Fasting and other types of abstinence are an integral part of the Orthodox culture and religion. And although not every believer adheres to all their severity, many try to the best of their own ability. The longest Great Lent preceding the Easter holiday lasts almost a month and a half. During all this time, believers strive not to eat animal products, limit themselves to other earthly joys and remain in prayer.
Most Orthodox, trying to adhere to all the customs of the faith, cannot understand whether it is possible to eat honey during fasting. On the one hand, it is not among the prohibited products. On the other hand, it is still of animal origin, because it is produced by bees. In addition, honey is sweet, and therefore a certain excess.
Everyone understandsthat during fasting they do not eat cakes and pastries, muffins and chocolate due to the presence of milk, butter, eggs and other fast foods in their composition. On the other hand, sugar is perfectly acceptable. Many housewives even got used to baking lean pies, cookies and gingerbread. After all, living without sweets for a long time can be very difficult, especially for children. And honey is consumed during fasting in many monasteries, so ordinary parishioners do not have to worry about this.
A bit of history
In Christianity at all times, honey was considered pleasing to God. Many monasteries have their own apiaries, the Orthodox even have saints - patrons of beekeeping. We are talking about Zosima and Savvaty, who founded the Solovetsky monastery.
Even in times of strict observance of Christian traditions in Russia, it was believed that it was possible to eat honey during fasting. There are several confirmations of this fact. Firstly, many recipes for lenten dishes have been preserved, in which he entered. These are sweet cereals, and baked fruits (pears, apples), and drinks. Secondly, the most strict Assumption fast, which begins on August 14 and lasts for 2 weeks, is connected precisely with honey. On its first day, also called the Honey Savior, it is customary to bless this sweetness in churches, and then cherish it all year and consume it on holidays or in times of illness.
It was customary to donate to the poor in Russia, including honey, since it was believed that this was a gift from God that needed to be shared. Known for his modesty and asceticism, the Baptist John was very unpretentious in food. He kept fastingthroughout the year and did not eat animal food. Of the delicacies in his diet was only wild honey. This is one of the reasons for its use by Christians without restrictions.
Opinion of nutritionists
In recent years, not only believers and clergymen, but also doctors have been talking about the benefits of fasting. Any organism needs unloading and cleaning. But this does not mean at all that the diet during the fasting period should be meager and monotonous. If the body does not receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals for a long time, it can be harmful. Natural honey contains them in large quantities. So the doctors here in their opinion are absolutely unanimous. And if you ask them whether it is possible to eat honey in fasting, then gastroenterologists, nutritionists, and other specialists will answer that it is even necessary. This is especially true on the eve of Easter, when there are still few fresh vegetables and herbs, and there are almost no vitamins left in last year's ones. Honey in this case will be just a salvation.
Recipes for lean sweets
In order to diversify the diet a little, even during the period of the prohibition of culinary excesses, experienced housewives manage to surprise their loved ones with all sorts of goodies. Undoubtedly, honey is good in itself. But, firstly, you can’t eat too much of it. And, secondly, it will not be so easy to get enough of it. Therefore, having found out whether it is possible to eat honey in fasting, you should not take it as the main product. Rather, as a nice addition to tea or dessert.
Among the delicacies allowed during fasting is an abundance of fruits and vegetables.Therefore, as a dessert, you can, for example, bake pears with honey and nuts. To do this, take rather dense fruits (2-3 pieces), wash them and peel them. Then a handful of any nuts are crushed (they can be replaced with oatmeal or other cereals). Pears are cut in half, the middle is taken out of them and lightly sprinkled with lemon juice. Nuts are placed inside, a teaspoon of honey and sent to a non-hot oven for 25-30 minutes, pouring a little water on the bottom of the baking sheet.
Of course, such a dessert can be made not only during fasting, but also on any other day. And honey is completely replaceable with ordinary sugar. But in a period when most goodies are taboo, this dessert will seem like a masterpiece. And with honey, it will be especially tasty and fragrant.
When returning to the question of whether it is possible to fast with honey, the answer to it appears by itself if you study the old recipes traditional for this period of baking. In Russia, various kinds of gingerbread, Easter cakes and gingerbread were popular. Most of them were rich, but there are also recipes that the housewives used during fasting. For example, they baked apple pies with honey.
For one and a half glasses of flour take half a glass of vegetable oil and 3 large apples. You will also need 150 grams of honey, a little cinnamon and a tablespoon of water, 0.5 teaspoon of soda.
Apples are peeled and seeds removed. 2 cut into thin slices, 1 - tinder on a grater. Honey is added to it, leaving 2 tablespoons, oil, water, soda and flour. It turns out quite a liquid substance. chopped applesspread in a greased form, sprinkle with cinnamon on top, pour over the remaining honey, and then spread the dough. Sent to the oven for 40 minutes to bake at 200 degrees. In Russia, on holidays during Lent, apple pies were baked to somehow brighten up the rigor and monotony.
It turns out that the answer to the question of whether it is possible to eat honey in fasting is positive both from the point of view of believers, and according to nutritionists, and based on historical facts. Therefore, do not deny yourself this little joy.