Best Ways to Use Raw Honey
Do you like honey? Not everyone does but that’s okay. Even if you are not a fan of eating raw honey, you can still find some interesting uses for honey in your everyday life.
Honey is a natural sweetener that almost everyone has enjoyed at some time or other. But, how much to we really know about this magical substance? Sure, honey tastes great straight off the spoon. However, that’s only the beginning. Let’s explore the many ways that honey is beneficial to all of us.
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There are so many ways to use raw honey, it’s hard to know where to begin. Therefore, let’s start at the beginning with a quick look at what honey really is and where it comes from.
What is Honey?
Honey is a sweet liquid substance that is made by honey bees mainly from the nectar of plants. It is a natural sugar composed of mainly hexose sugars, including glucose and fructose. Though honey may contain bits of pollen, pollen is not used to make honey.
How Bees Make Honey
Honey bees are the only insects that make food that is directly used for human consumption. The full story about How Bees Make Honey is quite remarkable.
Collected plant nectar is transformed into ripe honey by enzyme action and water evaporation. Watery nectar would spoil quickly, honey is the perfect type of food for bees to store for Winter.
Unfortunately, due to the mystery of the honey making process, people sometimes get the wrong idea about what honey really is.
Thousands of worker bees collect plant nectar from flowers and take it back to the hive. Honey bees have a special stomach that allows them to transport nectar.
This has lead to some misconceptions about raw honey and the rumor that Honey is Bee Vomit? Check the details before you jump to any conclusions. Honey is certainly not bee vomit.
As you learn more about honey and how these remarkable insects make it, it is easy to miss some fun key facts. Check your knowledge and see if there are any Honey Facts- Secrets You Never Knew.
How Raw Honey is Used
Honey plays a larger role in our everyday lives than you may think. It is used by the baking industry in many cereals, cookies and snacks but that’s not all.
Honey appears as an ingredient:
- in special forms (liquid, creamed, comb)
- as monofloral varieties with special flavor
- in many food recipes
- for natural health products such as salves
- in many skin and beauty products
Uses for Honey In Food
Okay, raise your hand if you have ever had a chunk of honey fresh from the hive! Or maybe, you like to enjoy big a big spoon of honey right from the jar?
Yes, eating liquid honey is the most common way it is used…but there is more so much more!
In addition to producing honey, bees also make beeswax. This is shaped into wax sheets of honeycomb. These sheets of comb are used to raise brood and store food for Winter.
Not only do we enjoy eating liquid honey, you can enjoy it right in the wax. Honeycomb can be eaten too! Yes, Honeycomb is Edible and creates a tasty food experience.
Even though comb is just beeswax, it gives raw honey a different taste. If you are ready for the total honey experience, I encourage you to buy a chunk of fresh honeycomb.
Enjoy it straight or in yummy combinations with other foods How to Eat Honeycomb – Yummy Ideas.
Making Creamed Honey
Most jars of real raw honey crystallize over time. Some folks do not prefer gritty honey so don’t fear – you can decrystallize honey without a problem.
However, crystallized honey does not have to be a bad thing. Many people enjoy a smooth spreadable honey. Also called, whipped, spun or creamed honey, you can make some for yourself – How to Make Creamed Honey .
Use Raw Honey to Create Infused Honey
While regular honey offers a wide variety of flavors, we can go beyond the work of the bees. Many honey lovers like to create special infusions using raw honey, various herbs and spices.
A local favorite is Hot Honey. If you like honey with a kick – give this one a try. Make Your Own Jalapeno Honey.
Special Raw Honeys Impart Flavor for Food
Basic honey is made from a mixture of many kinds of plant nectar. We call this a “poly-floral” honey. The term Wildflower Honey is often applied to honey that contains the nectar from thousands of different flowers.
Beyond basic honey, in some regions, you may find specialty honey made from one predominate nectar source. One popular example is honey made from our regional sourwood trees. If you have not tried it – you should. – Sourwood Honey.
Other types of monofloral honey include: Orange Blossom, Tupelo, Blackberry, Clover and other. Because these varieties of honey have special flavor, they are often used a sweeteners for coffee or to create topping for waffles or pancakes.
Recipes Using Raw Honey
Of course, we all know that honey is great straight from the jar – or even right out of the hive. However, honey is also a great addition to many popular recipes and can be used to create some great healthy snacks.
