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Is honey better than sugar?

By Honey Blog

Both honey and sugar can be used to sweeten your tea, coffee or in cooking recipes. However, while both are sources of carbohydrates composed mainly of glucose and sucrose, there are some fundamental differences between raw honey and sugar. 

How is honey made? 

Honey is produced by honey bees collecting nectar from flowers and other nectariferous plants, then mixing it with bee enzyme by passing the nectar from one bee to another and then dropping it into wax cells called honeycomb.

Afterwards, honey is extracted from the beehive. This extraction typically consists of the honey frames being put into a honey extractor which is a mechanical device working by centrifugal force while a container holds the honey frames and spins, flinging the honey out.

Next, the honey could be bottled for the final consumer or stored in larger pots for future use or wholesale. Of course the methods may vary depending on the processing of the honey. Some commercial honey may go through a pasteurisation, but for this particular comparison, we take in consideration raw-unpasteurised honey.

What does honey contain?

Honey is composed of water, fructose and glucose as the exact ratio depends on the particular type of honey. Depending on the plants that it is made from, honey also has trace amounts of Enzymes, Amino acids, Antioxidants, vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, vitamin C and Minerals.

The vast majority of antioxidants found in honey are flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties and are considered to provide some health benefits. 

How is sugar made?

Table sugar, also popular as sucrose, is normally produced by sugar cane and sugar beet plants which are commercially grown for sugar production.

Once collected from the fields, they undergo a multi-step process, including slicing and soaking the sugar cane or beets in hot water to extract their sugary juices.

Afterwards, the juice is filtered and converted into syrup, which is further processed to turn into sugar crystals that are washed, cooled and dried to arrive on the market in many varieties and forms, the most common being granulated sugar.

What does sugar contain?

Sugar has a quite simple structure containing glucose, fructose and calactose. Sugar does not possess any vitamins, minerals or fibre. 

The good thing about table sugar is that it’s cheap, tastes sweet and can be used in various ways. Sugar is widely used in food and drink manufacturing. Sugar can add texture, flavour, and colour or be used as a preservative to prevent spoilage in commercially canned or stored food.

GIycemic Index 

When we look into honey and sugar, we need to take into consideration GI – Glycemic Index. Glycemic index measures how quickly particular food raises blood sugar levels in numbers from 0 – 100. 

Honey Glycemic Index

Honey has GI of around 55. However, the number vary between different varieties. For example, Acacia honey has a lower GI (Around 32-35), and it is generally considered suitable for people sensitive to sugar.

Glycemic Index Table Sugar

Table sugar has glycemic index of 65. 

Therefore, despite not a significant difference, honey has a lower glycemic index. 

Calories in Honey and Sugar

A tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, while a tablespoon of sugar contains 45 calories. However, this difference comes from the higher density of the honey compared to table sugar. A tablespoon of sugar weighs 16 grams, while a tablespoon of honey weighs 28g. Therefore, if we measure the calories per 100 grams, honey poses 304 calories while sugar has 387 calories. 

So, what’s better, sugar or honey? 

The short answer would be raw honey. Refined white sugar undergoes many steps of processing to become, a fine-grained, odourless product that dissolves quickly in liquids. What does that mean in simpler words? It’s stripped of vitamins and nutrients; all you get is fructose and glucose. 

Furthermore,

  • Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity. 
  • High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease are two major complications associated with consuming too much sugar. 
  • Consuming too much sugar increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 
  • Sugar is high in glycemic index (GI), meaning it causes your blood sugar to spike with the sudden crash.

When it comes to personal consumption, raw honey can replace any use of sugar. You can sweeten a bowl of oatmeal or yoghurt. Drizzle over sliced fruit or toast for breakfast. Add it to your tea or coffee instead of sugar. Sweeten smoothies, yoghurt, pancakes, porridge; drizzle on breakfast fruits; spice up rice dishes; stir into iced teas, baking and cooking with it. The options are endless. 

