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Bee Products Explained

By Honey Blog No Comments

Bees are extraordinary creatures who play a vital role in our ecosystem. They not only pollinate our flowers and crops but create some of the most incredible products in the world.

Throughout history, humans have been fascinated by the bees and the products they create. Honey, Bee Pollen, Propolis, Royal Jelly and Beeswax have been used for centuries for their unique properties.

In recent years the popularity of bee products has grown, driven by the demand for natural products and healthier living.

Bees create a variety of products used in the hive as food, for the production of honey, and in the construction and maintenance of the hive.

There are six main products the bees create: Honey, Beeswax, Bee Pollen, Bee Bread, Propolis and Royal Jelly.

In this blog, we will explore the fascinating process of how bees make each product and the many benefits and uses of each on.

What is Beeswax 

Beeswax is a natural substance that the bees produce to construct their honeycomb. It is created by female worker bees who are responsible for the construction and maintenance of the hive.

How do bees make beeswax?

Beeswax is produced in special glands on the underside of the bee’s abdomen. The bees consume honey and the glands convert the sugar in the honey into wax.

The wax is then secreted through scales on the bee’s abdomen forming thin sheets or flakes.

The worker bees then take these flakes and manipulate them with their mandibles to create a malleable material suitable for comb construction.

Beeswax uses

Beeswax is used in cosmetics like lip balms, moisturisers and lotions due to its moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties. Beeswax candles are also popular due to their natural sweet scent and clear burn. Beeswax is also used as a natural polish and protectant for furniture makers.

What is Bee Pollen 

Bee Pollen is a natural superfood produced by honey bees when they gather pollen from different types of plants and flowers.

How do bees make bee pollen?

Bees create bee pollen by collecting pollen grains from flowers. The pollen grains stick to the bees’s body hair due to electrostatic forces and an oil secreted by glands on their legs.

Once the bee brings the pollen back to the hive, it is taken by other worker bees who pack and store it in the cells of the honeycomb. During the process, the bees add nectar, enzymes and other secretions to the pollen which transforms it into bee pollen.

Bee Pollen Uses 

Bee pollen is used not only as food but in skincare products for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can be found in face creams, toners and masks as a natural way to soothe irritated inflamed skin.

Bee Pollen can also be used in cooking to add flavour and nutrition to dishes. It has a sweet and floral taste depending on the specific flowers that it was gathered from.

Bee Pollen has many intake options, can be sprinkled over cereals, yogurt, oatmeal, salads or added to homemade granola and smoothies.

Good to know

Bee pollen may cause reactions in allergic or more sensitive people. It is not suitable for people with pollen or bee sting allergies, pregnant or lactating women should avoid pollen products, as they may cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, shortness of breath or anaphylaxis. If you are in doubt always consult with a specialist before using bee pollen.

What is Bee Bread 

Bees create bee bread to store excess pollen that they collect during the foraging process. Bee bread is fermented bee pollen.

Bee Bread is a natural probiotic as it contains live microorganisms, including lactic, acid bacteria and yeast. These microorganisms develop during the fermentation process, which occurs when bees store and mix pollen with their salivary enzymes and nectar in their hive.

How do bees make bee bread? 

Bees make bee bread by mixing already collected bee pollen with enzymes from their salivary glands and adding flower nectar or honey to the mixture. 

The bees then pack this mixture into cells in the brood combs, where it is allowed to ferment for a few days. 

The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of the nutrients, making it easier for the bees to digest and ensures shelf stability in case of periods without pollen supplies in the hive. 

This process leads to the transformation of bee pollen into a highly nutritious food called bee bread. 

Bee Bread Uses 

Bee Bread is mostly consumed as a dietary supplement, given its highly nutritious and medicinal properties.

Bee Bread could be consumed raw, dried, powdered, or encapsulated. It is available also as a mixture of Honeydew Honey with Bee Bread. 

Bee Bread is a natural probiotic as it contains live microorganisms, including lactic, acid bacteria and yeast. These microorganisms develop during the fermentation process, which occurs when bees store and mix pollen with their salivary enzymes and nectar in their hive. So Bee Bread contains prebiotic fibres and beneficial bacteria that support the balance of good bacteria in the digestive system. 

What is Propolis 

Propolis is a natural resinous substance produced by bees.

The word propolis is derived from the two Greek words – Pro, which means “defence”, and Polis “, community”

How do bees make propolis? 

Bees make propolis by collecting resins from trees and plants. They then mix these resins with bee saliva, wax and other substances to create a sticky, glue-like substance.

