1: Pure & Natural Energy

Providing 17 grams of carbohydrates (the primary fuel the body uses) and just 64 calories per tablespoon, honey is a natural source of energy that is easy to work into your daily routine. Combining honey with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and other healthful foods can add to your total nutrition and give you a great natural energy boost, as showcased in our Honey-Quinoa Breakfast Bake. Filled with good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, berries, nuts, and honey, this dish is sure to fill you up and fuel your day.

 

2: Extends Shelf Life

There is no denying that honey adds delicious flavor and the perfect touch of sweetness to our favorite baked goods, but did you know that it can actually help extend the shelf life of these baked goods? In addition to acting in baked goods as a humectant, honey’s antimicrobial properties delay spoilage and extend the shelf life of your favorite bakery treats including cookies, cakes, granola bars, and bread. With the holidays in full swing, we are celebrating honey’s unique properties by baking up a holiday classic, Baklava, and thanks to honey we’ll be enjoying all season long!

3: A World of Flavor

Walk into any grocery store or Farmer’s Market stand and you will see multiple flavors of honey, but did you know that there are more than 3,000 varietals of honey found worldwide? Whenever we bring out varietals at the various trade shows and events we attend we always get asked: “So how do you add the flavor?” And the answer is simply that “We don’t.” The fact is that all of the flavor notes and other characteristics that differentiate each unique honey is all due to the work of the honey bees. As honey bees pollinate, they pick up subtle nuances of the plants they visit that make their way into the honey they create. A perfect example of this is Orange Blossom honey, which features a bright citrus flavor that reminds consumers of the orange groves of California and Florida, which is exactly where the honey bees were hanging out! A great way to explore the world through honey is by creating a cheese board featuring several honey varietals. You can check out tips on creating the perfect cheeseboard  on the Recipes tab.

4: Locks in Natural Juices

We spoke earlier about honey acting as a humectant in baked goods, but did you know that this characteristic also benefits your roasted, grilled, smoked – or however you like to cook – meats. By drawing and retaining moisture, honey locks in your meats’ natural juices to ensure that your favorite chicken, steak, lamb or roast comes out juicy and tender, just like in our Honey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin.

5: Sweetens & Enhances Naturally

We have touched on honey’s various benefits and characteristics that make honey unique, but we can’t overlook that honey is first and foremost sweet, which is actually to its advantage. From blossom to bottle, honey’s journey is as natural as it gets, brought to you by the honey bees and the hands that tend to them, and is an ideal natural sweetener to include in your favorite recipes, including beverages. But although honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to a beverage, it also imparts unique flavor while balancing and enhancing other ingredients, making it an ideal ingredient for everything from your most complex cocktails to simple drinks, such as coffee or our Honey Pot Cider.

Cooking with Honey

Resource:  American Beekeeping Federation

Honey Facts

To substitute honey for granulated sugar, begin by substituting honey for up to half the sugar in the recipe. For baked goods, reduce the oven temperature by 25ºF to prevent overbrowning; reduce any liquid by ¼ cup for each cup honey used; and add ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used.

Honey Tips & Tricks

  • Lower baking temperature by 25°.  Honey makes baked goods brown faster.

  • Measure honey easily by coating cup or spoons with oil or non-stick spray.

  • Substitute 2/3 to 3/4 cup of honey per cup of sugar (depending on taste.)

  • Decrease the amount of liquids by 1/4 cup per cup of honey used.

  • Store honey at room temperature

  • If honey crystallizes, remove lid and place jar in warm water until crystals dissolve, or microwave honey on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes or until crystals dissolve, stirring every 30 seconds.  Do not scorch.

  • Honey should not be fed to babies under one year of age.  Honey is a safe and wholesome food for older children and adults.

Honey Recipes

The American Beekeeping Federation has some awesome honey recipes on their website. 

Honey's Natural Benefits

Resource:  National Honey Board

As Nature’s Sweetener

Honey is sweet – that’s a given. But did you know that honey also adds a special touch to almost any recipe? It’s the whisper at a party. It’s the sigh after the perfect bite. It’s the nostalgic feeling of childhood. It’s your secret ingredient with endless possibilities.

Many people think of honey as a drizzle in desserts or a topping for toast. But now more than ever, honey’s being recognized as a versatile ingredient and pantry staple in the kitchen. All-natural honey gives your recipes unbeatable flavor and unmatched functional benefits. From balancing flavors to providing moisture to baked goods, one-ingredient honey performs a slew of tasks, all from one little bottle.

Discover the versatility of honey…

Sweetener: Honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, so less can be used to achieve the same sweetness intensity.

Flavor: Honey not only imparts a unique flavor to any dish, but it also balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.

Emulsifier: Honey acts as a binder and thickener for sauces, dressings, marinades and dips.

Humectant: Honey provides and retains moisture to a variety of dishes and can even extend the shelf life of baked goods.

 

As a Natural Energy

Honey is a source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which are the most important fuel source for athletes to help them keep going.  Whether you’re looking for an energy boost or just a sweet reward after a long workout, honey is a quick, easy, and delicious all-natural energy source!

