From time immemorial, honey has been used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Indeed, the sweet and savory taste of honey makes it quite great for the tongue and mouth. It is therefore sensible to get to know more about the honey as a food product. It is also somewhat tricky to source the best raw honey among what is available in the market.
We are going to do just that. In our two-part discussions that follow, we are going to examine all that relates to the subject matter of honey.
The ABC’s Of Honey
In this first part of the discussion, we are going to examine the basic facts and information that revolve around the issue of honey. We shall trace its formation, nutritional information, types, and indeed, the various benefits of this wonderful natural food.
What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey is the natural and unadulterated honey which is derived straight from nature. It refers to the natural honey that is harvested from the beehive and which is yet to undergo the processing stage. This kind of honey contains all the nutrients, medicinal compounds, and enzymes which are secreted by the bees. It is great for combating a couple of issues and problems.
Raw Honey vs. Processed Honey
Raw honey as has been stated is the pure honey which is derived from the beehive. It is not processed, is thicker in viscosity and also contains all the natural nutrients of the honey. The processed honey, on the other hand, is less viscous, contains fewer nutrients, and is hence less nutritious.
Best Raw Honey 2019
In this second part of the discussion, we are going to look into the top honey products that are available for sale in the market today. We shall offer brief and up to date explanations with the aim of offering you the appropriate guidance necessary to make a good purchasing decision.
#1: Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey
As the name suggests, this honey is derived wholly from natural ingredients. Moreover, it is also Kosher-certified, which means it certifies the basic requirements of the Jewish dietary law. You will hence find this honey a good one to try if all you care about is safety and wellbeing.
This honey comes in the form of a 32-ounce dispenser. The container allows for the smooth and seamless release of the honey. It is generally rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, and iron. What’s more? The honey is contained in a liquefied form which allows for smooth dispensing.
With this honey, it is possible for you to achieve a number of roles and benefits. These include decorating bakeries, baking, dousing, slathering, pouring, and spreading. You will find it relevant for baked goods, smoothies, acai bowls, and herbal teas.
#2: Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey
As has already been explained above, the Manuka honey possesses great healing properties. It is endemic to the Australia and New Zealand regions due to the existence of the Manuka shrub there only. For this reason, you have this honey for your consideration if you are mainly concerned with healing a wound.
Unlike most other kinds of similar honey, this one lacks any genetically-modified compounds in it. On the contrary, it is safer and suited for human consumption. Care has been taken to see to it that the flowers from which the nectar are derived are of one type only.
Other than this, the honey is not pasteurized at all. It hence preserves its full nutritional composition. The honey is also enclosed in a jar which is completely devoid of any harmful BPA harmful material. Your safety is hence well handled and taken care of.
Apart from the healing of wounds, this honey can also discharge a couple of other equally relevant roles. You may use it for food at home, enhance your favorite foods, and incorporate it in the baking ingredients of many bakeries and confectionaries.
#3: Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey
For your health and safety, you definitely want to lay your hand on best raw honey that is also pure and completely nutritious. Look to no other honey than this one. By reason of lacking any pollutants, herbicides, and pesticides, this honey is completely safe for your use and overall health.
It is not processed and is therefore fully equipped with all the vital nutrients. This stems from the fact that its production is controlled in such a manner as not to use any harsh chemicals which might compromise its taste or overall quality.
At the same time, utmost care has been taken to see to it that the honey certifies all the standards that are stipulated by the various organic certification agencies like Producer Certification, GMO-Free Land Certification, Beehives Certification, and Processor Certification.
#4: Ambrosia Pure Raw Honey by Ambrosia Honey Co, 23 Ounce Bottles (Pack of 4)
Ambrosia is 100% pure US honey. Great care has been taken to sieve out any impurities and air bubbles which might compromise its quality and nutritional composition. This honey is generally raw and gently strained. At the same time, it is also gluten-free, Kosher-certified and has a mild yet distinctive flavor.
To produce this honey, the manufacturer partners with various local beekeepers. They supply only that raw honey which meets some stringent terms and conditions. In the processing stage, utmost care and attention are given to the quality and the various standards.
Only low temperatures are used to melt the honey into the liquefied form. During the processing stage, the honey is also strained simply in order to keep the enzymes, pollens, minerals, and vitamins which make up its makeup intact. The chances of over filtering or destroying these nutritional compositions are hence eliminated. Did we also say that its taste is also great?
#5: Wholesome Organic Raw Unfiltered Honey
Looking for honey to spread on your bread, scones, hot dogs and confectionaries? This is the one to consider leveraging. Its texture is very dilute and hence readily spreadable on whichever surface of food available. Its composition is also free of pesticide, not to mention lack of any genetically-modified organisms.
