FACTORS DEFINING RAW HONEY
The very first thing before buying raw honey is to know about its actual meaning. Most of us want the best honey, which is having all of the nutritive value and health benefits which are present in the honey when it was in the beehive.
We want that honey should be straight away shipped to our homes the way it is taken from the honeycomb. Some of us think this all can be a superb imaginative story but cannot happen in reality. They are wrong; this is done in real, such sort of honey is called Raw Honey.
National Honey Board defines ‘Raw Honey” as the honey obtained by extraction, settling or straining from a beehive. It is the sort of honey that has not been commercially or chemically heated in any manner and is unpasteurized and unfiltered. It is pure and unadulterated, straight from the beehive to your kitchen. It is incredibly healthy, having chockfull of free-radical fighting antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and energy boosts boosting healthy carbohydrates. It is super simple to store, not containing any preservatives with best taste, texture, and quality.
FACTORS DEFINING RAW HONEY:
Necessarily two factors determine the rawness of honey. They are temperature and texture.
In the definition of raw honey, one thing is repeatedly said that honey is unheated; do not undergo any temperature variability, not heated past pasteurization. Well! What all of this means? Since now, you people have seen honeycomb from outside. To understand this temperature phenomenon, let’s visit the comb. Inside the honeycomb, when honeybees are at work, their collective body temperature rises and consequently warms the honey. For an active hive, the temperature is 95⁰F, which is 35⁰C. At this temperature, honey is stable and alive. The enzymes which give nutritional and beneficial value to honey works at the temperature of 35⁰C. It is so easy to understand if we relate it to typical human body temperature. Inside the body temperature is 37⁰C, no matter what the temperature is outside, the body has to keep its inside body temperature for working of the body enzymes and its regulation. The same is the case with the internal temperature of the hive. As long as the temperature does not significantly rise past 95⁰F/35⁰C, the honey has not been pasteurized. During the cold winter, it is the possibility that honey freezes inside the hive. The cluster of bees moves about their stock of food. They reheat the comb to the desired temperature.
People misunderstand this heating of honey, taking place inside a hive. They assume that anything being heated is harmful. The worst part is, they insist the beekeeper not to heat honey and then at homes, they microwave it. It is still sweet but chemically is not more than processed sweetener.
Temperature is the sure way to determine honey as raw while examining raw honey through its texture is a bit confusing because the consistency of raw honey will depend upon the time of harvesting honey. A recently harvested honey will be creamier and more liquidy. The longer it sits; it will be like well-frozen ice cream. This is all due to the beeswax. The difference in color is due to the different pollens from different flowers that the bees have collected for producing wax.
The honey which has directly shipped from beehive looks opaque with black dots. This is a ground-up honeycomb that includes everything from a hive, i.e., honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly. Usually, raw honey is strained but is still the same considering its nutritive value and health benefits.
TEMPERATURE THAT DESTROYS HONEY:
If heat is increased from its optimum position, it starts destroying honey healthier content, ultimately converting honey to sweetener harmful sugar.
- The optimum temperature at which the enzymes responsible for honey’s nutritional and beneficial value are alive is 98⁰F.
- Heating honey above 98⁰F causes honey to lose 200 components. These components include major antibacterial parts.
- Heating honey above 104⁰F causes invertase enzyme to destroy.
- Heating honey above 122⁰F causes honey to convert into caramel (analogous to sugar)
- Heating honey above 140⁰F for two hours cause the rapid degradation of honey.
- Heating honey above 190⁰F for any period causes rapid degradation and caramelization of honey.
- Further large temperature fluctuations cause honey to decay.
- A pasteurized honey is treated with 150⁰F to 160⁰F temperature during its processing. So now, you can easily guess how bad a pasteurized honey can be for you. The most alarming situation is, you still don’t know whether the honey placed at your kitchen cabinet is raw honey or pasteurized honey. Don’t worry, ‘website name’ provides you with the best raw honey.
STATES OF RAW HONEY:
If you find raw honey in liquid, solid, or crystal form, don’t mix it up with pasteurized or artificial honey. The reason is, raw honey is found in all these states, and yes, they are the real ones.
RAW HONEY TURNED LIQUID:
Most of the time, people get confused, seeing raw honey in liquid form. The very first question that comes to mind is, “if it is raw, it should be crystalline or solid, why such liquidy material?” “Maybe it is fake or artificial.” No. not at all, honey is 100% raw. The very first evidence is that in a beehive, the honey is produced in a liquid supersaturated state. The recently harvested honey will be thick liquidy material consisting of fructose, glucose, water content, sucrose, maltose, trisaccharide, vitamins, and minerals. The crystallization of honey depends upon fructose to glucose ratio present in honey. Higher this ratio faster will be the crystallization of honey. Fructose to glucose ratio relies on the type of nectar and the type of pollen a bee chooses for making honey.
If honey is harvested for a longer period, it may change its state to crystals or crunchy solid. If you want your honey to stay in a liquid state, do not refrigerate it, at freezing causes quick crystallization.
Secondly, if you have refrigerated your raw honey and it has turned to crystal form, and now you want to turn it to liquid, bath honey. I mean, put your jar into water bath heated at temperature 95⁰F to 104⁰F; thus nectar will be converted to liquid state without losing its nutritive value and health benefits.