Bees use propolis as a sealant and disinfecting material. Propolis is used to seal holes and cracks, smooth the inner surface of the hive, retain internal temperature, and prevent weathering. Due to its antimicrobial activity propolis also contributes to an aseptic internal environment.

Propolis Uses 

Propolis is a versatile natural substance used for various health and wellness purposes.

Propolis is believed to boost the immune system, relieve sore throat and help heal wounds and skin infections. Propolis has also been studied for its potential treatment of respiratory infections and dental problems.

Propolis can be found on the market in different forms for external or internal use, including capsules, creams, sprays and lozenges. Another popular product made with propolis is Propolis Tincture. It is made by dissolving propolis in 70% ethyl alcohol and straining the precipitate.

Propolis contains around 50% resins, 30% waxes, 10% essential oils, 5% pollen and 5% various organic compounds. Propolis also contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids.

Good to know

While propolis is considered generally safe to use, it may cause an allergic reaction. Always consult with a specialist before using it.

What is Royal Jelly 

Royal Jelly is an essential component of the bee hive ecosystem and plays a vital role in the health and development of the colony.

How do bees make royal jelly?

Royal jelly is produced by the youngest worker bees in the hive. They develop a special gland in their head called “hypopharynx” which secretes a milky white substance that forms the base of royal jelly. The worker bees then collect nectar and pollen from the flowers and mix it with the white secretes to create a highly nutritious substance Royal Jelly.

Royal Jelly is used for several purposes in the bee hive. Firstly, it is the food source for the queen bee which only eats royal jelly during her entire life. The high concentration of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients in the jelly helps to sustain the queen bee’s long lifespan and her ability to reproduce.

Secondly, Royal Jelly is fed to larvae in the hive for the first few days to stimulate their growth and development into worker bees.

Royal Jelly Uses 

Royal Jelly is widely used in the cosmetics and wellness industry. It is often found in skincare and hair care products due to its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Royal Jelly is also available as a dietary supplement and is believed to provide various health benefits such as improving immunity, reducing inflammation and enhancing brain function. It is available in various forms such as capsules, tablets and liquid extracts.

However, the most natural way to use Royal jelly is to mix it with bee honey. Honey with Royal Jelly combines the unique properties of both, it is easier for consumption and the honey naturally preserves all the ingredients in royal jelly even kept at room temperature. Alternatively on its own Royal Jelly must be refrigerated at no more than 6 C° (42.8°F).

Honey 

Honey is a sweet food substance produced by honey bees. The taste and exact composition of honey depend on the flowers and plants the bees collect nectar from.

How do bees make honey? 

Bees make honey through a complex process involving flower nectar collection, digestion and evaporation.

First step is the bees collecting flower nectar using their long tongues and storing it in their honey stomach.

In the honey stomach, the nectar is mixed with bee enzymes.

Once the worker bee returns to the hive it passes the nectar to another bee, called a house bee. The house bee adds more enzymes to the nectar and stores it in the honeycomb cell.

Next, the house bees fan using their wing over the honeycomb cells to create a warm and dry environment that removes the excess water from the nectar ultimately turning it into a thick syrupy consistency of honey.

Lastly, once the honey reaches a low enough moisture content, the house bees cap the cells with beeswax to protect the honey from moisture and insects.   

Raw Honey Uses

Raw honey has a wide range of uses from medicinal purposes to use in cooking and baking. It can be used as a natural sweetener for tea, coffee, smoothies, salad dressing, marinades and baked goods.

Raw honey is also an effective pre-workout supplement as it can provide a quick boost of energy without causing a sugar crash, making it a popular choice for active people and fitness enthusiasts.

Raw honey’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an effective natural remedy for sore throats, coughs and flu-like symptoms.

Additionally, raw honey can be used as a face mask to rejuvenate the skin and a hair mask to strengthen and nourish your hair.

Overall, raw honey is a natural ingredient that has been used for medicinal, culinary and cosmetic purposes for centuries. Its numerous properties and benefits make it a versatile ingredient superior to refined sugar and many other synthetic products. It is no wonder that raw honey has become increasingly popular as it offers a healthier alternative while providing a delicious taste with natural sweetness.

In conclusion, bee products are some of the most potent natural substances that can provide incredible health benefits. From the sweet and delicious honey to the royal jelly, propolis, bee pollen, bee bread and beeswax, these products are loaded with essential nutrients, that can support overall health and wellbeing.

Ricotta Stuffed Dates with Honey and Pistachios

By Honey Recipes No Comments

If you like sweet and savoury combinations, then this amazing ricotta stuffed dates with honey and pistachios is a must-try. Sweet and chewy dates are stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese, topped with a drizzle of raw honey and sprinkle of crunchy pistachios. This little bites of goodness are perfect for any occasion, from family gathering to afternoon snacks.