And in addition, when used as a part of a healthy diet, these are some of the benefits raw honey is associated with: 

  • Antioxidant-rich
  • contains antibacterial properties 
  • it may help with digestive issues
  • Soothing a sore throat
  • Reducing cough symptoms
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps with allergies

The Bottom Line 

The sweet golden syrup from the beehive has long been considered a nutritional powerhouse. This ancient food has been used for centuries as both food and medicine. So next time when you’re thinking between sugar or honey, just remember health benefits associated with raw honey far outweigh those associated with sugar. But keep in mind honey is also type of sugar, so be mindful to the consumption and take in consideration your personal health and diet.  

Brie and Pear Puff Pastry with Raw Honey

By Honey Recipes

Indulge into a delightful combination of flavours with this easy to make Brie and Pear Pastry drizzled with raw honey. The creamy brie cheese, the delicate sweetness of ripe pears and the natural goodness of raw honey in every mouthwatering bite.

Whether you are hosting a family gathering looking for an appetizer that will impress or simply looking for an easy and quick snack this Brie and Pear Puff Pastry with Raw Honey will not disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pears
  • 160g Brie cheese
  • 150g walnuts (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 a cup of honey (around 150ml)
  • 1/2 pack of puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk 

How to make:

Step one: Cut pears and Brie cheese into slices.

Step two: Cut puff pastry into two (horizontal cutting )and cut 3 pieces of one of the pieces. Cut slightly around the corners to make a bed in the middle for the pears and cheese.

Step three: Put in a row a piece of pear and piece of brie cheese until the slice of the puff pastry is covered in the middle. Brush the corners with yolk. 

Step four: Bake for 15mins on 200°

Once ready, add chopped walnuts and drizzle with raw honey. We have used raw wildflower honey.

The taste is incredible. The puff pastry is soaked in pears juice from the baking and it pairs fantastic with the cheese! 

You will be amaze how good the ingredients combine together, topped with chopped walnuts and raw honey will definitely make your mouth watering! 

Enjoy! 

 

 

What is Raw Honey ?

By Honey Blog

Nowadays healthy lifestyle is a trending topic, with the vast majority of people aiming to live healthier, replacing old-school strict diets with a well-balanced, healthy eating lifestyle. When transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, you’d probably immediately think of ways to reduce sugar in your diet.

A recent study suggests that the excess calories from sugars are involved in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Perhaps, honey is the best alternative to sugar, not just to sweeten your brew but to offer you a lot more.

study from Nutrition Reviews discovered that enhancing a healthy diet with a couple of spoons of honey a day may contribute to lowering inflammation and improving cholesterol levels. Both major factors in cardio-metabolic health.

Unlike refined sugar, Raw Honey is a complex composition which includes proteins, organic acid, other bioactive compounds, vitamins, and antioxidants. Perhaps one of the most powerful and beneficial foods that nature has given us.

Raw Honey not only tastes delicious but can also strengthen our immune system as a part of a healthy lifestyle. As early as 350 BC, the greek physician Hippocrates known as the “father of medicine”, said: “Our food should be our medicine and medicine be our food”.

However, the honey you are buying from the shop might be causing you more harm than good. With so many options available online and in supermarkets, it is easy to confuse and not pay attention to what we are purchasing. So let’s look into what exactly is raw honey.

What is raw Honey?

Raw honey is that thick delicious goodness that comes from the beehive unprocessed – not being exposed at pasteurisation and filtration, apart of removing beeswax and larger impurities such as dead bees.

When honey is extracted from the beehive, it requires minimal filtration to remove larger impurities such as beeswax and dead bees. Many people seek unfiltered honey, but it is doubtful that if a jar full of beeswax, dead bees and other impurities reaches their table they will actually consume it. (I have seen honey advertised as unfiltered, but I am yet to see a jar of unfiltered honey). Therefore the so-called coarse filtration is necessary and does not make the honey any less beneficial, but simply removes impurities.

Ok, this is Raw Honey. Now, what is the alternative to Raw Honey? The alternative to raw honey is pasteurised, honey.

What is pasteurised honey?

