Can You Cook with Manuka Honey? Ideas + Top Tips


8 minutes

Essential Takeaways

You can cook with manuka honey and it makes a delicious, versatile ingredient in many different foods and drinks.

It’s important not to overheat the honey if you want to retain its beneficial compounds. To get the most out of manuka honey, add it to drinks after they cool, or to food before you serve it.

Manuka honey is a fantastic natural sweetener offering more than just a unique flavour, so get our top tips and recipe ideas here to start experimenting today.

You might be wondering whether you can cook with manuka honey without compromising its beneficial properties.

The good news is that you can cook with manuka honey just like any other variety. Adding this honey to your favourite recipes introduces a beautiful flavour and a host of potential health advantages.

However, there are some factors to consider, as heat can sometimes affect the honey's potency.

To ensure that you make the most of manuka honey's benefits when cooking or baking, it's essential to understand the right ways to use it.

And that’s what this guide is all about.

In this article about cooking with manuka honey, we cover:

  • Can you cook with manuka honey?

  • The benefits of cooking with manuka honey

  • Using manuka honey as a natural sweetener

  • Ideas for cooking with manuka honey

  • Extra cooking tips

  • FAQs

  • Where to buy your manuka honey


Can You Cook with Manuka Honey?

Yes, you can cook with manuka honey.

However, it's essential to consider a few factors to make the most out of its unique properties.

Manuka honey is known for its health benefits, which it gets primarily from the levels of MGO (methylglyoxal).

This natural chemical compound can be compromised when heated, so it’s important to bear this in mind when cooking with manuka honey.

You can also try some recipes that don't require heat, like salad dressings, smoothies, and dips.

For those times when you're more interested in manuka honey's sweetness and flavour rather than its health properties, feel free to cook with it. It's a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

In short, cooking with manuka honey depends on what you aim to achieve in your recipe. If you want to enjoy its health properties, avoid high heat and choose recipes that require little to no cooking.

On the other hand, if you're mainly after its sweet taste and unique flavour, feel free to cook with it just as you would with any other honey.

The Benefits of Cooking with Manuka Honey

When you cook with manuka honey, you're not just adding a delicious, natural sweetener to your dishes, but you're also reaping a range of health benefits.

Here’s why.

Antibacterial activity for health

One of manuka honey's standout features is its potent antibacterial properties.

It contains an active ingredient called methylglyoxal (MGO), which gives it the ability to combat a variety of harmful bacteria. This makes manuka honey an ideal addition to cooking, as it can help support a healthy immune system and maintain overall wellness.

Anti-inflammatory properties for healing

Manuka honey has traditionally been used to promote the healing of wounds, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

When you incorporate manuka honey into your meals, you're providing your body with these natural healing compounds, which can aid in the recovery process.

Versatility as an ingredient

Cooking with manuka honey also allows you to explore the versatility of its flavour in various recipes, from baking to breakfast and everything in between.

In fact, we list over 170 ways to use it here.

Its subtle sweetness and distinctive earthy, honey taste can elevate your dishes, making your culinary creations even more delightful.

So, start experimenting with manuka honey in your kitchen today, and enjoy the bonus of its remarkable health benefits, antibacterial activity, and wound healing properties in your everyday meals.

Who knew that satisfying your sweet tooth could be so beneficial for your wellbeing?

Using Manuka Honey as a Sweetener

Manuka honey can be a fantastic natural sweetener to incorporate into your recipes.

With its unique, rich flavour, it's perfect for adding a touch of sweetness to your favourite dishes.

You can use it in place of refined sugar, providing you with a healthier option.

However, you should still be mindful of your overall sugar consumption, as natural honey is still a source of sugar.

One area where manuka honey truly shines is in breakfast recipes.

Swapping some or all of the maple syrup or standard honey for Manuka in your favourite granola recipe can create a delightful start to your day. It's also great for stirring into porridge or yoghurt to provide a tasty and satisfying meal.

Aside from breakfast, you can use manuka honey in a range of other recipes.

It works well in dressings and marinades, adding a delicate sweetness that complements other flavours.

Cooking Ideas for Manuka Honey

Looking for some inspiration to cook with manuka honey? You're in the right place!

Let's explore a variety of recipes and ideas to incorporate this exquisite honey into your breakfast, baking, and more.

Manuka honey for breakfast

Starting your day with a manuka honey-infused breakfast will surely brighten your morning.

Drizzle it over your favourite granola, yoghurt or porridge for a healthy and delicious start.