Each bite offers a delectable explosion of flavours and textures. Stuffing each date with a mixture of ricotta cheese and honey, and then topping each one with a sprinkle of crushed pistachios. Once you’ve had your first taste of these Ricotta Stuffed Dates with Honey and Pistachios, you’ll be making them again and again for any occasion.

Ingredients:

  • 20 Medjool dates, pitted 
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese 
  • 2 tbsp honey, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

All these ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store. You can adjust the amount of honey to suit your tastes.

This recipe makes 20 stuffed dates, but you can easily adjust the quantity if you need more or less. With these simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of tasty and wholesome treats in no time.

How to make:

Step 1. Start by preparing the dates. Using a small knife, make an incision on the side of each date and remove the pit. Be careful not to cut through the date.

Step 2 Take a spoonful of the ricotta and stuff it into the cavity of each date. Fill each date completely.

Step 3. Once all dates are filled, place them on a platter or a serving dish and sprinkle over the chopped pistachios.

Step 4. Drizzle your favourite honey over the top of the stuffed dates.

Overall, making Ricotta Stuffed Dates with Honey and Pistachios is very simple and easy. These delicious treats are filled with creamy ricotta cheese and topped with sweet honey and crunchy pistachios.

The result is a delightful, healthy, and balanced snack that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you want to impress your guests or enjoy a tasty treat yourself, this dish is sure to please. Give it a try and experience the perfect combination of flavours and textures!

Honey Colours and Flavours

By Honey Blog No Comments

With all the different colours, flavours and benefits honey is a really fascinating food which has been used for centuries. It is a product of nature used for a healthy sweetener, delicious recipes and natural remedies.

However, many people think that honey is all the same, just sweet and golden coloured. In fact, there are more than 300 different types of honey in the world, each with its unique colour and flavour. Let’s start with the colour. 

How does honey get its colour

The colour and flavour of natural honey varies depending on the types of flowers and plants that bees collect nectar from. 

The nectar contains a wide range of pigments, which give the honey its colour. For example, some light-coloured honey comes from Acacia and Linden. While some darker honey comes from plants like Thistle.

When an area has many different types of flowers blooming at one time, you can expect your honey harvest to have a wide variety of colour shades, hence the millions of colour possibilities provided by the flowers and plants.

These varieties are mostly named Multi-floral or Wildflower. The colour could be in thousands of shades with a predominant lighter or darker colour depending on the predominant flower nectar. 

The time of year and location also impact the colour of honey. Hence the different flowers and plants blooming in different periods and regions. 

How does honey get its taste 

Honey gets its taste from the unique combination of sugars, acids and other compounds found in the nectar of the flowers and plants the bees collect it from. Once the bees collect the nectar they stored it within their stomach adding enzymes and passing it from one worker bee to another until the water diminishes, at which point the flower nectar becomes honey. Then the worker bees store it in the cells of the honeycomb. This creates a natural sweet taste in the honey.

Honey Pfund Scale

The colour of honey is graded on a scale called the Pfund scale. It was developed by Dr Herman Pfund, who was also known as “the father of American beekeeping.”

This grading system is still used today because it provides an accurate way to measure the light-absorbing component of a honey’s colour known as carotenoid.

The Pfund scale uses two measurements: hue and intensity.

Hue refers to the colour itself (blue, yellow, green), while intensity refers to how dark or bright that colour looks to us.

For example, we would describe blueberry honey as having blue hues with relatively dark intensities, while buckwheat would be described as having greenish hues with lighter intensities than blueberry.

Colours in Pfund Scale

The Pfund scale has seven colour categories:

  1. Water white
  2. Extra white
  3. White
  4. Extra light amber
  5. Light amber
  6. Amber
  7.  Dark amber

The darker the honey is, the higher on the scale it goes towards dark amber. The lighter the colour the lower the colour category.

A general rule of thumb is, the lighter the colour the milder the taste. As we proceed towards darker tones, the honey taste is stronger and more complex.

Few studies suggest that darker-coloured honey has a higher concentration of antioxidants and micro-nutrients, while lighter has a lower concentration.

So, if you want to swap sugar for honey in recipes, we recommend going for lighter-coloured honey to avoid overpowering your dish. And for the darker-coloured honey, just like you would do with a high-shelf rum, we recommend having them on its own, to fully experience and enjoy their complex and rich taste.

Conclusion

The pigments present in the nectar of flowers and plants result in the wide array of colours seen in natural honey. From light Acacia Honey to dark Thistle and Honeydew, each type of honey has its own unique and beautiful colour. Moreover, the combination of natural sugars, acids and other compounds in the flower nectar gives each honey a distinct taste and aroma and benefits. With all this variety in nature, honey is not only a sweet treat for our taste buds, but a natural elixir.

