What is Raw Honey
Honey that is sold as raw contains all the pollen, enzymes and other micronutrients that are usually filtered out or destroyed by heat when the honey is processed. Traditionally, honey is heated and filtered so that it will remain liquid much longer. Raw honey will crystalize quickly due to the fact that it is unfiltered.
Raw honey is completely pure honey that is derived directly from the beehive. It is unheated, unprocessed, and unpasteurized. Raw honey is well known to be a dense source of many nutrients that can protect your overall health, and it also contains certain compounds that are lacking in more commercial forms of honey. The best means of getting raw honey is directly from beekeepers, as that is the best way to know that it is authentic.
Some people wonder whether this type of honey is safe, and with the exception of those who have allergies to bee pollen or the flowers from which the nectar is harvested, there is a very little risk.
Honey Nutrition Facts
Honey is much more than just a simple sugar. For thousands of years honey has been used by mankind in many capacities to help give the human body energy and health. Below are the nutritional facts for Honey.
Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution with approximately 17.1 percent water. Fructose is the predominant sugar at 38.5 percent, followed by glucose at 31 percent. Disacharides, trisacharides and oligosaccharides are present in much smaller quantities.
The nutritional content of raw honey is impressive and includes high levels of protein, amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron, as well as various polyphenolic antioxidants that boost overall health. A single tablespoon does contain just over 60 calories, and while there isn’t any fat or cholesterol in the honey, it is relatively high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation..
Each variety of honey has characteristics that make that each one unique. Some of the main characteristics are color, granulation, moisture content, Levlose (fructose sugars) levels and Dextrose (glucose sugars) levels. Honey colour is always graded with a number. A low number indicates a light color and the higher the number the darker the honey. Granulation is also given a number value to rate at which point the honey tends to crystallize or granulate. Levlose, dextrose and moisture levels are based on a percentage.
Honey has been used for everything from skincare to mead (honey wine). Honey is widely preferred as a sweetener because it is also a flavour enhancer. The wide variety of flavours available from different honeys makes honey a gourmet's delight.
Granulation (or crystallization)
Is defined as a natural occurring process of honey that changes it from liquid to solid. Some people think the honey is spoiled as it crystallizes but crystallization in honey occurs when the honey molecules are at optimum temperature. It then begins to crystallize. This has a lot to do with how you store you honey. If you store your honey above 16 degrees Centigrade (or in a certain containers the optimum is 15 degrees) it will crystallize. Levulose and dextrose levels affect crystallization also, so typically the one with the higher dextrose will crystallize more quickly; for example, Clover and Oil Seed Rape will crystallize more quickly than Blackberry. Also larger quantities will crystallize if they are stored on a concrete floor and the cold temperatures are drawn up into the container. If the honey re-crystallizes very quickly it only means that the honey did not get properly liquefied which means that the sugar crystals did not get dissolved. So if you place your honey in a pan of water and heat it slowly making sure you dissolve all the crystals you can slow crystallization or it will re-crystallize within just a few days.
If properly stored, honey will not spoil: A pot of honey found in an ancient Egyptian tomb was proved to be as wholesome as fresh honey. However, honey will ferment if it is diluted by moisture from the atmosphere or by other liquids. Prevent fermentation by keeping honey containers tightly sealed before and between uses.
Substituting Honey for Sugar
Replace 100g of sugar with 75g of honey and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 125ml. Add a pinch of baking soda to recipes that do not call for sour cream or sour milk, so as to reduce the acidity of the honey.
When baking with honey, lower the oven temperature by 25° to 30° F to prevent over-browning.
When measuring honey, first coat the measuring utensil with a small amount of oil so the honey will not stick.
Store honey at room temperature rather than in a refrigerator. Keep it tightly covered and in a dry place.
If honey granulates, place its container in hot water until the honey re-liquefies.
Honey, because it is hydroscopic, tends to keep foods moist and tender. Therefore, if you are baking goodies for kids away at school, service members overseas, or friends out of town, always bake with honey to ensure freshness.