 - Strawberry Honey Lime Mimosas: If a special cocktail is more your jam, these mimosas taste amazing and are pretty too!

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Manuka Honey for Burn & Wound Treatment

Manuka Honey for Burn & Wound Treatment

Evidence of honey used for burns & wounds can be traced back centuries. From the Sumerians of Mesopotamia to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Medicinal honey use has been mentioned in the Bible & Quran and is ingrained in ancient Ayurvedic & Chinese medicine practices. Today, it is recommended by dieticians, and holistic doctors, used in hospitals, and even prescribed by some MDs! 

In this article, we will tackle the following topics:

The difference between raw manuka & the manuka used in hospitals:

You likely know what raw honey means: pure, unadulterated, not pasteurized or ever heated above hive temperature.  You might not know that the only difference between raw manuka & the manuka used in hospitals is that the latter is typically treated with high heat or gamma radiation to “sterilize” the honey. 

When it comes to the honey itself, there is no such thing as “medicinal or medical grade” honey. All real manuka honey from New Zealand has to meet strict testing & reporting requirements to leave the country. You can also find high MGO strengths in raw and sterilized honey options. 

Sterilizing does kill the raw benefits, affecting the honey’s ability to provide nutrients like amino acids, vitamins & minerals, which speeds healing. However, it does not affect the MGO content, which is one of the reasons manuka honey is used in hospital settings vs. other honey types. 

Since manuka has a potent antibacterial effect, why does it need to be sterilized? If you ask, we don’t think it does. Numerous clinical trials use untreated honey, and none of the participants experienced infections. Additionally, raw honey has been used for so long on so many people without adverse side effects.  

The other reason it is the honey of choice in medical settings is that manuka is the only honey with high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is the anti-bacterial/microbial/inflammatory component of manuka. 

Other honeys’ properties come from peroxide activity, which is short-lived in your body and is killed off by high heat. MGO has also been found to be more effective than standard honey for most medicinal uses. 

What Strength Should You Use?

The strength you choose can vary depending on the severity of what you are treating. For instance, we use a low MGO (60+) on kitchen burns and minor scrapes, which works great. More severe cases might warrant higher activity. 

Even though “medical grade” is not a recognized grade or system, you’ll still see the term floating around on a lot of packaging. We’ve seen it on the strengths of MGO 400+ and up, while other brands don’t disclose what strength manuka they are using. So, even if a product is labeled medical grade, you must always look for the MGO content to know what you are getting. 

At PRI, we carry grades up to 1000+ MGO, which would be great for new surgical, severe, and non-healing wounds, in addition to the treatment recommended by your doctor. 

Generally speaking, honey with an MGO of 400+ and up is recommended for either external purposes or more severe internal issues like significant inflammation, injury to the stomach lining due to other digestional problems, chemotherapy, and more. If your nutritionist wants you on an anti-inflammatory diet, adding high MGO-content honey to your routine could be very helpful. 

For burns & wounds, it comes down to how your injury affects your quality of life & what you can afford to incorporate into your ongoing routine. We see many success stories with lower MGO content honey, while others need to step it up. 

The importance of further studies relating to manuka honey, burns & wounds.

There are centuries of data on the use of honey for medicinal purposes, along with a good number of promising current studies. It is clear we need more research on this topic, especially given what many experts are now calling the biggest threat to global health: antibiotic resistance. 

Antibiotic resistance is thought to be caused by the extreme overuse of antibiotics and the ability of microorganisms like bacteria to evolve to survive. More and more organisms are becoming antibiotic resistant every day. This issue will affect everyone worldwide with higher death rates, higher costs, more hospital stays, and a wider spread of drug-resistant infections. 

On the other hand, honey has never caused bacterial resistance and has been shown effective against many antibiotic-resistant organisms. Pseudomonas (the bacteria that causes pneumonia), staph infections, and MRSA are just three examples of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that manuka honey can treat.

Burns vs. Wounds

Below we will explore the different types of burns & wounds and when to seek medical attention. The practical functions of manuka honey on both types of injuries are the same, as well as how one would use honey to dress the injuries. 