Almond Butter and Honey Protein Balls

By Honey Recipes

With Almond butter, raw honey and oats as a healthy trio, you can make a snack that is not only easy to make, very delicious, but also an excellent source of protein.

Almond butter brings a creamy and nutty richness to each bite. Packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamin almond butter adds a delicate flavour and provides a satisfying texture to these protein balls. Raw honey adds its natural sweetness and antioxidants properties. All completing with a mighty, fiber rich oats.

Preparing these Almond Butter and Honey protein balls is as easy as can be.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 150g almond butter
  • 3tbsp raw honey

How to make

  1. Simply combine the ingredients, mixing well.
  2.  Roll the mixture into small balls .
  3. Lay the balls in a suitable trey and leave it in the fridge for 30-40 min. 

Discover the joy creating a healthy and delicious snack only using three natural and unprocessed ingredients. Pure simplicity and nourishment with each bite of Almond Butter and Honey Protein Balls. You have a protein packed snack ready to grab whenever you need a quick boost of energy or satisfying snack.

How to Use Raw Honey

By Honey Blog

Raw honey is nature’s golden elixir. Its rich taste, nutritional benefits and versatility make it an essential ingredient in every pantry. From a delicious and natural sweetener for your tea or coffee and culinary masterpieces to natural remedies and beauty rituals, raw honey offers endless possibilities. Let’s explore some ideas on how to use raw honey and maximise its benefits.

Honey as a natural sweetener for tea and coffee

Honey is the perfect choice to enjoy a healthier version of your favourite hot beverage. Start by adding a small amount of honey and adjust the sweetness to your liking.

It is important to note that when using raw honey in a hot drink, the heat can destroy some of its beneficial qualities. So it is recommended to add honey to your drink after it has cooled down slightly.

Raw honey is considered better alternative to sugar as it contains more nutrients and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health.

If you are looking for a natural sweetener to add some sweetness to your tea or coffee, Acacia Honey is a great option. The medium sweetness and unobtrusive taste can complement your hot drink without being too overpowering. 

Honey in Baking

Sweeten your baking with Nature’s Golden Treasure: Raw Honey.

When it comes to baking, using the right sweetener can make all the difference. While sugar has long been the go-to choice, raw honey is a healthier and more flavourful option.

Raw honey is a natural sweetener that can be used in many baking recipes. Raw Honey not only adds sweetness but also imparts a unique flavour to your baked goods. Imagine making a cake with a gentle touch of lavender (using Lavender honey). Transforming your usual recipes into a culinary delight

You can also add honey to pancakes or waffle batter.

When using raw honey in baking is important to adjust the amount and consider reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe, as raw honey adds moisture to the batter.

With a little experiment and some creativity, you can create delicious and unique baked treats using raw honey as a healthier alternative to sugar.

Raw honey is a healthier option for baking as it provides natural sweetness and extra moisture to your recipes, without the empty calories of refined sugar.

Salad Dressings and Marinades 

Raw honey might be a great option if you are looking for a touch of sweetness and depth of flavour in your marinades and dressings. Raw honey’s complex flavour and texture can take your favourite recipes to new heights.

Some ideas to get you going would be:

Honey Dressing – Whisk raw honey with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and your favourite herbs to create mouthwatering dressings.

Honey Marinate – Marinate chicken, seafood, or vegetables in a blend of raw honey, garlic, and soya sauce for an unforgettable experience.

Teriyaki sauce with raw honey – Try traditional Japanese Teriyaki sauce with raw honey instead of sugar. Providing natural sweetness and healthier options. Teriyaki sauce is perfect for grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.

Raw honey can enhance the flavours of your marinades and dressings while providing additional health benefits compared to processed sugar.

Boost Your Breakfast with Raw Honey

One of the best and easiest ways to boost your breakfast is with raw honey. Raw honey provides energy and is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Here are some ideas on how to boost your breakfast with raw honey.

Oatmeal – A bowl of oatmeal is a healthy and filling breakfast option. Add a spoonful of raw honey on top to make your breakfast superb.

Morning Smoothie – Smoothies are a great way to get a lot of nutrients in one delicious glass. Adding a spoon of raw honey to your smoothies can help balance out any bitterness from other ingredients, and of course, it adds its benefits to the nutritional profile of your morning smoothie.

The classic spread on toast. A slice of whole-grain toast spread with raw honey makes a delicious and satisfying breakfast. Our creamed honey would be an excellent option for this.