RAW HONEY TURNED CRYSTALLINE:
Honey has a natural tendency to get crystallized. So, whenever your honey coverts into crystal forms or it gets stiff, do not ever think it went wrong or lost its health benefits and ultimately need to be wasted. To become crystalline is in the instinct of honey. Let’s see the reason for it.
Honey contains sugar (thus having sweat taste, when I say sugar, it doesn’t mean its harmful. It merely means it has sugar units in it, i.e., glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, etc.). 70% of honey is sugar-based, while 20% is water. Considering this ratio, the content of sugar is more. When sugar overrates water content, honey becomes unstable. This instability causes honey to convert its state, from liquid to crystalline. The crystals formed are large, grainy crystals, which are very fine and smooth. The nature and texture of crystals differ by the type of flower and nectar used by bees.
Crystallization occurs at a temperature of 57⁰F or above. Over here, the best tip to slow down crystallization is to keep it away from cold, i.e., refrigerator because the temperature in the fridge is optimal for honey to crystallize quickly.
Crystallized honey is not wrong; it contains all the good, healthy nutritious stuff as it had it before. Nothing is changed. Only the state is changed. Crystal honey can be used in a number of ways:
- Mixing in tea and coffee
- Honey rock candy, and much more.
RAW HONEY TURNED SOLID:
Most of the time, when we are buying honey, we usually opt for the one with thick liquidy texture thinking the crystallized or solid one is not raw honey. When we purchase liquid state raw honey, and it turned to crystalline or crunchy solid honey after some time, we waste it thinking its shelf line has ended and is now no more nutritive. This is wrong; if honey becomes crystal or solid, it means it is real honey. Real honey changes its state from liquid to crystal or even solid.
This is due to the binding of natural sugars, i.e., glucose and fructose in honey, thus making it harder. With different blends, some honey will begin to crystallize faster than others. This is also due to the pollen in honey that contributes to this binding process. The bits of pollen remaining will provide a platform for the crystals to begin forming. But pollen is important and prevalent in 100% honey keeping pollen in honey means you are getting the real product made by bees.
‘website name,’ motive is to provide you with the best quality raw honey with the priority of keeping its taste and nutrition benefits on the top than its appearance. We don’t extend shelf life by adding filters, not flavors, neither additional product to slow crystallization. These are natural processes and are done by nature.
RECOGNIZING RAW HONEY:
The foremost question arises weather to predict honey as raw or pasteurized. Hey, stop predicting. Just follow the given steps before buying honey and see if honey is natural or not. By the way! After following these steps, you will surely be able to see whether the honey you are eating or is present in your kitchen shelf is pure, natural, raw or filtered, processed, pasteurized. And if you find it wrong, then don’t worry ‘website name’ is here to provide you 100%, raw honey.
Remember, the bottle of raw honey is jarred straight from the hive, and it is not processed or refined in any way. The following are the ways to inspect weather honey raw or refined.
Its appearance in the jar can recognize honey. Colouration is light yellow, medium yellow, golden, yellow, or slightly brown. Raw honey will look brighter yellow and will be more opaque.
By scooping, raw honey will settle in the form of layers.
Before buying honey, look at honey from the top of the jar to see if it is transparent, opaque, or contains thick crust of brown pellets. Raw honey contains a thick coat of pure propolis, looks like small brown pellets on the top.
If you see raw honey through a magnifying glass, small particulates of bee pollen can be seen.
Raw honey tastes creamy while refined honey tastes crisp and sharp.
If you drop honey on your thumb and honey remains intact on it, then it will be raw honey. Refined honey will get spilt or spread in all directions.
When water is added to raw honey, it will settle at the bottom rather than dissolving in it.
Another method of depicting if honey is raw is to dip a match stick into honey, and then to light; it causes burning of flame. Artificial/raw honey will not cause burning as it contains impurities and moisture in it.
Dropping honey on blotting paper will cause raw honey to stick and remain unabsorbed while refined honey will get absorbed.
WAYS TO USE RAW HONEY:
Yes!!! This is the yummy part, follow me throughout and then rush to the ‘website name’ to get a hand full of delicious raw honey. There are several ways to use raw honey in eating, baking, applying as a beauty product, and much more.
DIRECTLY USING HONEY:
Honey can be used directly in your meals. The ways are listed below;
Spread honey on bread, bagels, muffins, pancakes, and waffles for making your breakfast lavishing. Crystalline or crunchy solid honey is worth using in breakfast.
- Stir a spoonful of raw honey into oatmeal or yoghurt.
- Add to smoothies or shakes for a touch of sweetness.
- Eat it by mixing eat with peanut butter.
- It can be used on spreading it on crackers.
- Dip fresh fruit slice in raw liquid honey for enhancing fruit taste.
Different kinds of deserts and cooked meals can be made from raw honey. Following are some honey recipes:
- Honey butter:
Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ cup of raw honey, ½ cup of softened butter, thus making honey butter. You can preserve or refrigerate this honey and use it in everyday breakfast and evening meals.
- Raw honey coca balls:
Blend ¾ cup of raw honey with 2 cups nut butter, 1/3 cup of natural cocoa powder, ½ cup coconut flakes. Roll it in to a ball and enjoy fresh honey cocoa balls.
- Honey cream cheese icing:
In a medium bowl, whip together 12 ounces cream cheese, ½ cup butter, two teaspoons vanilla extract, and six tablespoon honey.
- Honey taffy.
- Honey orange poached plums: