Only a queen bee might love her hive more than we would however we do have them to thank for the sweet substance they produce from the nectar of flowers.
There is no short supply of sweet foods but there is something magical about honey. It is sweeter than table sugar and its wonderfully thick, liquid texture makes it PERFECT for cakes, crackers and breads.
Honey contains trace amounts of mineral and B vitamins and overall it’s not much more nutritious than plain table sugar. Yet according to Selene Yeager in The Doctors Book® of Food Remedies “research suggest that honey can relieve constipation, speed healing, and prevent infections.” Peter Molan, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Wiakato in Hamilton, New Zeland, who has been studying the healing properties of honey for more than 15 years says, “Some people have called honey a remedy rediscovered.”
In The Kitchen
Honey and sugar can be used interchangeable in most recipes with just a few adjustments:
- Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you can substitute 1 cup of honey for 1 1/4 cups of sugar if you reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
- When using honey for baking, add a pinch of baking soda. This will neutralize honey’s acidity and help the food to rise. If the recipe contains sour cream or sour milk, you can forgo the baking soda.
- When using honey instead of sugar in jams, jellies, or candies, increase the cooking temperature just a bit to allow the extra liquid to evaporate.
Getting The Most
Shop for raw honey. The high heats used in making processed honey will disable some of the protective compounds, says Dr. Molan. To get the most antibacterial power, raw honey is your best bet.
Make it Manuka. While most raw honeys contain some active ingredients, Manuka honey contains the most. This is particularly important when you’re taking honey as a treatment for relieving ulcers, says Dr. Molan. You can often find Manuka honey in health food stores. It’s important, however, to read the label to make sure that you’re getting “active Manuka honey.” If it doesn’t contain the active compounds, the honey won’t be effective for ulcers, Dr. Molan explains.