Boost Your Yogurt – Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics. The creamy and pure taste of yoghurt pairs perfectly with raw honey’s rich and sweet flavour. It is a quick and easy breakfast or snack that keeps you energised. This combination provides an excellent source of protein, probiotics and antioxidants, making it a healthy and delicious choice.

Raw honey is a natural energy booster that is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious addition to your morning meal.

Snack Ideas with Raw Honey

Honey Nut Energy Bars – Combine nuts, dates, and a touch of honey to create energy-packed, bite-sized treats.

Honey Glazed Almonds – Roast almonds with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of sea salt for a delightful sweet, and salty treat.

Honey and Avocado Toast – Spread ripe avocado on whole grain toast and top it off with a drizzle of raw honey.

Honey-infused fruit salad – Combine various seasonal fruits and drizzle with raw honey for a refreshing and naturally sweet snack.

Honey-Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates – Fill pitted dates with cream cheese and a drizzle of honey for a delightful combination of flavours and textures.

Honey-infused Chia Pudding – Mix chia seeds, almonds, milk and honey, then let it sit overnight for a nutritious snack.

Raw honey in snacks can provide a natural source of energy. And satisfy your sweet cravings without the artificial additives found in many processed snacks.

Honey Infused Drinks 

Replace shop-bought iced teas, lemonades and fizzy drinks with homemade lemonade, iced tea or honey water.

Iced tea with honey is the perfect refreshment on a warm summer day. It cools you down and provides a sweet and refreshing taste. You can use different teas like black tea, green tea, or herbal tea to make your own favourite iced tea.

Honey lemonade is yet another delicious healthy drink. Lemon is a natural detoxifier, and honey has antioxidants too. Mixing them makes a perfect healthier option for lemonade. You can check some recipes here: How to Use Honey in the Summer

Simple honey water – Another delicious and healthy drink. Mixing honey in water provides an instant energy boost and hydrates the body. It is an excellent drink at any time or during physical exercise.

Raw honey in drinks not only adds sweetness but also brings added nutrients and antioxidants to your beverage.

Natural Honey Remedies 

Beyond its culinary uses, raw honey has been used for centuries as a natural remedy. Raw honey was used in 500 among 900 Egyptian remedies.

Homemade cough syrup is always on hand, especially during the cold months – mix raw honey with lemon juice and ginger for a homemade cough syrup that can soothe your throat and calm your cough.

Honey Lemon Water – Refreshing glass of honey lemon water is the perfect way to start the day. Combining honey, lemon, and water helps detoxify your body, boost immunity, aid digestion and promote glowing skin. Just mix a tablespoon of raw honey and the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning. You will feel energised, refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Honey for Sleep Aid – Honey and warm milk. Heat a glass of milk and add a spoonful of raw honey for a good night’s sleep. This traditional bedtime remedy can help you relax and sleep better. The best honey to use is Lavender, as it is known to act as a natural relaxant.

Wound healing – Raw honey’s antibacterial properties make it an effective remedy for minor burns, cuts and scrapes. Apply a thin layer to the affected area and cover it with a bandage.

Raw honey’s antimicrobial and antioxidant properties make it a superior choice for natural remedies over processed sugars and synthetic ingredients.

Beauty Care with Raw Honey

Natural skincare – Raw honey is a moisturiser that can help combat acne, soothe skin irritation and promote a youthful glow. Apply a thin layer of raw honey to your face, leave it for 15-20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Natural Face Mask – Honey and avocado for moisturising. Mix raw honey with mashed avocado for a hydrating face mask.

Honey Lip Balm – Revitalise and soothe your lips with the pure essence of raw honey. Take a small amount and gently apply it to your lips. Allow the honey to sit on your lips for several minutes, allowing the natural emollients to penetrate into the skin. 

Hair Nourishment – Revitalise your hair by mixing raw honey with coconut oil. Apply the mixture to slightly wet hair, and leave it for 30-40 minutes. Rinse throughout. 

Whether you are using it as a sweetener in your morning cup of tea, adding it to your favourite recipes or natural remedies, Raw Honey is a versatile and delicious natural ingredient that can enrich your well-being and culinary experiences.

By experimenting with different varieties and exploring their unique flavours and benefits, you can embark on a culinary journey that inspires creativity and delights your taste buds.

Flapjacks with Apricots, Honey and Pistachios

By Honey Recipes No Comments

A tasty and nutritious snack that is also easy to make. The apricots, Honey, and Pistachios combination makes a delicious treat-filled flapjack.

Perfect for a healthy breakfast or satisfying snack, the combination of the natural sweetness of the apricots with the rich flavour of honey and the satisfying crunch of pistachios, these flapjacks will surely delight your taste buds.