This is a high-tech process during which the Honey is heated at a high temperature of more than 160F (70°C). This process is normally done for milk and other dairy products to kill bacteria and other harmful organisms.

However, because of its low moisture content and high acidity, these bacteria and other harmful microorganisms cannot live or reproduce in Honey.

Once heated at high temperature, the Honey is cooled down and forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove further any impurities, bubbles, bee pollen and other goods presented in Honey.

Why is Honey Pasteurised?

There are two main reasons why honey is pasteurised.

Honey is pasteurised to remove the natural process of crystallisation. Furthermore, the pasteurisation gives the honey a smooth golden look, making it more attractive for many buyers and extending the so-called “shelf life”.

Crystallised honey is rarely seen in shops. Perhaps, this is the reason why a lot of people consider crystallised honey to be spoiled or that there is sugar added to it. In fact, crystallisation is a natural process in raw honey that indicates rawness and quality.

Different varieties take various lengths of time to crystallise. Some of the fastest types of honey to crystallise are Sunflower and Rapeseed, while the slowest to crystallise are Acacia and Lavender.

The crystallisation process also depends on storing conditions. Temperature, relative humidity and the type of packaging could also make a difference in the speed of the crystallisation process.

For example, lower temperatures speed up the process whilst higher delays the crystallisation. Honey is best stored at room temperature.

Large Batches Commercial Honey

Another reason honey is pasteurised is a particular common practice with large batches commercial honey. To increase quantity and reduce cost, often honey with different origins and quality is mixed.

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 EU is blended with honey from outside EU, which could be anywhere in the world – often China ).

This allows honey from countries with various production standards and control to be mixed together. Therefore, converting these different types of honey into one single batch requires pasteurisation.

In simple words after mixing, high-temperature heating and ultrafiltration the end result will be highly processed honey with doubtfully any natural taste and benefits.

And you think this is bad enough, to make the matter even worst such a commercial honey may be cut with cheap corn or fructose syrup to enhance profit margins.

Often after customers purchase Real Raw Honey they email us positively surprised at how much different the honey tastes, full of flavour and aroma compared to the pasteurised and mixed honey often found on the market.

In conclusion, if you want to ensure you are consuming the real superfood called “Honey” you need to ensure the honey you purchase is Raw (Not Pasteurised) and single origin (Not Blended).

Baked Apples with Cottage Cheese and Honey

By Honey Recipes No Comments

A healthy desert recipe that will leave your taste buds delighted. This recipe adds a twist to traditional baked apples by filling each apple with a creamy and crunchy mix of cottage cheese and walnuts, then drizzling it with a delicious raw honey.
 
This recipe is a flavour treat and packed with protein and fiber making it the perfect guilt-free indulgence for any time of the day. So grab you ingredients and let’s get baking! 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
  • 200g cottage cheese
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 150g walnuts
  • 4 red apples
  • 4tbsp honey (to drizzle)
  • 1tsp cinnamon to sprinkle once ready
 

How to make Baked Apples with Cottage Cheese and Honey

 
Step one: Add to a bowl cottage cheese, 1tsp cinnamon and 150g walnuts. Combine all ingredients well.
Wash 4 apples and remove only the middle with a knife or a spoon.
Once removed, stuff the apples with the mixture.
 
Step two: Line a pan with parchment paper and add the apples.
 
Step three: Bake at 200C for about 35mins until golden and soft. If you prefer them soft like purée will need additional baking time.
Once baked let it cool slightly.
 
Step four: Sprinkle cinnamon and drizzle with raw honey. (we used Forest Herbs Honey) Serve while warm!
 
With the simple and easy to find ingredients, this recipe is very easy and can be prepared in an hour. Whether you are looking for a quick, healthy snack or a scrumptious home made dessert the sweet and tangy flavours of the apples, combined with rich and nutty flavours of the stuffing will make you to repeat. 

Oat, Banana and Carrot Bars with Real Raw Honey

By Honey Recipes

These Oat Banana and Carrot Bars are a delicious and nutritious, perfect for a pre-made breakfast or midday snack. Made with rolled oats, mashed bananas, grated carrots and the natural sweetness of honey they are the perfect balance of sweet, tender and chewy.

