Spiral Honey Ham (Paleo, Whole30)
This sweet and smoky honey-baked spiral ham is the show-stopper dish for all your holiday gatherings. It is a family favorite for when we are celebrating Christmas and Easter, but honestly, it’s so good that I find excuses to make it just because. My favorite part about this easy spiral ham is the leftovers: ham sandwiches, ham and egg scrambles, or as a protein-rich snack with some fresh veggies and crackers!
Why Local Honey?
Is there a difference in the commercial honey you find at stores like Costco compared to the local honey you find at your local Co-Op or farmer’s market? Yes, there is! If you can, buy and eat local honey, and here’s why .
Many brands of commercial honey you find in stores are not pure and are often diluted with or contain corn syrup or other refined, inflammatory sweeteners.
Local honey supports your immune system and allergies since local honey is made from the pollen of the flowers and plants in your area. Local honey is typically unpasteurized and raw, which keeps the health and nutritional benefits of the honey intact.
By supporting your community by purchasing local honey, you keep your honey bees in your area and support your local beekeepers!
Why Pasture Raised vs. Conventional Pork
What does it mean to source humanely raised animal products versus conventional ones? Humanely raised animals such as pigs, chickens, and cows are raised on pastures where they are able to forage and eat a diet that is natural and healthy for them. Healthy animals yield healthy products, increasing the nutrients themselves and the nutrient density of what you are eating. Conventional sources of animal products are from animals that are raised in harsh conditions, often in warehouses where the animals are locked in, confined without sunlight, and unable to eat their natural diets, yielding products that are less nutritious and potentially inflammatory.
Pasture raised pork is higher in nutrients and is better for the environment. Let’s talk about nutrition first.
- Antioxidants: Pasture raised pork is higher in antioxidants, specifically vitamin E. This essential fat-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in reducing oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals that may result in illness or disease. Vitamin E is essential in vision health, skin health, and reproductive health .
- Vitamins and Minerals: Pasture raised pork is higher in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in bone health, calcium absorption, immune function, and more. A majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and the most bioavailable form is not from supplements, but from real food like pasture raised pork. Selenium is a mineral that is essential in thyroid health, detoxification and helps to make DNA  and pasture raised pork has higher levels than conventional.
- Omega-3s: With the Standard American Diet (SAD) being full of omega-6 fatty acids, most Americans are consuming an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Due to the way the food industry raises animals, most of the animal proteins that we consume no longer have the omega-3s like pasture raised animals do, the way nature intended. Omega-3s are essential in reducing inflammation, cellular health, and vessel health.
Essential Amino Acids
The nine essential amino acids found in pork and their roles are :
- Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
- Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
- Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
- Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
- Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
- Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
- Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body’s ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
- Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
- Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body’s ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamins: Pasture raised pork is rich in B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6, and B12.
- Minerals: Pasture raised pork is rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
So grab a no sugar added spiral ham and let’s get cooking!
Spiral Honey Ham Ingredients
Makes a 6-8 lb Ham
1/2 cup Pure Raw Honey*
1.5 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
¼ cup Bourbon* (opt)
3/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
*Omit for Paleo and Whole30 (omit the Honey) and substitute filtered water or bone broth
How to Make Honey Rosemary Spiral Ham
1. With the baking rack in a lower position, preheat the oven to 325°F
2 . On a rimmed baking sheet, lay out a layer of aluminum foil and top it with a layer of parchment paper.
3. Transfer the ham to the parchment/foil sheet and tightly wrap it with the fat-cap-side up.
4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
5. While the ham is baking, in a small saucepan heat the first 6 ingredients over medium heat and bring to a low simmer for 90-second to 2-minutes, remove from heat.
6. Unwrap the ham and brush with the honey glaze; continue baking, uncovered, basting with more glaze every 15-minutes, until heated through (about 45-minutes to 1 hour more).
7. Remove from the oven and brush with any remaining glaze and allow it to slightly cool for about 5-7 minutes before serving.
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Q: Does the spiral ham have to be uncured?
A: Uncured hams are typically free of any synthetic nitrates, artificial flavors, and other unwanted ingredients.
Q: Can I use pure maple syrup in place of the honey to make a honey ham?
A: Yes, of course, I often use pure maple syrup and raw honey interchangeably in my recipes.
Q: What other herbs besides rosemary pair well with a honey ham?
A: You could try sage, thyme, oregano or a blend of your favorite herbs!
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.