I have never been a fan of honey. You know, that little honey bear plastic bottle? My kids loved it on toast, but I never cared for the taste. I preferred maple syrup and used it as my sweet syrup goto.
A few weeks ago, when the kids came to collect the grand dog, they gave me a gift, and it was a raw honey collection from a gift shop. The honey is from a company called the Savannah Bee Company.
My gift consisted of three jars of honey: two whipped honey and a raw honey called Tupelo. I also received a piece of raw honeycomb and a wood spoon and top for the jars.
The company’s flagship is Tupelo honey.
Honey vs. Raw Honey
What is honey? Honey is a sweet viscous substance created by the honey bee. The worker bee goes out and collects pollen from a flower. He then chews it to make it pliable to fit in the little cells in the cones in the hive. The saliva from the bees contains enzymes that work on the pollen and make it honey. The liquid is quite thin when first produced, but the waters liquid evaporates over time.
The raw honey contains great vitamins (mostly B and C), lots of antioxidants, a few minerals, pollen, and a bunch of other things, including bacteria that likely help us digest the honey. The taste of raw honey varies, determined by the flowers used and the nectar collected. Colors range from light gold to dark brown. The lighter the color, the lighter the flavor.
The honey I got in the past from the grocery store was processed honey NOT raw. In preparing the honey is heated and filtered; pasteurized. The cleaning process removed most of the pollen, antioxidants, enzymes from the honey and dramatically reduced its beneficial properties.
Liquid vs. Whipped Honey
At Savannah, they offer both a raw and whipped honey in a variety of flavors from different blossoms. Whipping honey is a process using little seed crystals of sugar and beating it into the raw honey to control hard crystallization. It makes a smooth buttery-like product. Spices and flavor as added as desired. I got cinnamon and chocolate. I can’t believe the great taste of both on toast! I loved chocolate, so that is my favorite!!
Savanna Bee makes a special reserve honey. I was shocked to find a bottle of this dark sourwood tree honey costs close to $ 100.00. First, the company must obtain the plant from open sources. The flowers are so rare and access so limited, the beekeeper must pay a small fortune for the raw material. He is also taking a chance that his bees make a good crop…who knew the complicated story of raw honey.
Health Benefits & Other Uses
People have been touting the health benefits of hone since ancient Egyptian times. I never liked the taste, so I basically never paid much attention to the health benefits. However, now that I seem to have developed some immune issues, I am more aware and more willing to use honey: raw honey anyway.
Honey has been said to have natural vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes with antiviral and antimicrobial benefit. There are not many scientific studies exposing this attribute: experts for honey, primarily New Zealand honey used to heal a wound. I will still try using this natural honey and see if it helps at all. It won’t be harmful.
Another way I have used maple syrup in the past was in cooking, but I always used maple syrup I just might switch to raw honey.
Honey cooked with pears in butter, honey glazes for fish and chicken, honey in salad dressing, the possibilities re endless. Savannah Bee has a host of recipes on the website.
The kids got me a recipe card from the store recommending using the honeycomb as part of a cheeseboard…now that’s pretty interesting.
There is medical proof that honey has helped in skin healing. So no wonder it is used in many skin products, soaps, and balms. Again Savannah also has a list of cosmetic applications fo your skin. I am sure other raw bee companies provide similar products.
Honey- final thoughts
Do any of you guys like honey? I am more and more aware of the importance of bees and support the bee industry. But, I would not keep a hive and would not want to be a beekeeper. I’m petrified of bees!!!
But I wholeheartedly support those men and women who work so hard to keep the bee. Without the bee, the planet dies!