A Guide to Loving Honey
Honey. Even the word is sweet. It brings so many positive images to mind. For thousands of years, honey has used both to sweeten things and to heal people. While there are a lot of misconceptions about the stuff, there is no denying that it’s an amazing substance.
Here’s a quick guide to the properties that make honey amazing. Remember to spare a little gratitude for the hard-working bees that produce it!
Honey vs sugar
A lot has been made about how much better honey is than sugar. It’s often seen as the “healthy alternative”. As amazing as honey is, you should take care to lower your expectations. Honey, after all, is mostly sugar. The main difference between the two is that honey has more fructose than glucose. Fructose tastes sweeter (it’s the type of sugar you find in fruits), meaning you can use less honey to get the effect of regular sugar. This can help you reduce your calorie intake!
Another thing to consider is that regular sugar is quite heavily processed. The vitamins and mineral found in the original canes and beets aren’t present in the final, granulated product. Honey goes through less processing and retains its nutrients. Of all the sweeteners out there, honey is also the one that has the smallest environmental footprint.
Mānuka honey: the magic substance?
Honey actually contains antibacterial properties. This is one of the reasons that many people choose to put it over wounds or other skin issues. It helps keep things moist and its viscosity helps form a strong barrier against infection. Even though honey has been used medicinally for millennia, we didn’t really know how it worked. That is, until quite recently. We now have a plethora of research about honey’s antibacterial qualities.
However, if you’ve ever read anything about honey, then you’ve probably heard about mānuka honey. Mānuka honey is produced from the nectar of a mānuka tree, which is a tree native to New Zealand and Australia. Many people make it out to be a product with near-magical powers to heal and provide nutrition. Scientific studies show that the effects are often exaggerated, but it has a rich and unique flavor that has to be tried. Its existence also highlights how many different types of honey there are out there! You can find a wide variety of honey online here.
The secret ingredient
One of the best things about honey is that it can be used to make pretty much any recipe taste better. The first thing you’ll think of is dessert. Honey can be smothered over things cakes and grilled peaches to create amazing treats, but honey can also be used in savory dishes, too. Salads, soups and sandwiches can all be given an extra kick with a little honey!
It can also be used in drinks – hot chocolate tastes incredible with some added honey, and that hot water and lemon juice mixture definitely goes down easier with a teaspoon of the golden nectar! It has also been used in medicines as a healthier way to sweeten bitter tastes.