Different types of burns & when to seek treatment

A burn is tissue damaged by heat. Burn treatment depends on the type of burn. Here are the four types:

  • First-Degree Burns or Superficial Burns are mild. These cause pain and reddening of the outer layer of the skin or epidermis. Examples of these burns would be minor cooking burns or a good sunburn. No medical treatment is needed for these types of burns.
  • Second-Degree Burns or Partial Thickness Burns affect the outer layer of the skin or epidermis and the lower layer of the dermis. Examples of these burns could be from boiling water, chemical heat packs, curling irons, or friction burns. Typically, no medical treatment is needed but use your discretion. 
  • Third-Degree Burns or Full Thickness Burns go through the lower layer of the skin or dermis and affect deeper tissues. These burns require immediate medical attention and could be caused by prolonged exposure to scalding liquid, flames, or electric or chemical sources. 
  • Fourth-degree burns go deeper than third-degree burns and can affect your muscles and bones. Nerve endings are damaged or destroyed, so there is no feeling in the burn area. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience this type of burn. Prolonged flame exposure, scalding oils, and electric or chemical sources typically cause these burns. 

Types of wounds & when to seek treatment:

There are two main types of wounds: penetrating and closed wounds. They each have their subsections & ranges of severity. Use discretion as to whether your injury is severe enough for medical attention. 

When in doubt, get checked out!

Penetrating wounds can be:

  • Surgical wounds and incisions
  • Puncture wounds
  • Thermal, chemical, or electric burns
  • Bites and stings
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Skin tears

Closed wound examples are:

  • Contusions 
  • Blisters
  • Seroma 
  • Hematoma
  • Crush injuries
  • Ulcers

How manuka helps treat burns & wounds and related studies. 

The application of honey to burns & wounds has shown the following functions:

-a reduction in inflammation

-a reduction of scar contractures

-a neutralization of free radicals

-a stimulation of processes that initiate tissue repair

-a high antibacterial effectiveness 

-a stimulation of immune-strengthening processes

-creates a moist environment, promoting the regrowth of skin cells

-faster healing through the provision of necessary nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins & minerals

-a physical barrier of protection from infection

-the cleaning and deodorizing of wounds

-promotion of epithelialization

-a soothing effect which reduces pain

There are often multiple studies related to each function. You can see all of them, along with descriptive processes, here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158441/.

We also found this study on manuka honey for non-healing wounds interesting, though the mechanisms of healing are the same: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386265/.

How to use honey for burns & wounds:

First, the area must be cleaned. You can do this with a diluted honey & water mixture or a saline solution. 

Next, you apply the honey to the injury. You can do this either:

  • Directly by simply coating the area with clean or gloved hands
  • By adding it to a sterile bandage first & then applying it to the injury
  • Or by mixing the honey with a carrier oil (we like castor for this purpose) to create a thinner solution that can be applied directly to the injury without needing to cover it. Note that if you do not cover the area with a bandage, make sure any clothing that goes over it is clean.

 

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Children's Dental Health Month

Children's Dental Health Month

Manuka, Propolis & Sea Salt for Natural Oral Care

Do you know what the #1 reason for poison control calls involving children is? Ingestion of fluoride toothpaste. If that isn’t a reason to switch up your kid’s oral care routine, we don’t know what is! 

In case you do need more convincing or just love to learn, let’s take a look at the growing evidence between overall health and our oral health. Many issues, such as cardiovascular & respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, dementia & more, have been linked to periodontal diseases.

Unbiased studies show that fluoride does not prevent any harmful bacteria. This knowledge and growing concern about fluoride exposure and toxicity has increased the popularity of natural oral care options. 

If you have explored the world of clean oral care, you’ve likely heard of oil pulling and various essential oils to incorporate into your routine. 

What you may not have heard of are the wide-ranging oral benefits of Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Propolis, and Sea Salt. In fact, you can replace your family’s entire routine with these ingredients!

Let’s start with the benefits of each ingredient:

Manuka Honey: This is probably the most surprising out of the group because of its natural sugar content. Yet, study after study shows that manuka helps reduce plaque by preventing the development of biofilms, which is what makes plaque so hard to remove. It also restricts bacteria formation preventing tooth cavities and other gum problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, bleeding, receding gums, dry mouth, and bad breath. This is not for use on children under one-year-old. 

Manuka Oil: If you haven’t met Tea Tree Oil’s more powerful cousin, let us introduce you! Manuka oil is shown to be up to 33x more effective against most bacteria than tea tree oil. It has also been tested alongside peppermint oil against two of the most common oral pathogens and again found more effective. Manuka oil is generally considered one of the most antibacterial & antimicrobial oils in existence. 

Propolis: another amazing compound with the ability to prevent plaque formation! Plaque is considered to be the main cause of most oral diseases. It also fights bad bacteria and canker sores.

Sea Salt: many use a salt gargle for sore throats, but it can also help soothe bleeding gums and heal canker sores faster. It may also speed recovery after dental surgery. The thought is that a sea salt rinse can balance your mouth’s pH levels, making it an inhospitable environment for bad bacteria. 

