Three ways you can enjoy a healthy Mediterranean diet at The Hive

Co-owner of The Hive, Emma Wood, is no stranger to healthy cuisine.

Having spent many years living in Greece – during which time she regularly trekked across the Northern mountain region with family including a herdsman and an orthodox Monk – Emma has developed a deep understanding of the use of traditional herbs in both food and drink. And today, her passion for Ionian cuisine has enabled her to create a delicious yet healthy Anglo-Greek menu here at the Hive.

It’s always a pleasure to give culinary advice to our customers, and with so many of you coming in to ask about the specific health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine in recent months, we thought we’d share a round-up of the various health-giving ingredients we use.

Savour some Greek specialities

Healing herbs: There are a number of tonic herbs that we use as staple ingredients in our signature dishes. For example, oregano is an antiseptic that keeps infection at bay, garlic reduces blood pressure, thyme is good for digestive health, and sage is a great all-rounder high in antioxidants. All of these hand-picked wild herbs – along with a sprinkling of chilli flakes – feature in our versatile Hive Classic Herb Mix, dubbed by some of our regulars as “Greek pixie dust”.

From meze to one-pot: Authenticity is a core part of our cooking at the Hive. Our pita breads, one of our most popular mezes, are imported from a leading legacy bakery in Athens, before being brushed with an Ionian dressing comprising extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mountain herbs and seasoning. We also offer the perfect accompaniment to wash them down in the form of Greece’s favourite beer, Mythos. If you’re looking for something more substantial, our popular slowed-cooked Beef Stifado – containing a fragrant combination of shallots, pure organic passata, red wine, cloves and cinnamon – delivers rich and tasty goodness in every mouthful. Meanwhile, we also use our Herb Mix to blend into wholegrain rice, giving it a great flavour and smell, as well as adding in a dash of olive oil to create an extremely healthy carbohydrate-based side dish.

Create a buzz around bee pollen

In the Corfiot village where Emma lived, beekeepers made honey for the tourist retailers, which is how she came to learn about the many benefits of bee pollen in food as part of a balanced Mediterranean diet. Bee pollen is made by foraging honeybees who collect it from plants and transport back it to their hive, where it is stored as food and shared out among the colony.

Containing a curious combination of flower pollen, enzymes, nectar, wax, bee secretions, and perhaps unsurprisingly, honey – bee pollen is a naturally-derived substance that has been harvested for thousands of years, although it wasn’t until recently that it started to attract more widespread attention for its numerous health benefits. In fact, today, with its wealth of amino acids, vitamins, lipids and hundreds of active substances, it is even recognised as a conventional medicine in some European countries.

Just some of the purported health benefits of bee pollen include: lowering the risk of heart disease, improving liver function, boosting immunity, aiding the healing of wounds, and easing menopausal symptoms.

We are pleased to be able to serve our very own bee pollen, which can be ordered as an optional extra to drizzle over salad, or simply to enjoy over our Greek yoghurt. Of course, bee pollen shouldn’t be confused with raw honey. But if you are a honey-lover, read on to discover how you can enjoy it in your cuppa next time you visit.

Treat yourself with tea

It’s been wonderful to see the interest our customers have taken in the health benefits of our Greek teas since we introduced them earlier this year. First up is our Anglo-Greek honey collection, including Cranbrook Honey, Pure Kent Honey, Greek Thyme Honey and Greek Wildflower Honey.

Also in our collection – again using hand-picked, organic mountain herbs – we offer an extensive range of organic, vegan herbal infusions providing a number of different health benefits. For example, our Mountain tea (or Ironwort tea) can help to relieve an upset stomach and aid digestion, while our Camomile tea also helps to ease stomach gases and diarrhoea, as well as menstrual disorders, fever, insomnia and toothache.

Our Sage tea – an astringent, antiseptic tonic – is wonderful as a herbal infusion or simply sprinkled over roast meat, fish or vegetables (also available at The Hive). Meanwhile, if you’re in need of an aphrodisiac, haemostatic, antianemic, antidiabetic, diuretic or laxative elixir, then try our Nettle Tea. We also serve St John’s Wort tea, a very powerful plant which is used for injuries caused by bumps and sprains, and also can help with insomnia, nervous system weakness, nerve repair, speech disorders and depression (please note, you should consult your doctor before consuming this tea).

So now you have a flavour of some of our Ionian delights to whet the appetite, why not come along, relax and experience the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean diet for yourself. Book your own taverna-style table now at: