We always have raw, organic honey around our house. Always. Even after my favorite source of honey production went to solely raising queens, we never wavered in our commitment to raw and organic.
There is raw, organic honey available at every farmer’s market in the Rogue Valley as well as the co-ops, natural food sources and even some of the larger stores (think Freddy’s).
Honey is a superior natural sweetener and better for you than refined sugar. It’s not just for tea anymore! Try it on toast, with butter, and you’ll never go back to jelly again. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches are divine. And a baked egg custard or bread pudding, sweetened with honey and spiced with a little cloves and cinnamon, is like nothing you’ve ever tasted.
Aside from the culinary applications, honey offers a huge variety of uses and qualities of which most folks are not aware:
Natural humectant, drawing moisture from the air, making it a fabulous conditioner – when mixed with apple cider vinegar - for your hair or right out of the jar as a face mask for your skin.
Antibacterial – it’s perfect for minor cuts and scrapes and the best thing ever for burns.
Good source of antioxidants.
Good source of carbohydrates, providing a natural energy boost.
Honey is sweeter than sugar and has incomparable flavor, which is important to keep in mind when substituting for sugar. Use somewhat less honey and somewhat less of the other liquids in the recipe when using honey.
Dressings and Marinades
Raw honey is just the replacement for sugar in many salad dressings and marinades. Honey is a natural emulsifier, so it is a great addition to any vinaigrette for making it smoother. You will also find that your vinaigrettes will stay blended longer.
Honey is most commonly used to sweeten tea. In our house, my kids love it with warm milk, just before bed, as a sleepy-time drink. Be sure they brush after drinking it, though! Add a little vanilla or cloves for extra flavor. Mine love it plain.
Smoothies don’t usually require sweetening, but if you find that you do need a little, a squeeze of honey is perfect.
For personal care
Wash your face with honey. It’s easy and really works well! Honey is great for all skin types, and since it’s a humectant, it provides great moisturizing benefits as well.
To wash your face with honey, simply take a small dime sized amount and rub between your fingertips. Smooth all over your face and rinse off. It also has healing properties, so if your teen is struggling with blemishes, honey can be very helpful.
Honey makes a great conditioner. Smooth into your hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes as a moisturizing hair mask. For a regular rinse, add a couple tablespoons to a half cup of apple cider vinegar, pour it on, work it in and rinse it out. It will help balance your scalp and can be a huge help with the flakies. Those who have gone with the No ‘Poo route of hair care frequently add honey to their hair care regimen.
Colds, Coughs, and Sore Throats
For a cough and sore throat take a spoonful of raw honey or mix some honey into your tea.
I also use honey to help get garlic into my kids. We make a garlic tea during cold and flu season that is so, so helpful. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and a well known home remedy for illness. However, it’s not so great as a plain tea.
We consume elderberry syrup all year round to boost our immunity and help us get better quickly when we’re sick. Naturally, it contains raw honey, which should be added after the elderberry reduction has cooled down. Adding it to a hot elderberry reduction can destroy the health benefits of the raw honey.
Add a cup of dried elderberries to three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about a cup and a half. Strain out the seeds and cool. Add a cup of raw, organic honey. We take two tablespoons full daily to bolster our immune systems.
It’s also super yummy on pancakes, waffles and ice cream.
Raw honey has antibacterial properties and provides pain relief while healing. It’s perfect for minor cuts, scrapes, burns and stings.
Honey is truly an all-around, versatile element to keep around your home. I don’t know what we’d do without it!
**Remember not to give honey to infants under one year old.