Now that you know why to use these four key ingredients, let’s discuss how to use them.

There are a plethora of ways you can incorporate manuka honey, oil, propolis, and sea salt into your & your child’s routine. To some extent, how you use it will depend on just how DIY you want to go.  You can find a ton of natural oral care recipes online, such as these from our friend Stacy of No Fuss Natural.

Here we will explore a simple routine to use the products without full-blown recipes:

Step one: Add one drop of manuka oil to one tablespoon of coconut oil.**

Step two: Swish the oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes - or for as long as they can do it. Some swishing is better than none! Make it a game and see who can go longer.

Step three: Spit oil into a trashcan (it can clog your pipes!) 

Step four: using a clean finger, apply manuka honey to your teeth and gums and gently brush your teeth using a toothbrush

Step five: add a quarter teaspoon of sea salt and 5 drops of propolis to a cup of warm water.

Step six: gargle & swish the salt rinse. Spit out when done!

**Note: Oil pulling is best for older kids as you do not want to swallow the oil once done.

We’d love to hear what you do to a gold star at the dentist's office! Write us a note and let us know.

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Air Fryer Recipe Round-Up

Air Fryer Recipe Round-Up

Ahhh, the indomitable air fryer. If you don't get it, you've never had one. Some love it as a healthier way to fry your favorite foods, and some for its convenience. The air fryer can replace your toaster and oven, making it the hero of many kitchens, especially small ones. Plus, it saves you a ton of oil. 

From poached eggs to baked cakes, you can make almost everything with this popular appliance. Here is a round-up of our favorite air fryer recipes:

  • Fluffy GF Bagels - Gluten and yeast free, but you'd never know it. This bagel's texture is on point.

  • Sticky Buns - Your favorite breakfast treat, made better with manuka honey! You really can't beat that fresh-baked smell.

  • Shiitake Mushroom Jerky - Our version of this trendy snack will never go out of style.  Warning, though, you'll eat the whole batch at once!

  • Honey Apple Pie Bombs - Tasty handheld apple pies with no pastry experience necessary?! Yup, these are all that.

  • Air Fryer Sammies - Classic sandwich combos get upgraded with a sandwich cutter & the perfect level of toastiness. Your kids will ask for these on repeat.

  • Carrot Bacon BLT - The carrot bacon in this BLT is also great on salads, pizza & more! 
What is your favorite air fryer recipe?

 

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Air Fryer Molten Honey Lava Cake

Air Fryer Molten Honey Lava Cake

Gluten-Free & Ready in Under 30 Minutes!

Do you preplan your desserts, or do they happen on a whim? We never know when that post-dinner craving will strike. When it does, we’ll be ready with these fantastic lava cakes - just mix, wait and bake! 

As with many dishes, who invented lava cakes is in dispute. Some say it originated at a bake-off in 1966, while two pastry chefs each say they developed it in the 1980s, and another insists there was already a dessert like it in France before then. Many of us have a nostalgic connection to this dessert no matter where it began, as it became wildly popular in the 1990s. 

Lava cakes were named for their liquid chocolate center, and our recipe uses our favorite PRI Dark Chocolate Patties to create this ooey-gooey delicious core! Since the patties come in five flavors, you can pick your favorite! We tried caramel and coffee, which were both amazing!

The bonus of using manuka honey in your desserts is its impressive oral care benefits. Manuka Honey will help reduce plaque by preventing the development of biofilms, which make plaque harder to remove. It also restricts bacteria formation preventing tooth cavities and other gum problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, bleeding, receding gums, dry mouth, and bad breath.

Of course, while brushing your teeth afterward is still recommended, you certainly wouldn’t get the same benefits from other sweeteners and other types of honey!

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Sift the oat flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Then add in almond milk, manuka honey, and vanilla. Stir until the batter is well combined and the honey is incorporated throughout. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes to bubble up.
  3. Grease a ramekin with oil or spray and then fill it halfway with the batter. Then place in one or two manuka chocolate patties and fill to the top with the rest of the batter.
  4. Air fry for 12-14 minutes at 360°F. The cook time depends on the individual air fryer, so you check on it around the 8-minute mark. The longer you cook it, the less gooey it will be.
  5. Remove from the air fryer and let cool. Top with ice cream or powdered sugar, and enjoy!
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Australian Pavlova Recipe

Australian Pavlova Recipe

Celebrating Australia Day with a traditional dessert of… possibly...Australian origin. Why do we say possibly? There is much contention between Australia and New Zealand as to which country actually invented this delicious dish!