These bars are also packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, making them a great option for anyone looking for a healthy and satisfying snack. Plus they are easy to make and last a good few days stored in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 2banana
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1tbsp yogurt (per serving)
  • 1tbsp honey(to drizzle)
  • Fresh fruit (to serve, optional)

How to make:

Step one: Mash bananas and add all ingredients except grated carrots and mix well. Then add the grated carrot and mix again.

Step two: Line a pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture and spread out evenly.

Step three: Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes or until golden. Once baked let it cool and cut into pieces.

Step four: Add a piece into a bowl, 1tbsp of yogurt and fresh fruits.

Drizzle with honey and enjoy a guilt-free treat that you can feel good about eating.

Overnight Oats with Raw Honey

By Honey Recipes No Comments

Looking for a quick and easy breakfast which is also delicious and nutritious? Then try this overnight Oats.

Made with rolled oats, chia seeds, coconut flakes and a drizzle of apricot honey, this recipe is not only easy and delicious, but loaded with goods that will keep you fuelled throughout the day.

Ingredients:

  • 70g oats2tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey (to add to the mixture)
  • 1 tsp of raw honey (to drizzle)
  • Fresh berries and coconut flakes (to serve, optional)

How to make:

Simply mix the ingredients together in a suitable bowl, preferably with a lid and let them soak in the fridge overnight, so you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying breakfast in the morning without any fuss.

The raw honey adds a natural sweetness to the oats while providing numerous benefits, making it a healthy and tasty alternative to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners. So go ahead and try this Overnight Oats and start your day off on the right foot!

Easy and Delicious Apple Fritters

By Honey Recipes

Crispy Apple Fritters topped with a drizzle of Hawthorn Honey. These pastries are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of warm tea, or cozy night spent on the coach.
 
Made wit fresh apples, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this recipe is easy to follow and guaranteed to impress your taste buds. 
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 cup whole flour
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tsp of raw honey (to drizzle)
  • Fresh berries (to serve, optional)
How to make:

Step one: Wash and peel the apples, grade and add the eggs to the apples. 

Step two:Add 1tsp of bicarbonate soda to the yoghurt. Wait a minute for the yoghurt to grow.Add to the mixture. 

Step three: Add 1 cup of whole flour to the mixture and mix well. Use the butter to grease the pan. Scoop around 3tbsp of the mixture and fry on both sides until golden.

Serve with fruits and drizzle with honey. 

Enjoy! 

 

French Toast with Raw Honey

By Honey Recipes
Get ready to indulge in one of the most-delicious breakfast treats of all time – French Toast with Honey. 
The Combination of crispy bread, warm cinnamon and the natural sweetness of honey creates a mouth-watering flavour and aroma that will make you feeling like you are having a breakfast at a fancy hotel. 
 
The recipe is easy to make and customisable to your liking, so you can try adding your own spin and enjoy a sweet explosion of flavours in every bite.  
 
Ingredients for 2 servings:
 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 250mlWhole milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp of honey (add to the mixture)
  • 1 tbsp of honey (to drizzle)
  • 3 tbsp butter ( to grease the pan)
  • Fresh berries (to serve, optional)
 
How to make: 
 
Step one: Whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey. Soak the bread in the mixture, carefully turn it over, and soak the other side.
 
Step two: Heat 1/2 tbsp of butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Carefully lift the bread and add it to the frying pan. Fry for 2mins on each side until golden and crispy, and repeat with the remaining slices.
 
Step three: Serve with scattered fresh berries and drizzle with honey we used Apricot honey.
 
Enjoy!
 
 

How to Taste Raw Honey

By Honey Blog

With more than 300 varieties of honey worldwide, each with its unique taste, colour, consistency and beneficial properties, it is not easy to define which one is the best. Furthermore, the best will also depends a lot on personal preferences. However, the following article will help you to determine your best honey.