Plus, with wholesome ingredients like oats and nuts, it is a snack you can feel good about enjoying at any time of the day. So let’s dive into this irresistible apricot, honey and pistachios flapjacks recipe and get snacking!

Ingredients:

  •  140g butter
  • 175g rolled oats
  • 75g chopped pistachios
  • 140g dried chopped apricots

Cooking instructions:

  • Put butter and honey in a small pan, then heat gently until melted.
  • Tip oats, pistachios and apricots into a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter mixture and stir to combine.
  • Transfer to a 20cm x 20cm greased and lined baking tray and cook at 160C/140C fan/gas 4 for 35-40 mins. Remove and cool in tin, then slice into preferable slices. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

You have the perfect snack for a tasty treat packed with wholesome ingredients. Easy to make and the combination of apricots, honey and pistachios makes this flapjacks irresistible. So why not give this recipe a try and take your snacking to the next level? Your taste buds will thank you!

How to Use Honey in the Summer

By Honey Blog

As the long-awaited summer finally reaches the UK, the temperature starts to soar and feels like summer. The lovely sunny weather allows us to enjoy more outdoor activities and get plenty of vitamin D.

However, with the change in the temperature, our body’s needs for the type of food and drinks also changes. During warm sunny days, one of the main things we need to take care of is to stay well hydrated.

While there are many drinks and beverages that can help to satisfy our thirst, have you considered adding honey into your summer diet?

Honey is not just a delicious natural sweetener; it also offers a wide range of benefits that make it an excellent addition to your summer diet. 

It is a rich source of antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients that can strengthen your immune system and boost your energy.

You can use it to make refreshing beverages like honey lemonade, honey iced tea, or honey watermelon smoothie. It also makes an excellent topping for fresh fruits, yoghurt, or granola, adding a burst of sweetness and flavour to your snacks.

Stay cool and healthy with these fresh ideas on how to use honey in the summer.

Honey Lemonade

Ingredients:

– 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4-6 lemons)

– 2/3 cup honey

– 6 cups water

– Lemon slices and ice for serving

How to make:

  • In a large jug, whisk together the lemon juice and honey until the honey is fully dissolved.
  • Pour in the water and stir until well combined.
  • Taste and adjust sweetness if needed by adding more honey.
  • Chill the lemonade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • Serve over ice with a slice of lemon, if desired.

You can also add mint leaves or sliced strawberries for a refreshing twist.

Honey iced Tea

What better on a hot summer day than a refreshing glass of iced tea? But why settle for a simple shop-bought iced tea full of synthetic preservatives and sweeteners when you can make your own natural and healthy iced tea with the healthy sweetness and flavour of pure honey? Here is how to make a simple yet delicious and healthy iced tea recipe that is sure to satisfy your thirst and taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 6 black tea bags
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice

lemon slices and mint leaves

How to make:

  • Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot.
  • Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and stir the honey until dissolved.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Add the lemon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Pour into a jug and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
  • Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves.

Enjoy your refreshing honey iced tea!

Honey Water

Honey and water is a simple and refreshing drink that has been enjoyed for centuries; This simple drink is made by combining honey and water to create a natural, delicious and hydrating drink as an alternative to sugary drinks. With its many benefits and delicious taste, honey water is a great way to stay hydrated and energised during the day. This is one of our favourite summer drinks at Real Raw Honey. Trying it with different honey varieties, but our favourite is water with Lavender Honey. It tastes just amazing and the lavender keeps you calm on busy days 😀.

How to make:

  • Bottle of water or large jug,
  • add favourite honey to taste.

Enjoy!

Honey is a versatile food that nature has given us to live stronger and better. Honey can be used in various ways during each season to enhance flavour and provide a range of benefits. Whether you are looking for a sweet treat or natural remedy, there are many creative ways to add it to refreshing drinks, topping for fresh fruits, yoghurt, or granola, adding a burst of sweetness and flavour to your snacks. So get creative and experiment with new ways to use honey in the summer.

How to Buy Good Honey: Things You Need to know

By Honey Blog No Comments

Honey is a great food. Delicious, healthy full of beneficial properties. It has been around since ancient times. The first records of beekeeping date from around 5000 years back to Ancient Egypt. Where beekeeping was a highly-prized skill that only the elite was allowed to practice. It was a symbol of royalty and power.

Our day’s annual production of Honey worldwide is about 1.77 million metric tons. The trend is that honey consumption increases, perhaps alongside the trend for healthier living. In the UK alone, the annual consumption of Honey is around 43,000 tons per year.  

When buying honey, there are two main types you can come across.

