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Honey Connoisseur

Learning to use alternatives to sugar when cooking or baking makes things difficult as most recipes don’t compensate for their use.  As someone who uses only honey as a sweetener, I’m slowly becoming quite the honey connoisseur.  I’ve been teaching Bre my honey loving habits and thought perhaps my readers might be interested in some of it as well.

Health benefits of honey:

  • Contains a wide array of vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
  • Contains minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
  • As well as several different amino acids.
  • Known antioxidant compounds in honey are chrysin, pinobanksin, vitamin C, catalase and pinocembrin.

How many different flavors of honey are there?

This would be a very long list as it depends on what flowers are near the hives but below is a list of the most common flavors; each has a distinctive taste and can has various effects in cooking application.

  • Clover
  • Wildflower
  • Orange blossom
  • Buckwheat
  • Sage
  • Cactus
  • Bamboo
  • Goldenrod
  • Lotus
  • Avocado
  • Eucalyptus
  • And many more depending on the region of the country you are in!

Does harvesting honey harm bees?

A beekeeper’s top priority is maintaining the life of their bees, so they take great care in the harvesting of honey in order to not harm the bees.  Click here for a PDF on beekeeping and how its done!

Isn’t taking honey depleting the hive’s food?

Again, no.  The average bee hive makes a surplus of 80 pounds of honey annually.  No beekeeper wants to starve their hive and there is no need to suppliment their food with something else if a hive is in full honey production.  The only time beekeepers generally suppliment a hive’s food source is when the hive is just starting and they aren’t producing enough to feed the colony.

How to Bake with Honey:

  • For each cup of honey used, reduce any liquid by 1/4 cup; add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Click here to Help Save the HoneyBee! (Even if you don’t eat honey, bees are essential to farming in the United States!)

Honey History:

The first known usage of honey was in Ancient Egypt around 40 B.C. It was a common food in most households and often was used as a form of payment or tribute.  Ancient Greeks used honey as balm for sores and cuts. They also believed it to be the food of the gods and used it as an offering to the spirits.

Other uses for honey:

  • Honey contains antioxidants, a wide array of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
  • Heals wounds, burns, cataracts, skin ulcers, sores and scrapes.
  • Provides a protective barrier for wounds.
  • Kills bacteria and germs.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • It’s amino acids and vitamin C speed the growth of healthy tissue.
  • It’s a natural source of energy. It enlivens the body, makes muscles stronger, refreshes nerves, cheers up, Sharpens the mind, and gives sound sleep.
  • Helps reduce chest disorders, coughs, heavy breathing, and insomnia.
  • Soothes sore throats.