Manuka honey pancakes are a perfect option for a special weekend brunch, as its unique taste adds a delightful twist to the classic recipe.

Manuka honey in baking

Baking with manuka honey can give your treats an exceptional flavour and added health benefits. For instance, try adding a spoonful of manuka honey to your banana bread or zucchini bread.

It will not only make your quick breads more tender, but also boost their nutritional value.

Fruit fillings in pies taste divine when some manuka honey is mixed in, giving them an irresistible touch of sweetness.

Manuka honey in dressings and glazes

Manuka honey can also be used in a variety of sauces, dressings, and glazes. It adds a rich and luxurious element to your dishes, while enhancing the original flavours.

A manuka honey glaze on roasted vegetables, poultry, or fish can elevate your culinary creations. And if you're a fan of homemade dressings, you'll love mixing manuka honey into a zesty vinaigrette or tangy marinade.

Manuka honey in desserts

For dessert lovers, try adding a spoonful or two of manuka honey to your basic buttercream frosting, which brilliantly complements cakes and cupcakes.

Manuka honey snacks

Don't forget that you can also incorporate manuka honey into a variety of sweet and savoury snacks – from energy balls to cheese platters, the possibilities are endless.

Manuka honey drinks

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with manuka honey in beverages. Substitute sugar with manuka honey in cocktails, smoothies, and warm drinks like tea or hot chocolate for a natural and refined sweetness.

Explore your own creativity and enjoy the delightful taste it brings to your favourite recipes. Happy cooking!


Extra Tips for Cooking with Manuka Honey

Here are our top tips for cooking with manuka honey:

  • If you want to retain its health benefits, don’t heat the honey beyond 37℃ (98.6℉). This is roughly the temperature of the hive, so anything hotter and you’re likely to lose some of the beneficial compounds.

  • Opt for UMF™ graded manuka honey like ours. This way, you can be sure you’re getting the real deal and not overly processed or diluted sugar alternatives. Our honeys are also non-GMO and glyphosate free.

  • Make sure you combine your honey with other foods and fibre, in particular. This will ensure that you get a slow energy release and not a sugar hit.

  • Manuka honey is a fantastic pre- and post-workout snack. You can make delicious protein chews to help fuel your body for exercise and repair it afterwards.

  • Make sure you store your manuka honey creations properly to keep them fresh. Use airtight containers and don’t leave the honey in sunny spots where it may melt or overheat.


FAQs About Cooking with Manuka Honey

Quick answers to your top questions.

What are the best ways to cook with manuka honey?

Manuka honey can be used in a variety of dishes to add sweetness and flavour. Some popular ways include mixing it into granola, using it as a sweetener in smoothies, and drizzling it over yoghurt or porridge. You can even use manuka honey as a glaze for grilling or roasting meats and vegetables. Get creative and experiment with different recipes to find your favourites!

Can manuka honey be used in baking?

Yes, manuka honey can be used in baking as a substitute for regular honey or other sweeteners. It works well in cakes, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods. Just keep in mind that its unique flavour may slightly alter the taste of the finished product, so it's best to start with a small quantity and adjust accordingly.

Does heating manuka honey decrease its benefits?

Manuka honey's health and healing properties primarily come from its levels of methylglyoxal (MGO). Heating manuka honey can have a negative impact on the levels of MGO, potentially reducing its benefits. However, some benefits may still be retained when used in cooking or baking, and it is more important to consider the overall healthiness of the recipe.

Is it okay to add manuka honey to hot drinks?

Adding manuka honey to hot drinks like tea or coffee is perfectly fine. While the heat may affect the levels of MGO, the honey will still contribute natural sweetness and flavour to your drink. Additionally, manuka honey has soothing properties, making it an excellent addition to warm beverages when you're feeling under the weather.

Can you substitute manuka honey for regular honey in recipes?

Yes, you can substitute manuka honey for regular honey in recipes. The primary difference is the unique taste and health benefits associated with manuka honey. When substituting, start with a small amount and adjust to taste, as manuka honey has a stronger flavour than regular honey.

What are some healthy recipes using manuka honey?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating manuka honey into your diet. Some ideas include cinnamon cacao raw balls for an energy-boosting snack, using manuka honey as a glaze for roasted vegetables, or even incorporating it into salad dressings. Explore various recipes and find delicious ways to enjoy the benefits of manuka honey!

Buy Your Manuka Honey for Cooking from New Zealand Honey Co.

All our manuka honeys are UMF™ graded for authenticity and freshness, produced and packaged exclusively in New Zealand.

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