What is not a contentious fact is that this dessert (& several other dishes) were named after the beloved Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. She toured both Australia and New Zealand in 1926. Australians insist that the dessert was invented in a Perth hotel and named after a customer declared it “as light as {Anna} Pavlova.” Those in NZ say that a hotel chef in Wellington was inspired by Anna’s billowing tutu!

Either way, this dessert is found at pretty much every Australia Day celebration, so we’re topping it with our Australian Manuka to help combat the effects of the sugar on our oral and digestive systems and make it even more delicious!

Australia is home to 83 of the 86 known Leptospermum species worldwide, including the Leptospermum Scoparium species. Only one species is found in New Zealand, with the NZ species originating in Australia.  

Exceptionally high levels of MGO have been discovered in Manuka honey samples sourced in Australia (Cokcetin et al. 2016). The levels of DHA and MGO found in some Australian honey are comparable to or higher than those observed in New Zealand Manuka honey.  

Typically Australian Manuka is lower in cost due to there not being as many regulations as NZ. However, Since Australia doesn't have mandated testing, buyers should be more cautious when choosing which brand to purchase. Our Australian Manuka goes through the same testing process as our NZ Manuka, and each jar features a QR code that links to the test results for that batch so you can be sure that you are getting only 100% authentic Manuka honey.

Australian Pavlova Recipe
*For best results, use a stand mixer*

Makes 1 Pavlova

Cook Time: About 3.5 Hours

  • 5 egg whites (medium pasture-raised eggs) at room temperature 
  • 1 cup fine sugar (pulse sugar in a food processor to make it finer if you don’t have it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract 
  • 1 pinch of PRI Microplastic-Free Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar 
  • 1 tsp cornstarch 

Toppings: 

Instructions:

  1. The night before making the recipe or a few hours before, place eggs on the counter to bring them to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 300ºF, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7-8 inch circle on the parchment to guide you in the size of your pavlova.
  3. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat on high in a stand mixer with vanilla and cream of tartar. After the egg whites begin to froth up, slowly add one tablespoon of sugar at a time while still beating until a thick marshmallow meringue starts to form. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sift in cornstarch with a silicone spatula, be sure to do this gently, so you don’t lose the fluffiness of the meringue. Continue to mix on the highest setting until stiff peaks form. It should start to stick to the whisk attachment.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and use a silicone spatula to create the shape of the pavlova you desire. We used vertical swoops for a nice nested nest texture. Scoop some out of the center, giving you room for fruit and whipped cream.
  5. Next, place it in the preheated oven, immediately lower the temperature to 250ºF and bake for over an hour or until it starts to crack slightly, don’t let it brown too much. Immediately turn the oven off and leave the door closed for an hour to let the meringue set and dry out for that perfect crispy but soft melt-in-your-mouth texture. Next, open the door a crack for another hour to let it dry out to perfection.
  6. Finally, assemble the delicious toppings! Gently place the pavlova on a cake stand, and top it with a generous layer of whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Drizzle PRI Australian Manuka Honey over it for the perfect Australia Day dessert! 
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Dairy-Free Jello Custard Christmas Trifle

Dairy-Free Jello Custard Christmas Trifle

What screams the holidays louder than a Trifle? If you live in New Zealand, home of Manuka honey and birthplace of our co-founder Linda, not much! 

Our CMO, Dominic, hails from England, the birthplace of the modern trifle. Since Dom is married to the CFO and founders’ daughter Kristy, that makes this recipe a verified P.R.I. family favorite!  

Now that the Noll family history lesson is over, we have to admit that we did tweak this a bit from your more traditional recipe by making it dairy free. Since an estimated 70% of people are lactose intolerant, it felt necessary. After all, everyone at your table deserves to enjoy all the delicious holiday goodies!

We also made it non-alcoholic by not soaking the sponge cake in sherry. If all of your party members are of drinking age, we recommend soaking; it is delicious! Simply cut the pound cake, lay it in a baking dish and add sherry until it is moist but not wet. Let it sit while you make the rest of the dessert. If boozy desserts are your jam, you might want to check out our Irish Porter Cake recipe too! 

