The Power of Honey

by Kathleen Reale

Dairy Free Nut Free Fish Free Soy Free Gluten Free 

Last weekend I went to a local arts festival excited to discover and explore the artisans and crafts people showcasing their wears and goods. But what I didn’t expect was to have the biggest find of the day be sweet honey made by a local beekeeper.

Before visiting the Hebert Honey booth I thought that honey was just honey. Nothing fancy or complicated about it. But after my visit with David Herbert, the Beekeeper, I left the booth with a greater understanding and passion for this simple, yet intricate art of honey making, or apiculture.

There are over 300 different types of honey across the world. Each of these honeys is different depending on which blossoms the bees gather their nectar from. Each type of honey will have a different flavor and color based upon these blossoms. The lighter colored honeys are milder in flavor and the darker ones are stronger and more full-bodied.

I ended up buying two types of honey: one lighter variety, Wildflower, and a darker variety, Knotweed.

And beside enjoying honey on gluten-free toast or as an ingredient in a allergen-free glaze for hams, chicken and vegetables, honey can also be used for its powerful healing properties. Have a cold? Try adding a teaspoon or two to a cup of hot herbal tea to help sooth your throat. Rough skin? Mix a ¼ cup of honey with ¾ cup of granulated sugar, and a ¼ cup of olive oil for a natural exfoliating body scrub.

Honey can also be a fantastic energy booster, according the National Honey Board website. A rich source of carbohydrates, honey provides 17 grams of carbs at just 64 calories per tablespoon, making honey a quick energy booster before or after a workout or an important game.

And although honey is delicious on gluten-free toast or muffins for breakfast, drizzled over ice cream for dessert or used as a sweetener in hot tea, the benefits of honey as a foodstuff has to do with it’s antioxidant properties– which helps to eliminate free radicals.

So visit your local beekeeper, and find out for yourself all the wonderful ways to use this miracle sweetener.  

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