Updated: Feb 2
There’s a lot of buzz around honey these days, and for good reason. Not only is it delicious, but it also has a wealth of health benefits. Honey is a live food, meaning that the enzymes in it are still active. This makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb than processed foods.
Honey is also simple to digest because its sugar molecules are in the form of fructose and glucose, which the body can easily convert into energy. Finally, honey makes you happy! The phenylalanine in honey converts into tyrosine in the brain, which then becomes dopamine – the “happy hormone”. So eat up and enjoy all the benefits honey has to offer!
What makes Local Honey Different?
When the topic of honey comes up there always seems to be a debate over whether or not local honey is really different or better than premium-priced local honey. Are they really any different and what makes one better than the other? The Simple answer is, Yes, there is a difference in the product, not just the price.
Local honey is better than mass-produced honey because it has unique health benefits that are specific to its region. As the bees travel from flower to flower, they pick up tiny particles of pollen and nectar that contain the unique components of their location. This means that local honey can help build immunity against allergies in your area – a bonus for those with seasonal sensitivities!
Plus, local beekeepers are often more dedicated to sustainability and environmental stewardship than larger producers, so you know that you’re helping protect our planet when you grab a locally-sourced jar. So live simply, live happily and live sustainably - make sure to get some local honey today!
How Does Honey Get its Flavor?
Honey is a complex food product, with its flavor profile depending on the flowers and plants that the bees visit. Bees are truly taskmasters. When it seems like all plants are coming into bloom, the bees know exactly which plants are at peak nectar flow. They will only visit that particular plant until they have harvested all they can.
This allows beekeepers to bottle and sell honey as lavender, buckwheat, orange blossom, or a variety of different specialty flavors, and why you may see an amber rainbow of honey in different shades.
Pro Tip: check your label for an infused designation. Infused honey is made by adding something to the honey during the bottling process whereas true orange blossom honey, for example, is made exclusively from the nectar and pollen of blooming orange trees. Infused honey like chili or vanilla is also delicious just a slightly different type of honey product.
As the bees travel from flower to flower gathering nectar, they also pick up microscopic particles of pollen and propolis. These ingredients give honey its unique flavor profile.
Different types of honey have their own distinctive flavor, ranging from light and mild clover honey to dark and robust buckwheat honey. This makes cooking and experimenting with honey really fun. Each honey variety will add its own unique twist to the recipe.
Next time you're near a local honey shop, stop in. They may have a few different kinds of honey available to sample. Try out a few varieties to find your favorite!
How do you use honey?
Honey has been used for centuries in food, cosmetics, and medicine due to its powerful properties. Ancient Egyptians even used honey as a form of currency! In fact, Hippocrates wrote that "honey is more useful than all other foods".
Honey as Medicine
Throughout history, healers have relied on honey’s natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties to treat cuts, scrapes, and other ailments.
Today we know that the live enzymes in raw honey can aid digestion and reduce inflammation while providing lasting energy throughout the day. Though best to always consult a medical professional there are a few home remedies you can try with honey.
Next time you're feeling a little under the weather, try mixing a tablespoon of honey into some warm tea to soothe a sore throat. Or next time you have a mild burn, try dabbing on a little honey to soothe and promote healing. With its unique flavor profiles depending on the region of origin, it's no wonder why honey remains one of the world’s favorite sweeteners!
The Beauty Benefits Of Honey
In addition to its medicinal benefits, Honey can be used cosmetically too! It’s a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated. Honey is also full of antioxidants and vitamins which help protect your skin from environmental damage and signs of aging.
Add some honey to your beauty routine by using it as a face mask or scrub, blending it with essential oils for a nourishing lip balm. Or when mixed with other ingredients like coconut oil or oats it creates an all-natural facial cleanser.
How to Cook with Honey
However, even with such an abundance of medicinal and cosmetic applications, honey's most common use is for cooking. You may be surprised by the sheer number of ways honey can be used in the kitchen.
As mentioned previously, honey is frequently enjoyed mixed into hot tea to create a drink both delicious and soothing for the throat. Honey is also commonly spread on toast or muffins for breakfast. But that is just the beginning of the culinary uses of Honey.
Below we will explore everything from desserts, dressings, marinades, glazes, and cocktails that all incorporate honey as a key ingredient.
Recipes with Honey
For centuries, the Greeks have been drizzling honey over yogurt and walnuts in a dish called yiaourti me meli. It is still a delicious treat served to this day. Honey can also be used as a simple yet decadent dessert topping when drizzled over ice cream or cakes. But you've likely heard of these uses for honey so what are some of the more unique culinary uses of honey?
Beverages for all ages
Honey is an incredible ingredient that can be enjoyed in many different ways. The natural sweetness of honey makes it a great substitute for traditional refined sugars in sweet treats, while its unique flavor profiles make it an ideal ingredient to enhance savory dishes.
From the beauty benefits of adding honey to your skincare routine or soothing sore throats with hot tea, Honey is truly a versatile and all-around useful addition to the panty. If you opt for local honey you'll also reap the numerous health benefits like improving seasonal allergy tolerance and boosting your immune system.
So next time you're looking for something sweet or savory, don't forget about this golden liquid - its uses are virtually endless! Living a healthier happier and simpler life is better with a spoonful of honey. Enjoy!