Honey is such a common product in many homes, but it is quite magical really. It is easy to take the simple honey for granted, but there is no other product like it anywhere in the world. A wonderful natural sweetener is it awesome for every meal and can be used equally well in both savory and sweet dishes as well as drinks.
Some ways that honey is awesome
Honey is in a category all of its own. It technically never goes off, with people apparently finding stores of honey over 3000 years old which are still edible.
Produced by bees using the pollen of flowers, it is delicious and there are few people in the world who wouldn’t like it. It is the only food produced by insects that humans can eat!
Honey has natural health benefits and can be a great source of energy. It contains carbohydrates, protein, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals (including vitamins A and C, calcium and iron), and is a good source of anti-oxidants.
Although it contains a high amount of fructose, this type of sugar is far better for you than regular white sugar. The body processes honey better than white sugar and you get more sweetness for a smaller amount of calories and carbohydrates. Because it is far healthier for you than sugar, it makes a great sweetener alternative in any cooking.
It also helps your body to digest the fat stores in your body. Mixing honey with lemon juice or cinnamon can act as a great appetite suppressant and help with weight loss. It can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and restore muscles after strain or exercise.
It is antifungal and antibacterial so can be used as a natural antiseptic and some people use it as a natural wound treatment.
Honey can vary greatly depending on the bees, the honeycombs and storage and also the types of plants they source their pollen from. The flavors of different honey are quite different as well, as are the color and texture. They are each quite unique.
As well as in food, honey has been used in skincare and cosmetics and can also make wine.
Why natural or organic honey is better
All honey is not equal, and the honey that is available varies greatly in quality.
Usually honey goes through a process of heating and filtering which removes some aspects including the pollen and makes the honey more clear, smooth and liquidy. Raw honey, on the other hand, is unprocessed and unfiltered and contains all of the raw enzymes and micronutrients that the bees put in.
It doesn’t stay liquid as long as commercially processed honey and will crystallize quicker. Crystallization in honey is not bad for you, this is just a texture difference. To remove any crystallization you can heat your honey very gently.
Organic honey is processed a little but not heated to the point that commercialized honey is. Organic honey is prepared using stringent organic production methods and must meet certain standards. In this process, heating the honey at very high temperatures is not allowed.
Organic honey is obtained from flowers that are free from pesticides, and the bees are unaffected by pesticides too. These bees are also not fed antibiotics which larger commercially produced honey providers give their bees to maintain their strength and life. Many people believe that the antibiotics must affect the honey too.
Many people believe raw or organic honey tastes better and has better health benefits than heat processed and filtered honey. Many of the health benefits are present in the pollen, which is removed from commercially produced honey.
How you can use honey
The possible uses for honey are pretty much limitless, but here are a few reasons why it is a great go-to to have in the pantry.
- In cooking such as stir-fries and casseroles
- As a natural sweetener in baking or on oatmeal or pancakes
- In smoothies and milkshakes
- As a cold and flu remedy, when mixed with warm water and lemon
- As a sweetener for tea
- Drizzled over bagels or hot buttered toast (yum!)
Natural Honey Products You Should Try
Mohawk Valley Trading Co.
This company produces an inspired range of raw honey flavors that haven’t been heated, filtered, blended or processed. Proudly all of the pollen, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants are exactly the same as when the honey was in the hive.
Flavors include Orange Blossom, Apple Blossom, Blueberry Blossom, Buckwheat, America Bamboo, Wild Cherry Blossom, Sunflower and Adirondack Wildflower Honey from various seasons. You must also try the intriguing Tulip Poplar-Black Locust honey.
Swan’s Maine Beekeeper
This superb and creamy honey is raw and unfiltered and comes straight from wildflowers. It holds its creamy texture without refrigeration and is very easy to spread and use in cooking. It is minimally processed, made through a unique blending of liquid raw honey and creamed raw honey. This has a special and original flavor and texture which you are guaranteed to love once you’ve tried it.
New Zealand Multiflora Honey
From the gorgeous green land of fantastic honey comes this Multiflora delight. 100% raw honey with none of the good stuff taken out, it is processed to become rich and creamy with a lovely smooth texture and beautiful spreadability. This honey is cool processed to retain all of its natural health benefits. GM-free and also certified Kosher.
If you are lacking a little sweetness in your life or would just like to see some of the incredible ways you can use organic honey products, drop by Eric’s. The expert staff love talking up their honey, and they too are super sweet.