Throughout the production of the honey, no antibiotics or pesticides are used. Given that the harmful chemical compositions of these substances may normally find their ways in the final product, you may count on this honey to be safe and secure enough for consumption.
This honey is never heated at all above the typical hive temperatures. Because of this, it retains its natural ingredient’s which includes vital vitamin nutrients. These meticulous production techniques and strategies have earned this honey a couple of awards and certifications. Examples of these are the kosher certification, fair trade certification Grade A designation and so on.
#6: Comvita Certified UMF 10+ (MGO 263+) Manuka Honey
Made of New Zealand’s number one Manuka honey manufacturer, this is honey is great for your official occasions. During its preparation and design, the honey is deliberately intended to meet various certification requirements. As a matter of fact, the honey is kosher-safe, non-GMO, raw and of the premium grade.
This honey fits a variety of uses and purposes. It supports your immune and digestive health, soothes sore throats and coughs, not to mention that it is also quite delicious to take in raw. Due to its possession of plenty of energy, this is the honey which you have to take in before a workout.
Apart from taking it singlehandedly, this honey is also a great addition to your yogurt, toast, tea, and smoothie. When appropriately applied, this honey may act as a superfood and greatly enhance the nutritional value and composition of your food.
Lastly, this honey has been independently tested by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. It is found to be healthy, nutritious and great by reason of containing excellent antibacterial properties. You may hence rely on it to tackle your burns and wounds without the hassles of getting to the clinic.
#7: Steens Manuka Honey UMF 15 (MGO 514) 8.8 Ounce Jar
Steens Manuka is a pure, raw, and unpasteurized honey. It is similarly from New Zealand NZ. This honey stands apart from the others. Unlike other kinds of honey, this one comes in the form of a whole comb rather than droplets of combs. This feat is achieved chiefly by reason of employing unique extraction methods.
On the whole, the honey is a wholesome meal indeed. All the nutrients are preserved in it. In particular, the comb pollen has been left intact and with it, the retention and surety of better functional nutrition. Its production and processing are also especially undertaking for the sake of retaining its nutritional values.
For instance, it is 100% certified for quality, potency, and purity. This is carried out by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. It is also of the Mono-floral type which means it is pure and that its contents and nutritional composition are not adulterated in any shape or form.
Owing to its excellent formulation and ingredient mix, this hone fits a variety of uses and roles. You may use it to heal wounds, remedy a variety of conditions, expedited the healing of wounds, and enhancing the digestive means and processes of the body.
#8: YS Eco Bee Farms RAW HONEY
For general purposes, you want some honey that is multipurpose and comprehensive in scope. Try leveraging the awesome benefits of this particular honey. As you are about to see, this honey embodies all the vital characteristics of the standard ideal kind of honey.
In summary, it is unfiltered, raw, unpasteurized and Kosher-friendly. The jar into which it is contained is also clear, transparent and easier to engage as need be. Only eco-friendly ingredients have been used to make up the honey. It stands apart from the other kinds of honey in that it draws in ingredients from diverse regions and geographical locations.
With this container, it is possible to serve 65 people at a time. Each droplet of the honey comprises some 60 strong calories. This is not to mention that the honey is on the whole very nutritious and indeed great for your taking and nourishment.
#9: Wildflower Raw Honey by Beekeeper’s Naturals
All factors considered, this Wildflower is sustainably-sourced enzymatic honey. It is free of glutens, paleo and 100% pure. Its taste is however less sweet than the varietal kinds of honey. Besides this, the honey also contains some light floral undertones.
Due to this excellent taste, the honey is mainly great for the superfoods such as smoothies, granola, and healthy baking. What’s more? It is possible also for you to alter the taste and flavor of this honey. For instance, you might have to incorporate some mint if you are especially sensitive to the palates.
It is taken through some ultra-processing stages. The honey is hence very pure and devoid of any undesirable impurities. On the same note, the honey is also free of any additives and preservatives which might similarly adulterate it to compromise its final texture and taste in your mouth.
#10: Stakich RAW HONEY
Lastly comes the Stakich raw honey. In a nutshell, this honey is 100% pure, unheated, unprocessed and kosher-friendly. Its processing and final handling are deliberately designed to minimize any losses of nutrients. In light of this, the honey is as the raw harvested one from the beehive as possible.
This outstanding processing technique has earned the honey the Grade A designation in the United States. It is subsequently pure and possesses a longer shelf-life. You will not find any amino acids, color, undesirable flavors, rough texture, minerals, and propolis in this honey.
