Honey is a healthy natural sweetener that is made by bees. It is enjoyed everyday by millions of people who want to add some natural goodness to their diet. But, not everyone loves the taste -that’s ok. The great news is that anyone can find some great ways to use raw honey in their diet or lifestyle. It is so much more than a sweet treat for the table.
Interesting Uses for Honey
Do you think you already know a lot about this product from the beehive? Sure, most people believe it tastes great straight off the spoon. It is a popular food item for humans. However, that’s only the beginning.
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Honey plays a larger role in our everyday lives than you may think. In addition to being used in the food industry it appears in various forms and products.
- available in several forms (liquid, comb, creamed)
- monofloral varieties with special flavor
- natural health products such as salves
- skin and beauty products
- healing agent in wound care
There are so many ways to use this special product, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, let’s start at the beginning with a quick look at what it really is and where it comes from.
The Definition of Honey
According to the dictionary, “Honey is a sweet liquid substance that is made by bees mainly from the nectar of plants.” It is made from nectar but it is a sugar. This is why we can use it to sweeten drinks like homemade lemonade.
The main sugars are mainly hexose sugars, including glucose and fructose. It also contains small bits of pollen. Even though, pollen is not used to make honey.
Due to the mystery of this process, people sometimes get the wrong idea about what it really is. Worker bees bring nectar back to the hive, in a special organ -called a “honey stomach” or crop.
This has lead to some misconceptions and the rumor that honey is bee vomit? It is certainly not bee vomit as no real digestion takes place in the crop.
Types of Honey
When it comes straight from the hive with unheated with no additives or intense filtration, it is considered raw. Regular honey can be raw but that is not always the case. You must read the label but all can be used in comparable ways.
In addition, because bees use the nectar from millions of different flowers, there are many different types of honey. Each with its unique color and flavors. There is a lot of variety in this bee product.
Edible in Several Forms
- creamed or whipped
Okay, raise your hand if you have ever had a chunk of comb fresh from the hive! Or maybe, you like to enjoy a big spoon right from the jar? Yes, consumption in liquid form is the most common use for honey but not the only one.
One of the most natural ways to enjoy this treat from bees is to eat it right in the comb! Yes, honeycomb is edible and creates a tasty food experience.
Biting down on a sweet chunk of comb is a pleasant experience. But, it can be combined with other foods for a special treat. There are many interesting ways to enjoy eating honeycomb.
But, not everyone prefers the gritty texture. No fear, you can decrystallize it back to its liquid state easily. If you don’t care for the crystallized version, be sure to store your honey properly to slow this natural process. Did you know you can even freeze honey for long term storage!
For others, they enjoy a smooth spreadable crystallized product. Also called, whipped, spun or creamed, you can even make your own creamed honey to enjoy.
Raw Honey in Cooking
It is a popular ingredient in cooking. Many recipes allow you to substitute it for some of the sugar. Because it is sweeter than sugar, you may end up using less of it.
From main dishes to the best tasting cookies, candies and more, you can find a lot of ways to use raw honey in the kitchen.
Create Infused Honey
You can create many special infusions using various herbs and spices. A local favorite is Hot Honey made using Jalapeno pepper. You can adjust the “heat” in the recipe by the number of peppers used. But, don’t blame me if you burn your tongue!
Healthy Ways to Use Honey
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 tasty honey and cinnamon for cough relief won’t cure you but it will ease your symptoms. Another good idea during cold season is to pair it with lemon. When a really nasty sore throat arrives, try this – infuse honey with lemon and ginger.
I also enjoy making my own cough drops. They provide some symptom relief and I can pronounce every ingredient in the recipe.
These natural remedies have been 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.
Some different ways honey is used for relief is making “tonics” or special liquid drinks. Such as : Fire Cider or mixing it with Apple Cider Vinegar.
Natural Honey Products for Skin
A common ingredient in salves and creams, it is often used for treatment of minor burns or scrapes. You can make your own burn salve with Aloe to have on hand for minor burns.
Looking for a nice homemade bath product? Enjoy the gentle exfoliation and moisturizing properties of this sea salt scrub . Make a batch of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Honey Body Scrub to use and share.
It can even be added to soap making recipes. This one allows you to make honey soap without lye.
Want more ideas for bath products that use honey? You may be surprised to learn that this popular bath item can contain it : Honey Bath Bombs. In this tutorial, I used honey powder that I made – but you can use a small amount of liquid as well.
Wow-that’s a lot of information about uses for honey and this is just the beginning. This gift from the bees can be used in so many ways in the kitchen and beyond.
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.