When cooking with honey, you can often substitute honey for some of the sugar in your recipe.
Because honey is sweeter than sugar, you may end up using less of it. Some recipes will advise that you reduce the amount of liquid used when substituting honey for granular sugar – so be sure to follow the directions.
From main dishes to the best tasting cookies, candies and more, you can use raw honey in many dishes. If you want to experience the bold taste that honey can add to the menu, check out these Easy Honey Recipes.
Don’t confine that jar of sweetness to food recipes only, it has a lot more to offer. This bee produced product has a story to tell and something to share with everyone.
Using Raw Honey for Health
Honey has long been used in the treatment of illness. In fact, it is one of the earliest natural remedies.
If you feel that next cold or cough coming on, you may already have something in the pantry to help ease the discomfort. This nice honey and cinnamon drink won’t cure you but it will your cold symptoms.
I enjoy making my own cough drops. They provide some symptom relief and I can pronounce every ingredient in the recipe. If you like the idea of using natural products – try these – Homemade Honey Cough Drops.
Another wise use of raw honey during cold season is to pair it with lemon. When a really nasty sore throat arrives, I keep this recipe on hand. You just need a few simple ingredients – Infusing Honey with Lemon and Ginger.
Honey is a common ingredient in many natural remedies used by people for hundreds of years. Scientists may not confirm these effectiveness but don’t tell that to the folks who swear by them.
Raw Honey is Used for Skin Care
It is common to think of raw honey as food alone. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
Honey has many attributes that aid in having healthy skin. It is antibacterial, antifungal and is a humectant that seals in moisture.
Raw honey is a common ingredient in salves and creams. These are often used for treatment of minor burns or scrapes. You can make your own honey salve using just 4 ingredients! – Honey Burn Salve with Aloe
Honey is a popular ingredient in many skin care regimes too! Enjoy the gentle exfoliation and moisturizing properties of this sea salt and honey scrub . – DIY Himalayan Pink Sea Salt with Honey Body Scrub
Soap making is a very traditional craft that has been enjoy for thousands of years. It can be challenging in the beginning, try these easy soap recipes using goat milk and raw honey. – Easy Goat Milk & Honey Soap Without Lye
How to Buy Real Honey
When you shop for honey, do you know what you are buying? Food marketing is a tricky business. Natural and raw may not mean what you think it does. The more you know the better decisions you can make – What is Real Pure Honey!
What does the color of raw honey tell you? Is it better to buy light honey or dark – does it really matter? In fact, honey color tells you a lot about the nectar source used to make that particular jar. However, it does not mean that one honey is better than the other. – The Color of Honey
How to Store Honey
Pure raw honey does not go bad – it never spoils. However, honey does change form over time . It may crystallize or “turn to sugar” forming a solid mass of honey in the jar.
Storing Honey to Prevent Crystallization
You buy a jar of pretty “pourable” liquid honey but it may not stay that way. If you want to enjoy honey in its liquid form – proper storage can make the job easier. Here are some ideas to consider when choose the best location. – How to Store Raw Honey
Biting down on a sweet chunk of honeycomb is a pleasant experience. After your snack, it’s time to safely store the leftovers for later – Best Tips for How to Store Honeycomb.
While not the best option in most situations, there is a rather unusual way to protect the integrity of your honey. For some people, freezing honey is a viable option as it prevents crystallization and does not cause the honey to darken in color.
Dealing With Crystallized Honey
When honey turns into a gritty solid mess, people often think it is spoiled. In fact, your pure honey has simply crystallized. Don’t worry it will be okay. Why Honey Crystallizes.
You can return the honey to its liquid state safely. There are several ways to liquefy honey. However, some methods damage the natural ingredients in pure honey. How to Decrystallize Honey Without Damaging It.
If you are a beekeeper or someone who practices bulk food storage, you may experience crystallized honey in small jars.
When you have several jars to reliquify, you may consider building a warming cabinet. – Decrystallize Honey With A Warming Cabinet
Final Thoughts on Using Raw Honey
Wow that’s a lot of information about honey and this is just the beginning. Raw honey can be used in so many ways in the kitchen and beyond.
If you would like to try some pure honey from my farm – I have some available seasonally in my Etsy Store.