The Buzz About This Nectar From The Gods
I bet you did know that honey is one of Mother Nature’s multi-taskers. Not only is honey a natural sweetener that makes a great sugar substitute, but this ancient nectar doubles as a skin salve, cough syrup and allergy fighter.
Not all honey is created equal. Look for jars labelled raw or unpasteurized. The pasteurizing process can destroy some of the medicinal properties. Buying local is important too, especially for people fighting allergies. Locally sourced honey means that the bee-gathered pollen is local too, which can help reduce histamines in allergy sufferers.
Research shows that because honey is packed with phytonutrients, it may help boost immunity and fight a cough or flu. Because micro-organisms can’t grow in honeys low moisture levels, its great for combatting bacteria. Place it directly on a burn or cut, or try a healing mask for irritated skin.
Honey has no protein or fat and its about 60 calories per tablespoon. It rates 55 on the glycemic index vs. sugar at 100. Because of the way the glucose and fructose are balanced in honey, it causes a slower rise in blood sugar and makes a great substitute for refined sugar in recipes. Many bakers like to use it as a substitute for sugar in their baking. Generally 3/4 cup of honey replaces 1 cup of sugar.
Many tea-tottlers like to use honey instead of sugar in our tea. I like to add a little to my greek yogurt. It adds just that little bit of sweetness that complements the taste of the yogurt.
Did You Know
Honey comes from the nectar of various flowers that bees collect in their mouths.
Through the natural evaporation process, the moisture levels in honey fall to 17% which is one of the reasons why honey never goes bad even without refrigeration.
Bees are a vital part of the global food chain over 1/3 of the food we eat is related to honey bee pollination.
With the bee populations declining around the world, honey has become a hot commodity.
The types of crops or flowers in the area the pollen is collected will influence the colour of the honey.
Canada is primarily known for Dutch white clover honey. Our national honey season runs from June to mid-August.