Allergy season has hit particularly hard this year. To prevent fits of sneezing and itchy eyes, I opt for my family's remedy for hay fever.
When my dad was a kid working on his grandfather's farm, he used to chew the wax cap that sealed their homemade honey in jars. Today, he swears by local honey as a means of warding off seasonal allergies, and he's turned the rest of us into believers.
The key is to get your hands on the local stuff. Not unlike a vaccine, consuming local honey (made by bees who collect nectar from nearby flowers) gives you traces of the same pollen that makes your eyes itch and nose run. In a sense, you become "immune." Whether you're drinking it in your tea, spreading it over toast, or using it in a granola, like I've done here, try to have a bit of this honey each day during the peak allergy season.
Native honeys are commonly found at your local farmer's market, but you can also find a selection in health food stores or Whole Foods.
Almond Honey Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup local honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, honey, olive oil, and salt. On a rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread granola mixture. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is golden and toasted, 35-40 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Break granola apart and store in an airtight containers up to 3 weeks.