Owing to its possession of great energy, this honey is an excellent source of natural energy. It is on the whole very sustaining, highly nutritious and self-satisfying. This is the honey to take and incorporate as part of your fitness regime if you are constantly on the gym workout.
How Honey Is Formed
Bees collect the nectar from the various flowers which they interact with, in the course of their flight. They do so in order to offer some support to their muscles during flight. After collecting this nectar, they regurgitate it, digest and thereafter store it as honey. It is this kind of food that is subsequently collected and harvested.
Main Sources Of Honey
There are two main sources of honey. These are explained below:
This refers to the natural sources of honey. You will find this honey out in the wild whenever there are some colonies of bees. When bees collect the nectar, they deposit the same in some parts of a forest which they will have converted into a colony.
An apiary is a ‘plantation’ of beehives. This refers to an area that has been carved out and dedicated exclusively to the production of honey. They are a more reliable source of honey as their production may be managed and controlled as need be. This is not to mention also that they are by far the most popular source of honey.
How To Collect Honey
To collect the honey, follow these eight key steps:
Step I: Put on the right protective gears
You should start off by using the right protective gears. These include the overalls, face mask, and gloves. You do not want to leave yourself exposed to the bees and their deadly stings, do you? While at it, collect all the tools-of-trade you will need for the job. Some of these are a source of smoke/fire and a collecting bucket.
Step II: Smoke the Hive
Now move on to smoke the hive. The aim of so doing is to scare away all the bees. It is only after smoking them out that you will be able to collect your honey. Be advised to use the smoke sparingly. Excessive amounts might damage the flavor of the honey. After smoking the hive, remove the bees from the super by brushing them off gently.
Step III: Remove the supers
You should proceed to remove the supers gently. The supers are extra storage chambers which are fitted into the hives. They contain the bulk of the honey in a typical hive set up. Remove them one at a time to be able to minimize the wastage of the honey.
Step IV: Remove the honey from the comb
After removing the supers from the hives, go ahead to remove the honey from the comb. Use the centrifuges and the extractors to do this job. Use them to uncap the wax which is found on the combs. Put a collecting bucket nearby to catch any excess runoff and minimize the loss of the honey.
Step V: Remove excess wax
Remove the extra wax from the honeycomb. This is to leave behind only the pure and natural honey. To do so, strain the honey through some cheesecloth. At this stage also, place the collecting bucket underneath the comb to catch off any honey that might escape in the process.
Step VI: Store the honey for some time
Now pour all the honey into a bucket. Once you have collected all the honey, keep it in a settling tank for around 2-3 days to give the air bubbles time to pop. At this stage, all the foreign objects in the honey will also rise to the top. This definitely will make it easier to eliminate later.
Step VII: Skim off the foam
After the end of the three-day period, some foam will form at the top of the honey. Skim it off as it is not really necessary for the final outcomes. You may use this foam to attract other bees later. So, do not throw it away.
Step VIII: Store the honey permanently
You may now proceed to store the honey permanently. The manner in which this is done depends on the way it is to be processed later. You should hence consult the buyer of your honey for the right advice as regards the way forward.
Classification of Honey
Honey may be classified in different ways and means. The following are some of the main ways of doing so:
Crystallized vs. Non-crystallized
Crystallized honey is so called as they are in the form of crystals rather than solutions. It is also called the candied or granulated honey. It is not possible to take this honey in the crystal form. For it to be taken, it has to be restored to the original solution form typically through warming.
This is a kind of honey which has been treated to disinfect it of the various microorganisms which have the potential to compromise its nutritional value and balance. This process makes the honey safer for consumption and also delays the onset of crystallization. On the flip side, it affects the appearance of the honey and also reduces enzymatic activity.
As has already been mentioned and explained above, the raw honey is the hone in its natural form. This is the fresh honey which has just been extracted from the source and is due for processing. It is by far the most nutritious honey as it contains all the nutrients possible.
Strained honey is that kind of honey which has been passed through some mesh materials in order to eliminate the particulate materials. These include pieces of wax, propolis, and other defects. While at it, care is taken not to interfere with the enzymes, minerals, and pollen contents of the honey.
As the name suggests, filtered honey is that which has been sieved of all the air bubbles, pollen grains, and fine particles. The typically filtered honey is very clear and will not crystallize that fast. It is this kind of honey that is used for commercial purposes. That is because of its comparatively longer shelf life.
This refers to the honey which has been processed through the ultra-sonication technique. This is a non-thermal alternative to ordinary processing techniques. It is pretty effective at the destruction of yeast by sterilizing them and in so doing, hindering them from growing again. This kind of honey does not ferment even when exposed to favorable conditions.
