Honey Facts and Tips

January 9, 2015

Honey is considered by many people to be a miracle food because it never spoils if stored properly. 2000-year-old jars of honey were found in Egyptian tombs and the honey tasted fresh. Since it is sweet, and bacteria loves sugar, it’s hard to believe it would keep so well. But because honey contains just a small amount of water and is highly acidic, bacteria can’t grow.

What is honey?

It is the only sweetener that does not go through a manufacturing process, but is 100% pure and natural, made and stored in honeycombs by honey bees. Its flavors and colors differ, depending on where the honeycombs are located and which flowers the bees pollinated. Climate can also affect its taste and color.

Using it instead of sugar

It can be substituted for sugar in some recipes, but it may take a little experimenting to get the desired sweetness. Because it contains more fructose, it is 25% sweeter than table sugar, so it’s a good idea to start by substituting up to half of the sugar called for in a recipe. Then after a little experimenting, usually all the sugar could be replaced.

Storing

It should be stored in the pantry with its lid screwed on tight so it doesn’t take in any moisture; if it does it can cause the honey to ferment. It should never be stored in the refrigerator. If crystals form it doesn’t affect the quality of the honey, and they are easily removed by placing the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve. Or it could be heated in a microwave on high about two minutes, stirring several times. It should never be allowed to boil.

Health

• It has antioxidants so it doesn’t contain fat and cholesterol.
• It enhances endurance and lessens muscle fatigue .
• It has been used to treat wounds, burns and cuts.
• It is known to bring relief to sore throats, hangovers and sleeplessness.

Tips

To easily remove it from a measuring spoon or cup, rub the container with margarine or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Do not put it into really hot water, as it takes away some of its flavor and destroys its healthy enzymes.

One 12-ounce jar equals one standard measuring cup.

This popular sweetener gives baked goods a golden color, and adds a special flavor and moistness. It’s a lot easier to use recipes that have honey, rather than trying to use it in place of sugar.

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