Honey is a great rich golden liquid a product of honey bees and a naturally delicious alternative to white sugar. It is an excellent substitute for sugar in our drinks and food. It is also good for many medicinal uses and treating certain conditions. Its man’s oldest sweetener! It is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate.
The fascinating process of making honey begins when the bees feast on flowers, collecting the flower nectar in their mouths. This nectar then mixes with special enzymes in the bees’ saliva, an alchemical process that turns it into honey. The bees carry the honey back to the hive where they deposit it into the cells of the hive’s walls. The fluttering of their wings provides the necessary ventilation to reduce the moisture’s content making it ready for consumption.
Using Honey instead of Sugar
Honey is clearly a better sweetener option than sugar! but we usually use cane or beet sugar just because of its convenience. We know honey makes more sense, but using it place of sugar seems complicated meanily because the types of natural sugars in honey leads baked goods to brown more quickly than sugar, then honey is much sweeter than sugar, meaning you don’t need to use as much as the liquid as you would traditional sugar and finally, honey is a liquid and most recipes are designed for use with sugar. The increased liquid content skews our recipes.
Honey Vs Sugar
Most people are now recognizing the numerous health benefits of the bee-produced product and are using it in place of cane or beet sugar in a number of ways and why are people embracing the golden liquid?
Honey is definitely better for you than refined sugar. However, keep in mind that they are both calorie dense and eating large amounts of honey will still make you deposit body fat if it means you exceed your caloric maintenance level.
Honey and sugar are both natural, simple carbohydrates. Aside from taste and cost differences (which is personal preference), both give us calories with very little nutrient content and cause blood sugar to rise about the same (having similar glycemic index rankings). Common table sugar, also known as sucrose, is made up of the two sugars glucose and fructose. Honey is made up of a combination of these two sugars too, but also contains a small amount of the sugar galactose. Sugars provide 4 calories for every gram (by weight). So they provide the same number of calories if you were to weigh out equal amounts. However, if you compare one measured tablespoon of each, the honey weighs more. One tablespoon of honey is 64 calories vs. 49 calories from sugar. Because honey is made up of more fructose, which is sweeter to the taste than sucrose, you can use smaller amounts for the sweetness you are looking for.
If the only ingredient is honey, it should be a pure product. If it contains any additives, including added water, it is not.
Raw honey has many beneficial nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants… raw honey is best as typical honey processing (the kind of honey you’ll find at your grocery store) destroys many of the enzymes and antioxidants that give the benefits of raw honey.
What’s so Special about Raw Honey?
Raw honey is when you associate it with uncooked vegetables and meat whereby any form of heating is avoided so as to preserve all the natural vitamins, enzymes and other nutritional elements.
Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it also relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value and contains amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads.
Most honeys found in the supermarket are not raw honey but “commercial” honey, which has been heated and filtered so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package. When honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed. Hence, such honey is not as nutritious as raw honey.
Characterised by fine textured crystals, raw honey looks milkier and contains particles and flecks made of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, propolis, and broken bee wing fragments. Raw and unfiltered honey is relatively low in moisture content (14% to 18%) and has a high antioxidant level. It will usually granulate and crystallize to a margarine-like consistency after a month or two. Many people prefer to spread it on bread and waffles, dissolve it in hot coffee or tea, or use it for cooking and baking.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY
Health benefits of honey are awesomely a lot! Energise the body, boost immunity, promote healing of cuts and burns, remedy for sore throats, heart disease, insect bites, arthritis, hair loss, bladder infections, toothaches, colds gum disease, eczema, prostate problems, eye infections, ulcers, insomnia, etc. because honey contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it. Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees. Today honeybees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy.
Honey can be used to:
* Relieves burns
* Avoid bed wetting in children because it aids water retention
* Natural Beauty, Honey softens and moisturizes for a healthy complexion. To take advantage of honey’s skin softening potential, splash warm water on your face to open the pores. Then apply a thin honey mask, wash it off, and finish with a bit of cold water to the face. Dry skin cells plump up and wrinkles tend to smooth away. Dairy cream, whipped egg white, fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or any fruit juice may be mixed into your honey mask.
* help you sleep when served with a cup of hot milk
* clear nasal congestion, mix a dessert spoon or two of honey in basin of hot water. Bend over the basin, covering your head and the basin with a large towel and inhale the fumes.
* natural antiseptic, it heals wounds such as cuts, grazes, scrape when covered with honey. By applying honey to your wounds,cuts, you can prevent infections. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, which prevents infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. Many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, so wounds heal, swelling eases, and tissue can grow back. and bandage is an excellent healer!
* Aids Digestion, Mix honey and apple cider vinegar in equal proportion, dilute with water. This wonder drink aids digestion and eases joint inflammation.
* for sore throat – Trickle down a teaspoon of honey down the throat for inflamed raw tissues for sore throat. If you have eaten any thing pungent, spicy and feel your tongue burning after downing glasses of water. Eat a spoonful of honey to appease your taste buds
* Makes the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar, thus, reduces fatigue. Honey as a property where it can rapidly diffuses through the blood in 7 minutes when accompanied with water.
* food preservative, while baking cakes by replacing sugar with honey, they will stay fresher longer due to natural antibiotics as honey retains moisture.
* Curing coughs, mix 6 oz. of liquid honey, 2 oz. of glycerin and juice of two lemons. Mix well, store it bottle with a tight screw cap and use when required. An instant home made remedy for cough.
* during migraine attacks, sip a dessert spoon of honey dissolved in half a glass of warm water at the start of the attack. Repeat after 20 minutes if needed. Its effective as migraine is stress related.
* Asthma patients, chewing the tops of honey combs for 20 minutes a teaspoon of bee capping; five to six times a day stimulates the immune system. It’s effective for asthma patients.
Advantages of Honey.
It is non-irritating to the lining of the digestive tract.
It is easily and rapidly assimilated.
It quickly furnishes the demand for energy.
It enables athletes and others who expand energy heavily to recuperate rapidly from exertion.
It is, of all sugars, handled best by the kidneys.
It has a natural and gentle laxative effect.
It has sedative value, quieting the body.
It is easily obtainable.
It is inexpensive.
Tips for Cooking with Honey:
If your honey has crystallized, placing the container in hot water for 15 minutes will help return it to its liquid state. Do not heat honey in the microwave as this alters its taste by increasing its hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content. To prevent honey from sticking to measuring cups and spoons, use honey that is in its liquid form.
Honey makes a good replacement for sugar in most recipes. Since honey is sweeter than sugar, you need to use less, one-half to three-quarters of a cup for each cup of sugar. For each cup of sugar replaced, you should also reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by one-quarter of a cup. In addition, reduce the cooking temperature by 25ºF since honey causes foods to brown more easily.
Make sure it is raw local honey. You can find raw local honey at farmer’s markets, natural food stores and sometimes in the health food section of your grocery store.