Real Honey – produced by honey bees collecting flower nectar and pollen from melliferous plants and trees.  

Adulterated Honey – contains some Honey (if any), and it is blended with cheap corn or other high-glucose syrups to increase quantity and reduce cost.  

A recent article in the Guardian exposed that an investigation by the European Commission found 46% of sampled products were suspected to contain cheap sugar syrup. 

What is real honey?

Real honey is produced by honey bees. There is nothing added to it. Therefore, we can define it as Real Honey. The terms pure honey and natural honey are also used to describe such a honey. As there are no additives, it is all 100% natural, produced by honey bees.

Adulterated Honey: Contains some honey(maybe), and it is blended with cheap corn or other high-glucose syrups to reduce cost, hence increasing quantity. The core reason behind this adulteration is to increase profit margins by offering cheaper products for mass consumption. As a matter of fact, honey is one of the most faked foods alongside milk and olive oil. 

So, once we are aware of the two varieties that circulate on the market next question is how to recognise Real Honey from Adulterated Honey and ensure we buy Real Honey.

Honey Price 

The first thing to look for is the price. Is it too cheap? If it is too cheap, the chance you are looking an adulterated Honey is high. As often in life, cheap things are not of great quality. Regardless of the product, there is always a reason for the price to be low, often the quality. 

Honey Labelling 

Check the label, especially the small letters. Pay attention to the country/s of origin. Is it a mix of Honey or a single origin? The current requirement for declaring the origin of honey allows the label to read various blends, for example: “Blend of EU Honeys” (mix of honey from more than one county member of EU) or “Blend of Non-EU Honeys” (Mix of honey from more than one country outside EU) or quite often “Blend of EU and Non-EU Honey”. (Meaning that honey from the EU is blended with honey from outside the EU, which could be anywhere in the world – often China ). In addition, is worthy mentioning that UK is among the largest European importers of Chinese honey.

This practice allows honey from countries with various production standards and control to be mixed together. 

Of course, even if the honey is a blend of various origins still may be real, taking into consideration that all these different types of honey from different places are real. Even if this is the case, keep in mind that most likely, this honey has gone through a pasteurisation process to blend the different kinds of honeys. 

Check the label for Ingredients, additives etc. Check the label but do not take it for granted. 

Even if you shop for honey online, you should be able to see the labelling if the merchant has proper photos of the honey. Or if you cannot, you can always send an enquire asking for this information.

How much should a real honey cost? 

We cannot really put a price tag on real honey as this will widely depend on the quality, origin, the particular seller, and where the honey is being sold. But always keep in mind that real honey comes from beekeepers and requires a lot of work. So these beekeepers also need to make a living. Therefore, this increases the price. While adulterated honey could be made / mixed in a factory, requiring a lot less work or a lot less real honey. 

To recap, we defined the two types of products you may buy – Real Honey and Adulterated honey. We checked the price, we checked the origin, and we checked the ingredients. Once we have the honey, we can continue with some further testing. 

Open the jar and smell the honey

How does it smell? Real Honey needs to have a natural aroma depending on the flowers the bees made the honey from. For example, Lavender Honey needs to have a natural lavender aroma, Linden Honey needs to have a natural Linden aroma, Wildflower Honey needs to have anatural smell of flowers.

Taste the Honey

Have a spoonful of the honey. Move the honey around for a bit and close your mouth. Inhale as much as possible, exhale through your nose with your mouth closed, and pick up the aromas and flavours.

Does it taste natural or just sweet? Real Honey needs to have a taste and aroma different from just sweet. Of course, depending on the type some honey will be sweeter and less aromatic than others, but ultimately you should be able to pick up flavours and aromas different from just sweetness.

How to test honey purity at home?

There are also a few methods to test honey purity at home, the easiest being a quick water taste.

Add a spoonful of the honey into a glass of water. Real Honey will sink to the bottom as a whole lump. Adulterated Honey will dissolve in the water like sugar does. There are more home tests you can do, but this one is the easiest. 

Other factors to consider when buying honey.

We need to look into the other factor which determines the quality, rawness and, ultimately, the benefits of the honey you buy.

This is the rawness of the honey, or, in other words, the level of processing the honey has gone through.

Many terms are used to define the state of Honey, with the most commonly used being: raw, unprocessed, unpasteurised, unheated. 

Ultimately all of the above means the same thing. The honey has not been pasteurised (heated at high temperature and ultra-filtered). Therefore still contains all beneficial properties such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals etc.

Pure Honey & Natural Honey

Other terms used to describe real honey are: Pure Honey & Natural Honey. Both mean the same.

Pure Honey – There are no additives to the honey.

Natural Honey – The honey is 100% natural, there is nothing added to it.