Also called whipped honey, this kind of honey is one which has been processed to control the attendant crystallization. The honey possesses copious amounts of small crystals. By reason of this, the formation of larger crystals is suppressed as is the norm with the unprocessed honey. It has some smooth texture and spreadable consistency.
Dried honey is that which has its moisture content extracted in order to leave behind the completely solid and non-sticky granules. This kind of honey is longer lasting and may hence be used in extremely remote locations. It mainly finds applicability in baking, other kinds of food preparations and relief food rations.
Comb honey is that which is still present in the wax comb of the hive. This is the one that is harvested and later processed for commercial use and purposes. Given its extremely raw form, you are advised against consuming this honey as you might contract some health problems in the process.
Honey may be processed and used for commercial purposes. For it to play this role, it has to be brought in large quantities. This is the role that the chunk honey endeavors to play. It is basically the honey raw materials which are shipped in the form of wide mouth containers.
A honey decoction is a concentrated liquor which is made by heating or boiling honey. It takes the appearance of molasses and is mostly used for drinking. Some ingredients such as citrus may be added to alter the appearance and the nutritional value of the honey as a whole.
Nutritional Composition Of Honey
The exact nutritional composition of honey varies greatly from one kind to another. These notwithstanding, all kinds of honey contain some standard and universal ingredients. Listed and explained below are some of the ‘must have’ ingredients alongside their proportion of abundance in a typical honey type:
• Water (17.2%)
• Fructose (38.4%)
• Glucose (30.3%)
• Sucrose (1.3%)
• Other disaccharides (7.3%)
• Higher sugars (1.4%)
• Gluconic acid (0.57%)
• Other acids (0.43%)
• Lactones (0.14%)
• Minerals (0.17%)
• Nitrogen (0.04%)
Different Types Of Honey
Apart from their classifications, honey also exists in different types. These types are mostly informed by the different sources of nectars from where they are derived as well as the exact geographical regions wherein they are produced:
This kind of honey is widely available in New Zealand and Australia. It is produced by the bees which feed on the Manuka flowers that are endemic to these two countries. The honey possesses great antibacterial properties which when applied on wounds stimulates the generation of new blood cells. It is hence great for the healing of wounds.
You will find the buckwheat quite abundant in Canada and some parts of the United States of America. This kind of honey contains great antioxidant capabilities. As such, it is pretty great at destroying the multi-drug resistant pathogens such as the Staphylococcus aureus. You have it for taking if you constantly experience oxidative stress.
As the name suggests, medicinal honey is that which possesses medicinal properties. As such, it might be used to mitigate and deal with a couple of therapeutic needs. Indeed, all kinds of honey have some medicinal properties. As such, we can also safely conclude that all honey can play this role. It is necessary though to match the exact kind of honey with the prevailing medical condition.
Sourwood is a rare plant species which is restricted only to the North American region. The honey that is extracted from it is extremely sweet and savory. It is purely used for sweetening purposes. Its appearance ranges from light amber to pure white while its flavor is extremely deep and spicy.
This is the kind of honey you will find in abundance in the African Savanna. It has a pale appearance and is very dilute in viscosity. The honey is produced by the bees which feed on the acacia plants which are largely abundant in the stated geographical region. This is not to mention that it contains plenty of essential oils and fatty amino acids.
Comb honey is that which has not yet been processed. This is the honey its raw form immediately before being extracted from the hive. It contains all the vital ingredients and is thus the healthies kind of honey available. Owing to health and hygiene risks though, you are advised against consuming this kind of honey.
Orange Blossom Honey
The Orange blossom honey, as the name suggests, is derived from the flowers of the ordinary orange trees. The honey that is so produced is highly nutritious and possesses the same flavors and scent as the citrus flowers. It is mainly used as a sweetener and for producing the awesome fragrances.
Honeycomb honey is the one you will find in the beehive. It is in the raw form and is thus unfiltered. Whereas it possesses great nutritional value, it is nonetheless impure and hence unhygienic. You have to process it further if you ever hope to make the best of it.
This is the kind of honey that you will come across in Hawaii’s Kiawe Forest. As the designation implies, this honey is white in color. Other than this, it is also very pure, highly viscous, and rich in medicinal values. The honey is also spreadable enough to be able to easily apply to the various bakeries.
Whipped honey is that whose crystals are whipped up. This simply means they are broken into smaller pieces which makes the texture creamier and smoother. The honey is highly spreadable and is also easier to digest. It is this honey which is spread atop the bread and other bakeries.
