Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Honey is the Sweetest Harvest

Honey Isn’t Just for Bears

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know I grew up on a farm. Dad preferred foods from scratch with little to no processing, which inspired him to become a beekeeper. He would put on his large, brimmed hat, cover it with a net and tend to the hive. Dad respected and appreciated his bees for the plentiful fresh honey in our home. During that time, it wasn’t my favorite, but that has changed and now it’s a pantry staple.  Keep reading to discover more about this naturally sweet delight.

Health Properties

The raw form is described as pure, therefore coming straight from the hive and remaining unpasteurized. Some feel it may contain more nutrients and is safe to consume except for children younger than one. Although it only contains small amounts of nutrients, comparatively honey without a lot of processing contains health promoting antioxidants. Experts recommend the darker variety for higher amounts of antioxidants.

Alternative Uses

Honey can be used in numerous alternative methods. Some utilize it as a topical medication or a potential ingredient in supplements. Many promote its use in natural cosmetics, for instance making your own body wash, hand soap or facial scrub. You may have grown up drinking hot tea and honey whenever you have a cold or cough.

Baking and Cooking

Add it to tea and other beverages as a natural sweetener. Lighter honey may provide a more neutral sweetness. If you plan to substitute it for sugar in recipes, there are some suggested guidelines. Use 3/4 cup of honey in place of one cup of sugar. Add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity. Reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the product from over browning. Don’t be alarmed if it crystallizes, however place the bottle in a bowl of warm water until it liquidizes again.

Generally, honey producers recommend storing honey for a maximum of two years for optimal quality. Purchase the real thing from a locally known and respected beekeeper. Beekeeping could be your next hobby!!!


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