Honey heaven: Get ready for Palisade’s International Honeybee Festival

Local honey adds flavor and more to, clockwise from left, Stawberry Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing, Honey Almond Granola, Easy Healthy Salad Dressing on a kale and red papper salad, and grilled chicken made with Grand Valley Honey Marinade. Find the recipes for the dressing and marinade at GJSentinel.com.

Bella Guillon, 11, adds a mixture of oats, almonds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds to the honey she produces under the label Bella’s Bees as she makes a batch of her Honey Almond Granola. The young entrepreneur is a sixth-grader at Redlands Middle School.

A variety of honey and related foods are produced locally.

Local honey is used in the recipe of this carrot cake baked by Slice O Life Bakery in Palisade.


Honey Almond Granola

From Bella’s Bees owner Bella Guillen, who chose almonds for her granola because without honeybees, there would be no almonds.

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup Bella’s Honey

5 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons flax seeds

Place brown sugar, oil, and honey in microwave bowl; microwave for 30 seconds, then mix well with a wooden spoon.

Pour oats, nuts and seeds on top of the honey mixture and mix everything thoroughly.

Spread mixture on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20–30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, stir well and continue to stir at 5-minute intervals until lightly browned.

Cool before storing in airtight bags.

Aunt Mable’s Honey Cake

From Palisade Mayor Roger Granat.

1 cup sugar

2/3 cups shortening

2 eggs

1 cup local honey

1 1/2 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon allspice

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs, add honey.

Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Sift dry ingredients. Add both alternately to the shortening mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

(Note: You can add walnuts and raisins to the batter, if you like.)

Bake 350 degrees until toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30–45 minutes.

Frost with white, penuche or honey frosting.

(Note: They say it’s good with a bowl of home canned Palisade peaches.)


Power Muffins

From Deb Tsakalos. Can be made vegan or non-vegan.

4 eggs, or Ener-G Egg Replacement or she substitutes 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water to equal one egg.

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup local honey

1 cup raw sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons dry ginger 

1 cup Canola or flaxseed oil

2 teaspoons organic baking soda

1 teaspoon organic baking powder

3 1/4 cups flour, whole wheat or regular

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 crushed banana

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup raw slivered almonds or crushed raw walnuts

1/2 cup blueberries

Mix all ingredients together.

Pour batter in muffin pans (with cupcake liners) fill 3/4, makes two dozen. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30–35 minutes until done.  

Remove from oven, place on rack; drizzle local honey over tops. Bake at least an hour.

These muffins freeze well.

Note: you can substitute veggies and fruits as long as they add up to a good full 4 cups. Local apples, peaches, apricots and berries make the best.


Easy Healthy Salad Dressing

From Deb Tsakalos

Put in a pint-size Mason jar:

3 tablespoons local honey

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or to taste)

2 tablespoons plain sesame seeds

Pinch course sea salt

Pinch flax seed

Close and shake really well. It’s delicious on spinach salad.


Grand Valley Honey Marinade

From Juliann Adams with the Palisade Chamber

For beef or chicken.

1 cup dry sherry, she used Honey Shere’ from Meadery of the Rockies

1/4 cup A-1 sauce

1/4 cup soy Sauce

1/4 cup local honey

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves chopped or basil, or oregano

1 teaspoon dried red pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix all together and marinate beef or chicken for 4 hours or overnight.

Trees are blooming, honeybees are busily buzzing as visions of local fruits, vegetables and sweet honey come to mind.

It is nearly time for the Palisade International Honeybee Festival, which will be April 11–12 in Palisade.

Considering a third of our food supply depends on honeybees, there is plenty to learn about bees and honey.

And at the festival there will be seminars, entertainment, tours, a spelling bee and more. Look for details at palisadehoneybeefest.org.

Recently, I visited with a young Fruita beekeeper and honey producer, a bakery owner, orchard owners, the Palisade mayor and others who will be at the festival. We all brought honey delights to taste. Out of loyalty to my readers, I tasted everything!


Bella Guillen, 11, owns and operates a Fruita bee business, Bella’s Bees, with her stepfather, Andy, and grandfather, Howdy, who raised bees for years.

It’s obvious Bella has put her touch on all aspects of the business, from making hives, extracting the honey, checking on bees, inspecting and researching lost bees and adding more hives.

Andy says they focus on natural beekeeping with no chemicals and minimally processed honey so they can enjoy the goodness of raw honey.

Bella also is a pro at product development, marketing and sales, saying all this helps her with schoolwork such as math and social studies, and it keeps her brain moving during the summer.

Look for her Bella’s Bees booth at the festival, and you can sample her granola recipe during my “Cooking with Honey” seminar.

This young businesswoman is one to watch. And these honey recipes are definitely keepers.


Mary Lincoln’s Palisade bakery is filled with her homemade delicious, pastries, breads, cakes and so much more. She’s been serving “a slice of the good life” for more than 33 years and, yes, there’s accounting for her good taste.

“I use only local honey for the best taste and good health in all the items made using honey” she says. Her employees Annie and Angelina agree.

Mary treated us with a delicious and beautifully decorated, Honey Carrot Cake with honey in the cake and the frosting. I’ll have some samples at my Cooking with Honey session.

Here are a couple tips Mary has for baking with honey:

When using oil in a cake, beat the eggs with oil before adding honey, if it’s a solid fat, beat fat and honey then add eggs.

You can get more tips at the festival including a Substituting Honey for Sugar Refrigerator Magnet and brochures. Mary also makes some darling Festival Bumble Bee Cookies.


At Z’s Orchard they sat they have happy bees; they never have to move because the fruit trees, flowers and vegetables are grown right there.

“Happy bees mean yummy honey”, says owner Carol Zadrozny. Z’s Orchard packages honey in unique jars, making for a great gift.

Carol is working on a recipe for honeyed chard chips. Stop by her booth at the festival.


Orchard owners Steve and Pat Sherer not only raise luscious organic peaches, they pride themselves in purchasing and packaging the best local organic honey they can find, including a lavender variety.

Steve packages it in sizes from the tiniest of little honey bears to large 2-pound jars to meet customers’ needs.

You can spot his lavender honey jars with their cork and lavender ribbon. It will be at “Cooking with Honey” as part of learning to do a “honey tasting.” You might ask Steve how he got to Palisade from Hawaii.


Roger Granat’s family goes back generations in the honeybee/honey business. He’s a rich source of BEE history.

Thanks to Mrs. Marie Granat for generously baking Roger’s Aunt Mable’s Honey Cake, a yummy old family recipe he’s willing to share.

Aunt Mable was teaching school in Collbran, she and Uncle Carl had bee yards up there, thinking clover fields would produce a great-tasting honey.

In the winter, Roger’s dad, Uncle Carl and Aunt Mable loaded up the hives and moved them to Fruita for warmer weather.


Deb was battling multiple sclerosis when she moved to Palisade two years ago. She wasn’t doing well. She had foot drag, lost her balance and needed a walker, and had other multiple sclerosis complications.

After research, she started eating healthier, focusing on fresh and local foods and developed her own eating plan. She now rides her three-wheel bike everywhere, developed her artistic talents, has a great sense of humor, volunteers and feels great.

She’s known for her Power Muffins.


I made a National Honey Board recipe called Fruit and Mint Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing an used strawberries.

The dressing was so simple but, oh, so good. You can find the full recipe, plus hundreds more, at honey.com.


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