Must Read: How To Keep Honey From Crystallizing
Health Benefits And Uses Of Raw Honey
We now want to discuss the various health benefits and uses of raw honey:
Soothes sore throats
Do you experience colds every now and then? Take some honey. Indeed, honey has been used time and again to combat this particular problem. It works best when added to the lemon and prepared as hot tea. It generally works as a suppressant of the cold by preventing it from manifesting fully.
Aids in Digestion
Honey can aid in digestion mainly by treating a couple of digestion problems. These include such issues as diarrhea and the dreaded Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium. This stems from its potent prebiotic capabilities. Your intake of honey thus prevents you from contracting the stomach ulcers and other stomach issues.
Contains Higher Amounts of Phytonutrient
Phytonutrients are substances that are largely abundant in honey. This substance keeps your body from harms like shielding you from direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The ones in the honey also contain some antioxidant properties which greatly boost your immune system and combats cancer. Given the natural nature of honey, you are sure to stay safe and healthy all the time.
Speeds up the Healing of Wounds
Some kinds of honey like the Manuka honey is great at the healing of wounds. This is because it has been established to be great at killing germs and regenerating the tissues. Also, it reduces infections which also goes a long way in preventing worse problems from arising. Do not use this honey to treat serious wounds though as it is not sterilized or inspected.
Possesses Great Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties
Generally speaking, honey contains great antibacterial and antifungal properties. As such, honey has the ability to kill unwanted fungus and bacteria. Perhaps the most significant of these honey is the Manuka honey. It contains huge quantities of hydrogen peroxide which possesses great antiseptic properties. Use the honey to tackle your open wounds and infections.
Honey is a great sweetener. As a matter of fact, this is the main reason why it is used. Unlike the ordinary table sugar, honey it contains fewer calories and is hence less likely to inflict on you the risks of diabetes. It may be consumed raw or may be spread on bread and other bakeries. Even though it is safer, you should consume it in moderation to avoid some common problems.
Deals with Children’s Coughs
If you have a small child in your custody, you have to make use of honey. That is because honey has great cough suppressant properties. Honey suppresses coughs, reduces the accompanying symptoms, and combats other respiratory infections. It also improves the quality of your child’s sleep and lets them sleep longer without occasional wake ups.
Promotes Heart Health
Honey is also good for your heart. This is mainly due to the fact that it lowers the Triglycerides levels of your bloodstream considerably. This in turn also manages your insulin levels and with it, the risks of Type II diabetes. What’s more? It is way cheaper than the standard medicinal drugs!
Expedites Weight Loss
Honey has been proven to improve your blood’s cholesterol levels. When taken regularly and in sufficient amounts, the honey can reduce the buildup of fat in your arteries. This, in turn, reduces the likelihood of obesity and excess weight issues. At the same time, it also enables a smooth flow of blood throughout the body.
Safer for Diabetics
Persons who are diabetic are generally advised to stay away from sugary foods. Honey is, however, safer for the diabetics. This is because its sugar contents are lower and are hence less likely to aggravate the side effects of diabetes. It is hence a great possession for use by the diabetic persons.
Limitations Of Honey
Even though honey has great applicability and numerous other benefits, it is not without its fair share of downsides. The following are some conditions which might either arise or get worsened by the intake of honey:
When taken in excess amounts, honey can increase the cholesterol levels of your body. A study observed that the daily intake of 75 grams of honey for around 14 days or so may raise the proportion of the low-density lipoprotein. This might be quite toxic if left to go on unabated.
Some studies have found that adding too much amount of honey in the body may trigger diarrhea in some persons. That is because some people are allergic to certain ingredients of honey and will hence more likely to generate those undesired outcomes.
Generally speaking, infants who are aged 12 months or less are not supposed to be administered some honey. This is due to the high risk of botulism poisoning. The condition is generally adverse and may lead to premature deaths if not mitigated in time.
Some kinds of honey have some toxic composition. In particular, those that are derived from the nectars of Rhododendrons are particularly poisonous. When taken in the body, this honey can cause heart problems, chest pains, low blood pressure, and a host of other serious heart problems.
Given that honey is chiefly derived from pollen, it follows that those with pollen allergies are at risk of allergic reactions and conditions. If you are such kind of a person, you are highly advised to stay away from the honey. You do not want to sustain unnecessary health problems.
You have indeed received the insight necessary to make the right honey purchasing decision. It is not enough for you to receive such a head knowledge in and of itself. Indeed, it is only wise of you to go ahead and make some use of the honey as well.
Now that you have known all you might have to concern the honey, why not go ahead to find the best honey for your use? Simply skim the list above to be able to make the right and informed decision.
Given the numerous health benefits of honey, you do not want to delay leveraging the attendant benefits. This is the time to act! It also pays to refer your friends and peers to this information for them to acquire this knowledge as well.