Ah honey, sweet, sweet honey. In the summer the flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing. Honey is the original way to satisfy a sweet tooth. We all know it’s much healthier than sugar, but are you using honey as often as you could be? Do you know the difference between the jars on the shelf at the store?
The best way to buy honey is to purchase local (organic preferably), raw honey at your local farm stands, farmers markets, and small health food stores. Raw honey is unprocessed so the antioxidant and phytonutrient content is high, not destroyed by processing. This makes it extremely healthy when used in moderation. Honey helps prevent cancer and heart disease, reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders, and is also used as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent.
There are over eighteen types of honey. Honey that doesn’t state the type of flower on the label (ie: aster honey, dandelion honey, etc) comes from bees that forage many different flower types. They are sometimes labeled wildflower honey and will taste different than an individual flower honey.
There are many ways to incorporate honey into your diet. You can take a teaspoon straight if your throat is dry or you need some extra energy. You can add honey along with lemon to warm water and sip when you’re feeling under the weather or just want a healthy drink. Other ways include:
- Drizzle over oatmeal.
- Add to tea as a healthy sweetener, rather than sugar.
- Make homemade honey mustard for dipping.
- Glaze carrots with honey.
- Make a honey cake.
- Make a homemade honey butter.
- Bake honey-glazed ham or chicken wings.
- Add a little honey to organic apple cider vinegar to drink.
- Make a sauce of honey, garlic, and soy sauce to glaze a steak.
Honey can also be incorporated into your beauty routine in the form of facial and hair masks.
Purchasing honey in those cute jars at the grocery store isn’t as pure or beneficial as you think. Buy from a reputable source, store in a cool dark cabinet, and enjoy the sweet taste of honey!
Note and important safety precaution: NEVER feed honey to infants under one-year-old.