Types of Honey + 5 Ways to Use Raw Honey at Home
It’s winter, which means our bodies seem to need extra tending to. While we often attribute our “winter blues” to our external surroundings, you can take control of your well being by paying attention to what’s happening internally, and especially by making a proactive effort to nourish your body with as many nutrients and vitamins as possible.
Just as you may have known about the many types of milk, or may have discovered since becoming a Dutch Meadows customer, there are also many types of honey. If we boil it down in simplest terms, we have raw honey and processed honey. Raw honey comes directly from the hive while processed honey is altered in some fashion before being bottled. There are different types of processing but generally the term means that the honey has been pasteurized. You’ll often find that other sources refer to the processed honey as “regular” honey but we try to avoid that term since we believe raw honey should be the real norm and what’s “regularly” used by consumers, so we’re remaining mindful of our message to be the change we want to see.
True raw honey comes straight from the hive and will have only undergone a primitive form of filtering, where small bits of debris, including pollen, beeswax, and parts of dead bees are removed from the honey. At no point should raw honey be pasteurized, or treated with mild heat. Because there is no pasteurization, raw honey tends to have a cloudy look to it but that should not raise concern. Especially since raw honey is jam packed with many nutrients that processed honey is not carrying, largely due to the pasteurization process.
While both raw honey and processed honey are made by bees who derive nectar from any plant (Manuka honey is another variety made by bees who derive nectar only from a Manuka plant), processed honey is going to contain less beneficial enzymes and nutrients and will often also contain high fructose corn syrup, which is scientifically proven to cause many health issues. Processed honey may also contain antibiotics. Raw honey, on the other hand, has all its natural vitamins, nutrients and enzymes intact, and thus has the ability to:
- Carry antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Help stabilize blood pressure and balance blood sugar levels.
- Ward off allergies.
- Boost immune function.
- Promote digestive health.
- Health skin conditions.
Many people think of putting honey in their tea but here are a few other ways to add raw honey into your diet. Here’s a few:
- Spread on bread, bagels, muffins, pancakes and waffles
- Add to smoothies or shakes for a touch of sweetness
- Make raw, no-bake honey-cacao balls: Blend together ¾ cup raw honey, 2 cups nut butter, 1/3 cup raw cacao powder and ½ cup coconut flakes; roll into balls and chill until firm. There are many no bake recipes out there. Try ‘em all!
- Add to salad dressings.
- Replace sugar in your baking recipes with equal parts honey (although heating the honey will diminish some of the nutritional benefits).
You can even use raw honey in topical ways such as to condition your hair or soothe bug bites. Please do further research and speak with an experienced raw honey user before trying anything new. We can certainly attest to the suggested culinary methods and are always here should you have any questions in that realm. In the meantime, load up, grab a spoon and enjoy!