Sticky, fragrant, sweet honey comes in many varieties – from fragrant lavender and light orange blossom, to toffee-like manuka and resinous pine. Yet, the best type of honey is that which is RAW.
Raw, cold extracted honey retains the fullest amount of enzymes, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and antibacterial properties since it has not been heated, strained, or purified.
According to The Permaculture Research Institute, a lot of the stuff you find on grocery store shelves isn’t even the type of honey you imagine coming from hives and bees! Many popular brands of honey do not contain any trace of pollen and are believed to be “watered down” with sugar solutions, glucose syrups, corn, and water.
Health Benefits of Raw Honey
According to consumer health information website PreventDisease.com, there are many benefits of raw honey that processed store honey just does not have, including:
- Anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
- Anti-carcinogenic characteristics
- Rich in vitamins and enzymes
- Superior wound healing
- Antioxidants that combat free radicals
- Decreases LDL cholesterol
- Rich in flavonoids and phytonutrients
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Boosts immunity
- Promotes digestive health
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Allergy relief
How To Find Raw Honey
The best places to find raw honey are often at local farmer’s markets, which you can track down via www.LocalHarvest.com. Natural food markets and health stores often carry raw honey on their shelves, too. When in doubt, you can order raw honey products online such as places like: Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey.
How To Cook With Raw Honey
According to Bee Raw, raw honey is a chef’s secret to “golden crusts, caramelization, moist textures and complex notes.” The website, www.beeraw.com/honey-recipes, features a number of delicious culinary treats – from Spicy Orange Blossom Honey Chicken and Wild Raspberry Honey Butter, to Buckwheat Honey BBQ Shortribs and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sage Honey Glaze.
Of course, many health properties of food get destroyed when heat is applied, so consider a few of Authentic Simplicity’s suggested uses for raw honey:
- As a spread on grain free toast
- As a topping on grain free pancakes & waffles
- As a sweetener for lukewarm tea or coffee
- As a cough syrup
- In coconut Greek-style yogurt
- In homemade frostings
- On green salad or as a fruit dips
- In coconut whipped cream
Photo Credit: © EcoPim-studio @fotolia.com