It is quite exciting and relaxing to taste honey consciously. There are many festivals and events worldwide where honey experts and beekeepers present and taste honey professionally. They describe each honey’s colour, smell, texture and flavour in detail, the same as a wine sommelier. In the United States, there is the America Honey Tasting Society. There are also paid courses determined to educate in the sensory analysing of honey.

Unlike pasteurised honey which tastes just sweet, raw honey has thousands of nuances of smells and flavours for each different type.

Raw Honey flavour, nuances, smell and beneficial properties are determined by environmental conditions like soil, climate, geography location. These factors are responsible for the characteristics of any food produced in nature. Particularly honey depends mostly on the floral sources in the area from which the bees collect nectar and pollen.

Expert Honey Tasting

Make sure you are fresh and avoid eating or drinking anything except water for at least an hour before tasting the honey; also, avoid strong smells. 

Do not use a plastic spoon as it may affect the honey taste.

Most of us will probably have a couple of jars to test at any time; however, if you have more, organise them on a tasting mat or simply a sheet of paper divided into sections. Prepare a palette cleanser; plain bread is considered the best for absorbing the flavours of the previous honey. You should also drink plain water between the tasting and give it a few minutes rest between each honey tasting. Same as wine, honey should be tested from light to dark. Therefore, if you have more than one jar beginning from the lightest coloured honey.

Honey Consistency

First, determine the consistency. Is it liquid, beginning to crystallise or solid already crystallised? Take a mental note or write down the consistency of your honey. The physical state is not particularly important to the flavour but is relevant to the whole experience. Crystallised honey consistency could be described as firm, pastry or hard. Liquid honey consistency could be smooth, velvety, creamy, heavy or light.

Evaluating clarity: Is the honey transparent, cloudy or in between?

Defining the colour of honey: Once you get to know raw honey, you understand that not all honey is the common medium amber colour found in most honey sold in supermarkets. A good rule of thumb here is if the honey is light-coloured, it has a delicate taste and smell, while the darker honey tends to be full-bodied and rich. However, as with each rule of thumb, this one has exceptions too.

Smelling Your Honey

Open the jar and smell the honey. Stick your nose inside and inhale. How would you describe the smell? Intense, mild, floral, fruity, nutty, earthy, can you further describe the scent?

How to Taste Raw Honey?

Now you are ready to taste the honey. Taste it twice first, take a small spoon, place the honey on your tongue, and let it melt there. Take a mental note of the Sweetness and freshness. The second taste should be throughout the mouth. 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 all kinds of aromas and flavours.

Aftertaste

How long does the aftertaste last? Each raw honey leaves an aftertaste. Some are stronger and longer, while others are light and disappear quicker. Does the taste appears immediately or takes a while? A honey persistence could be absent, short, medium, long, warm or spicy. Take a mental note of these final details.

While most of us probably won’t take a pen and paper and go into deep detail writing about the taste, smell, and consistency of each honey we have in the cupboard. It is pretty good to be more conscious in the consumption of food and especially such a magic elixir full of beneficial properties as raw honey. In conclusion, if you are only going to take one sentence on how to taste honey and be a better expert than 95% of the honey consumers: Have a spoon of raw honey. Move the honey around your mouth for a bit and close it. Inhale as much as possible, exhale through your nose with your mouth closed, and pick up all kinds of aromas and flavours.

Classic Honey Cake

By Honey Recipes No Comments

The perfect cake for a family weekend, this classic honey cake recipe is just as good as it sounds! The honey cake is soft, moist and has a delicious honey flavour. Modifying the recipe by adding different ingredients like nuts or fruits is also easy.

Yields: 8 servings Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup honey
  •  Cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Almond extract
  • Powdered sugar for serving

How to make:

Step one: Preheat the oven to 350F°. “Gas Mark 4”

Step two: Round cake pan with parchment and grease with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.

Step three: In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and honey together until the butter is smooth and the mixture is light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add almond extract. Add dry ingredients and beat until combined.

Step four: Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean around 35 minutes.

Let it cool.

Serve as it is or with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Enjoy!