As an Athletic Aid

Pre-exercise: For years, sports nutritionists have recommended eating carbohydrates before an athletic activity for an added energy boost.  As with many carbohydrates, pure honey may be an effective form to ingest just prior to exercise. When honey is eaten before a workout or athletic activity, it is released into the system at a steady rate throughout the event.

During Exercise: Consuming carbohydrates, such as honey, during a workout helps your muscles stay nourished longer and delays fatigue, versus not using any aid or supplement. Next time you reach for a simple bottle of water, add some honey to it – it might give you that much-needed athletic boost!

Post-exercise: An optimal recovery plan is essential for any athlete. Research shows that ingesting a combination of carbohydrates and protein immediately following exercise (within 30 minutes) is ideal to refuel and decrease delayed-onset muscle soreness. Therefore, honey is a great source of carbohydrate to combine with post-workout protein supplements.  In addition to promoting muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration, carb-protein combinations sustain favorable blood sugar concentrations after training.

As Nature's Cough Suppressant

Honey has been used for centuries to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a common cold. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, many things can cause a sore throat. These include infections with viruses, such as colds and flu; sinus drainage; allergies; or cigarette smoking, among others. Sore throats caused by bacteria such as streptococci, are usually treated with antibiotics. Always check with your doctor if you have a fever, or if symptoms continue for more than a few days.

Time is the most important healer of sore throats caused by viruses, but for relief of the irritating symptoms, try a spoonful of honey to soothe and coat your throat. Take a spoonful straight, as often as you need, to relieve the irritation. In between, keep up your liquids with a steaming cup of tea sweetened with honey. For added vitamin C, try mixing in orange, grapefruit or lemon juice. 

A 2007 study by a Penn State College of Medicine research team found that honey may offer parents an effective alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. The study found that a small dose of buckwheat honey given before bedtime provided better relief of nighttime cough and sleep difficulty in children than no treatment or dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medications

As Nature's Skin Care

Manufacturers have used honey in everything from hand lotions and moisturizers to bar soaps and bubble baths. One reason they use honey is for its wholesome, all-natural image; more and more consumers are demanding cosmetics and personal care products made from natural ingredients. In the case of honey, however, image is just the beginning.

First, honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. This makes honey a natural fit in a variety of moisturizing products including cleansers, creams, shampoos and conditioners.

Look for honey in store-bought beauty products or simply add a squeeze of honey to your moisturizer, shampoo or soap at home.  For some extra pampering, try whipping up a simple beauty recipe yourself.

Honey Forms and Varietals

Forms

Comb Honey

Comb honey is honey in its original form; that is, honey inside of the honeycomb.  The beeswax comb is edible!

Cut Comb

Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.

Liquid Honey

Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into a variety of foods, it’s especially convenient for cooking and baking. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in the liquid form.

Honey Varietals

  1. The color, flavor, and even aroma of a particular variety of honey may differ depending on the nectar source of flowers visited by the honey bee. The colors may range from nearly colorless to dark brown, the flavor may vary from delectably mild to distinctively bold, and even the odor of the honey may be mildly reminiscent of the flower.
    Varietal honeys may be best compared to varietal wine in terms of annual climactic changes.  Even the same flower blooming in the same location may produce slightly different nectar from year-to-year depending upon temperature and rainfall.

  2. There are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States, each originating from a different floral source.

Did You Know...

  1. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey!

  2. The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms).  In fact, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms.  In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.

  3. Ever stop to think about what’s in a bottle of honey?  It’s really quite simple. There are no added preservatives. No added flavorings. No added coloring.

  4. When scientists begin to look for all of the elements found in this wonderful product of nature, they find a complex of naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

  5. Honey gets its start as flower nectar, which is collected by bees, naturally broken down into simple sugars and stored in honeycombs. The unique design of the honeycomb, coupled with constant fanning by the bees’ wings, causes evaporation to take place, creating the thick, sweet liquid we know as honey.

  6. The color and flavor of honey varies from hive to hive based on the type of flower nectar collected by the bees. For example, honey made from Orange Blossom nectar might be light in color, whereas honey from Avocado or Wildflowers might have a dark amber color. In the United States alone, there are more than 300 unique types of honey produced, each originating from a different floral source.

  7. Fortunately, honey bees will make more honey than their colony needs, so it is necessary for beekeepers to remove the excess. On average, a hive will produce about 80 pounds of surplus honey each year.

  8. Beekeepers  — large and small  — harvest honey by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap that bees make to seal off honey in each cell.

  9. Once the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor — a centrifuge that spins the frames, forcing honey out of the comb. The honey is spun to the sides of the extractor, where gravity pulls it to the bottom and it can be collected.

  10. After the honey is extracted, it is strained to remove any remaining pieces of wax or other particles.

  11. After straining, it’s time to bottle, label and distribute the honey to retail outlets. Whether the container is glass or plastic, if the ingredient label says pure honey and you are purchasing it from a local beekeeper, you can rest assured that nothing was added, from bee to hive to bottle.

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