Honey is one of the most prized natural foods on the planet and for good reason. Until quite recently in human history, honey was among the very sweetest foods available. Today, we have many different sweeteners available but honey is still highly valued. Its unique history, chemical properties, medicinal qualities, and health promoting character has made it an important part of everyone’s pantry. If you do not have any at home, these seven facts will give you a reason to change that.
1. Honey is more than just sugar
Though honey does possess a large percentage of fructose and glucose, it is actually full of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and other important nutrients. Though honey would have been a treat to people living long ago, it actually would have provided some very important nutritional benefits at the same time.
2. Honey has some antibacterial properties
The ancient healing traditions of Egypt, Rome, India, and Asia all regarded honey as a medicinal substance. It could be used to cover wounds; combined with the right herbs, honey may have helped speed the healing process. It was also an important ingredient in preparations like cough syrup throughout the Middle Ages.
3. Fermented honey creates a delicious drink
Mead is a fermented beverage with a beautiful gold color. Also called honey wine, mead is made with the help of yeast, just like beer is. The honey is prepared and then the right proportions of water and yeast are added. The fermentation process creates the alcohol. Once the fermentation is completed, the mead is bottled, stored, and served. Though many commercial varieties of mead are available, homebrew enthusiasts love making their own.
4. Honey can be used in beauty treatments
The natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey, as well as its nutrient density, make it a perfect ingredient for beauty treatments. Many people who make their own health and beauty products rely on honey. Here are some simple beauty treatments and skin remedies you can prepare at home:
Place a little raw honey on scar tissue before going to bed and then cover it with a bandage. In the morning, remove the bandage and rinse the honey away. The healing process will be accelerated.
A face mask made with brown sugar, honey, olive oil, and a little lemon juice makes a perfect sugar scrub. This is a luscious alternative to harsh exfoliating scrubs that irritate sensitive skin.
Skip the chemical-laden hair removal creams and mix a little honey and lemon juice together instead. This at-home waxing treatment lifts and removes hair as effectively as any store bought waxing kit.
Smooth a little liquid honey onto any sunburned skin. Honey’s soothing hydration will soon have your skin feeling much better.
5. Honey never goes bad
Unlike virtually every other food in our pantries, honey will remain fresh and ready to eat. Even though honey is rich in sugar, it strongly resists bacterial growth. This is because honey, unlike other substances rich in natural sugars, has a relatively high level of acidity. This results in a low pH level, which is inhospitable to the growth of micro-organisms, including fungus and bacteria. However, the right storage is required to keep at its freshest and tastiest. Always store honey away from sources of heat and direct sunlight.
6. Sugary honey is still good to eat
Some varieties tend to crystallize more than others. If you discover that your jar of honey has lots of sugary crystals in it, simply heat a pot of water and allow the container to rest in the hot water. Be sure to remove the pot from the heat source and do not let the honey container remain in the hot water after the crystals have dissolved.
7. Honey can be used in many different recipes
Though most people use honey to sweeten their tea, it can be used in all kinds of other beverages and foods. Add a little sweetness to a morning smoothie, or drizzle some on pancakes or waffles instead of syrup. Use a few tablespoons in your next batch of homemade barbecue sauce, or use it to add body to a salad dressing made with olive oil and vinegar.
Honey is a fantastic food that is full of nutrients and culinary possibilities. Start enjoying your honey all over again.