What image comes to mind when you think of honey on toast? Is it the adorable honey bear marketed nationwide to be used in tea, in oatmeal, and with cornbread? Although this is my symbol for honey, there are multiple kinds of honey produced worldwide.
While it has many uses, honey primarily operates as the healthy alternative to table sugar (a key ingredient in our favorite desserts). But that's not all: It's an ingredient, a garnish, and even a remedy.
Liquid Gold Is The Norm.
Liquid honey is the most commonly produced style, and is instantly recognized in the States. This nectar is bottled free of crystals, and pours easily. Thus, it's optimal for cooking needs. Flavor progresses in relation to color, ranging from light and delicate to dark and thick like molasses; the difference comes down to the source of pollen the bees choose—acacia, clover, and lavender being some common examples. Honey is labeled either as generic or as one of these floral varietals.
Whipped Means Thick.
Although not technically whipped, this term refers to a liquid honey that has undergone a controlled crystallization process. Aromatically and nutritionally, liquid honeys are equal. The spreadable, whipped version is simply the neater alternative.
The Raw Deal.
Raw honey surpasses processed honey’s taste and smell by a mile. Ironically, there is no legal definition for raw honey, but the benefits warrant your investigation. Rawness is the state that gives honey its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for terms like “unpasteurized” or “unheated” as assurance that you’re getting the real deal. And if you see little pieces of honeycomb or specks of pollen inside, you’re on the right track….it’s all edible!
Cooking With Gold.
I like drizzling honey in my hot beverages and on oatmeal, as well as using it as a glaze resulting in beautifully golden pork loins. If you’d like to try your hand at substituting honey for sugar in a baked dish, the Cook’s Thesaurus explanation is clear and concise.
There are three caveats when incorporating honey into your everyday life. First, don’t feed honey to children under 12 months, as their immune system may have a tough time standing up to a natural bacteria. Likewise, pregnant women should steer clear of this natural sweetener. And remember that a dish with honey in it is not vegan! Furthermore, don’t fret if your liquid honey turns solid; honey can naturally crystallize and is perfectly safe to use in the “solid form.” If liquid is preferred, submerging the bottle into warm water or popping it into the microwave will bring it back to its original form.
Honey As A Healer.
What better to soothe a sore throat than honey? This sweetie also helps wounds heal infection-free (even better than generic medications), and can help boost your immune system. Try some local honey if you suffer from allergies—teaspoon a day will prepare you for allergy season.