In my kitchen, honey is a staple. I always have at least two to three jars on hand, ensuring I can add its complex, layered flavors (which vary greatly depending on which bees made it and which flowers they were sippin’ on) to just about anything I’m whipping up. From stirring a spoonful into hot tea to making a sweet, spicy glaze for chicken thighs, the uses for my favorite of Mother Nature’s gifts are almost endless. And like anything of value, I treat this liquid gold with the appropriate respect. That means always getting the good stuff. Translation: I only buy raw, local honey. If you don’t know the difference, here’s a primer:
- The honey you see in the grocery store may not even be 100-percent honey; some of it includes other ingredients. Plus, it has often been pasteurized, which destroys honey’s health-benefitting goodies including vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3. On the flipside, un-pasturized, un-processed raw honey retains all of its inherent minerals, vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Raw honey has been proven to aid in digestion, strengthen your immune system, balance blood sugar and soothe a wicked sore throat, too.
- Raw honey is great, but local raw honey is even better since it contains pollen that is specific to where you live — and breathe. Some folks claim this helps lessen the effects of seasonal allergies. Plus, you’re supporting area farms and beekeepers, so it’s a win-win. And to sum up the reasons to buy raw, local honey: It tastes so much better!
Find a few delish and easy ways to use honey in your kitchen here.