So, once we determine the honey is pure, natural (Real Honey). We need to see if the Honey is unpasteurised or more commonly known as Raw Honey.

Unpasteurised Honey (Raw Honey) is much better as it contains all the beneficial properties the honey posses. The beneficial properties raw honey has depend on the type of honey – the flowers the bees were collecting nectar from to make the honey.

You are probably wondering if unpasteurised honey is better why some honey would be pasteurised. The short answer is to increase shelf life (remove crystallisation, making it more attractive for many buyers) or to blend it with other honey’s, making blend of honeys as described above. 

The next honey expert level is to start paying attention to a few other things that further determine the honey’s quality. 

Blend of Honeys

What means blended Honey – to increases quantity and reduce cost. Often honey from various sources, sometimes from different countries with different qualities, is mixed. In such cases, the Honey should be labelled as a blend of the particular places of origin. For example: blend of EU Honeys or blend of EU and non-EU honey. 

Single Origin Honey

Meaning the Honey in the jar is not only from one country, but from one single source. Single-origin honey could be traced back to the exact bee hive the honey was extracted from. At Real Raw Honey, we can proudly say that all our honey varieties are single origin trackable to the specific hive they are coming from.  

Honey and Banana Smoothie

By Honey Recipes
This delicious smoothie recipe combines the sweet and creamy taste of bananas with the natural sweetness of honey, mixed with protein-rich yoghurt and a nutritious blend of seeds. This smoothie is bursting with goods, making it the perfect way to kick start your day or to enjoy as a snack.

This easy and delicious Honey & Banana Smoothie with Seeds Mix and Yogurt is sure to become a new favourite in any smoothie lover recipe book.

Ingredients:

2 banana
1 tbs preferable seeds mix
2 tbs raw honey (we used Wildflower Honey)
300ml yogurt
20ml water  

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Drink with a smile! 😊

What is Bee Bread?

By Honey Blog

If you like honey and bee products, you may have come across a products called “Bee Bread”. This superfood has long been used as a natural remedy and nutritional supplement. Beyond its origins bee bread boasts an impressive nutritional profile, rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

What is Bee Bread

Bee Bread is a natural product made from the fermentation of bee pollen mixed with bee saliva and flower nectar inside the honeycomb cells of the bee hive. Bee Bread is the main food for the worker bees and larvae in the bee hive.

What does bee bread contain

Bee Bread contains protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, organic acids, polyphenols and vitamins. The exact composition of the bee bread would vary depending on the particular flowers the pollen was collected from, the region and climatic conditions. 

How is bee bread made

The bees collect pollen from flowers and then mix it with the nectar of honey and bee saliva, which contains digestive enzymes. This process transfers the flower pollen into bee pollen.

Once brought to the hive, non-flying bees fill the cells of the hive with a mixture containing bee pollen and honey.

Next, the bees add a thin layer of bee wax to protect it from oxygen. Lastly, a fermentation process takes place, and bee bread is produced. In other words bee bread is fermented bee pollen. 

Benefits of Bee Bread 

Bee Bread is supercharged with over 250 nutrients, and it is considered a natural probiotic with several nutritional and bioactive molecules with curative and preventive effects. (Probiotics are live microorganisms that, in adequate amounts, possess health benefits for the person). Recent studies suggest some benefits associated with bee bread are:

Bee bread is considered more beneficial than bee pollen. This is because the fermentation process that Bee Bread goes through makes it more easily digestible and readily absorbed by the body.

This fermentation process also makes the minerals and vitamins in bee bread more bioavailable and increases the absorption of proteins by breaking them down into amino acids. In comparison, when we consume bee pollen, we can only absorb 18-20% of its nutrient value. While the nutrient value of bee bread is absorbed at 80-90%.

How to Consume Bee Bread

Bee Bread has many intake options. You can eat it on its own, add it to porridge or smoothie, sprinkle it over salad, yoghurt, etc. You can also mix Honey with Bee Bread. Avoid heating, as this will neutralise some nutrients and reduce the beneficial qualities. 

Bee Bread Taste

The taste of Bee Bread would vary depending on the flower pollen it is produced from, but generally, it has a distinctive medium-sweet floral taste.

How to store Bee Bread

While Bee Bread could be stored at room temperature, refrigerated Bee Bread lasts longer, tastes better, and is more effective. If Bee Bread is mixed with honey, it should be stored at room temperature.

Bee Bread is generally safe to consume. However, people with pollen or bee sting allergies and pregnant or lactating women should avoid pollen products, as they may cause symptoms such as itching, swelling, and shortness of breath. If you are in doubt, consult with a specialist before using Bee Bread.