Dairy-Free Christmas Trifle

Jello Layer:

  • 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 3 cups raspberry cranberry juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 tbsp PRI Manuka Honey
  • 6 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils

Custard Layer:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy coconut cream
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup PRI Manuka Honey 
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • pinch of salt

Other Ingredients:

  • pound cake or angel food cake (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 - 10 oz. dairy-free whipped topping tubs (use Truwhip brand or make your own coconut whipped cream by whisking coconut cream, honey, and vanilla)
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries 
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 tbsp sliced almonds
  • fresh mint leaves
  • optional: meringue kisses

Custard Instructions:

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside.
  2. Pour coconut milk and almond milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium/low heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together Manuka honey, whole egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt. Place the bowl near the stove for easy access to the milk mixture.
  4. Once the milk begins to simmer, stir well to distribute the heat. 
  5. Then turn off the stove and use a ladle to slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking simultaneously. Continue to do this until half the mixture has been whisked in, then pour the rest into the bowl and continue to whisk well until incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Continuously whisk the mixture as it begins to heat. You’ll notice thickening after 5-10 minutes of whisking. Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat to low and stir well until desired consistency. The custard should be thin but not runny. 
  7. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in vanilla bean paste. 
  8. Cool the custard by placing the bowl inside the ice water bowl and stirring until the mixture cools down. Then cover with plastic wrap and poke holes in the film and refrigerate overnight to thicken.

Jello Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, bring 2 cups of raspberry cranberry juice and 1 cup of pomegranate juice to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, pour 1 cup of raspberry cranberry juice and sprinkle four unflavored gelatin packets into the juice to cover the surface. Let it sit for a minute to bloom.
  3. Pour the boiling juice into the large bowl with bloomed gelatin and stir well until dissolved. Then add the Manuka honey and stir until it is fully incorporated. This should take about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the jello mixture into a large trifle dish and then place in raspberries and pomegranate arils. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set overnight.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. When ready to assemble, remove the trifle dish from the fridge and pipe or spoon the custard into an even layer.
  2. Next, slice the poundcake into large or small cubes and fill the next layer with the cake pieces.
  3. After the cake layer, spread whipped cream across the top and create a mound shape.
  4. Finally, top with a large mound of fresh raspberries. Then sprinkle pomegranate arils and sliced almonds. Finish off with a few mint leaves. Top with store-bought or homemade meringue kisses to take it to the next level!
  5. Serve and enjoy!
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Cold Relief Tip: Ditch the OJ & Reach for Dark Chocolate Instead!

Cold Relief Tip: Ditch the OJ & Reach for Dark Chocolate Instead!

A 2013 review of 29 clinical trials involving more than 11,000 people showed vitamin C supplementation did not consistently affect the duration or severity of the common cold. 

The authors of the study state: "The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified."

So what should you reach for when feeling ill? Research says Zinc! There have been many conflicting studies about Zinc over the years until more recently when scientists discovered that the key is to take zinc within 24 hours of experiencing symptoms. Furthermore, the studies showed that supplementation of Zinc for five months reduced the frequency of colds and antibiotic use. 

Zinc can be taken as a supplement, in lozenge or liquid form; however, many report a lasting bad aftertaste and upset stomach with these methods. Additionally, the most bioavailable form of Zinc is in food. Foods high in zinc include meat, legumes, nuts & seeds, and our favorite: dark chocolate.

Of course, eating more fruits and vegetables and ensuring you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need, including vitamin C, are essential to your overall health and will affect how often you get sick. 

Instead of juice, eat the whole fruit. Fruit juice contains high sugar content without fiber and other nutrients needed to process the sugars slowly. Additionally, eating whole fruits and vegetables is the best way for your body to absorb nutrients. 

Based on these factors and the effectiveness of Manuka honey for cold & flu symptoms, our Manuka Honey Dark Chocolate Patties are a great way to supplement some of your DV of zinc and Manuka honey to reduce symptoms and get you well faster! Dark chocolate lovers & vegans will enjoy the delicious dark chocolate bars from  Solomon’s Gold.

You can also incorporate dark chocolate & Manuka into tasty snacks your whole family will love! Here are a couple of our favorite recipes:

#1 - Chocolate & Honey Rice Cakes: top them with seeds & nuts for even more zinc!

#2 - Coffee Sweet Potato Nice Cream: because dessert can be nutrient-dense, delicious, AND decadent.

#3 - Chocolate Caramel Popcorn: perfect for movie night or an afternoon snack!

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Why You Should Be Eating More Honey

Honey is a great source for many healthy benefits. Here are 6 great reasons why you should be eating more honey! Alleviate Allergies Increase Athletic Performance Help you Sleep Fight Infections Treat Dandruff Treat Wounds 1. Honey can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Natural raw honey contains small amounts of pollen and after… More Why You Should Be Eating More Honey
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