Heard of raw Honey ? This is not your commercial Honey
Ever since I started Healthy Buddha in 2014, I must have explained about "Raw Honey" to thousands of people. The queries and doubts became so much that, after a couple of years, I had to put together the below article to educate people around Raw Honey. You can also google about raw honey.
The thing with Raw Honey is that it tends to crystallize in cold weather. Basically it solidifies into sugar crystals or lumps (reason explained below). Those who are not familiar with this concept tend to think it is an adulterated honey. Many of us grown up in the 80s and 90s are used to D** Honey or any commercial honey, which looks clean and flows smoothly and has a certain sweet taste to it. Those who are experiencing Raw Honey for the first time - especially the part of crystallization, easily misunderstand and assume that we have sent adulterated honey.
So, over the years, we have been called many names like "Cheater", "seller of adulterated products" etc. In fact, most stores don't sell raw honey because of this reason. It is not easy to educate and clarify to each customer. They sell only pasteurized honey (this is devoid of most of the good stuff). But quite honestly, honey should be consumed raw to get the right benefits. So we want to make sure that our customers get to consume pure raw honey even if we are called a few names along the way! We even got a 'colorful' review on google rating for this specific reason. So that prompted me to share the below on raw honey.
If you are not already familiar with it, hope you find it informative.
What's raw honey?
Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Collected straight from the extractor; it is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn't ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion.
Do not be alarmed if honey becomes cloudy. This is called crystallization. It is not harmful nor is it any indication of deterioration. All honey will at some point turn to sugar crystals. Some other terms for it are sugared, granulation, solidifying and crystallizing. This is a natural process.
The crystals may be large or small, a grainy, sandy type or smooth and creamy type. What makes it crystallize is due to the type of flower the honey bee visited when she gathered the blossom's nectar. The floral source determines whether the honey will turn into a solid form more quickly or not. Some honeys while raw will stay in a liquid form for quite a while. Other honeys will turn to a solid form with in a few weeks. This is due to how stable the sugar crystal is in the nectar. Remember the sugar crystals we made as children in grade school, we evaporated sugar water with a string dropped in it for the crystals to form on. This is similar to what is happening to the honey.
This is not honey turned bad, or anything that is affecting the taste or quality of the honey. You may find you like it in this state!! It spreads on toast or bread without dripping off. It won't run off the spoon as you take it from the jar to your hot drink.
There is no pasteurization
A lot of honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but "commercial" regular honey, some of which has been pasteurized (heated at 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) for easy filtering and bottling so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package. Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation, which is a concern for storing honey with high moisture content over a long period especially in warm weather. While fermentation does not pose a health danger (mead is fermented honey), it does affect the taste of honey. Heating also slows down the speed of crystallization in liquid honey.
Benefits of Raw Honey
Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey's benefits don't stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.
Learn more: https://www.naturalnews.com/035493_raw_honey_health_benefits_antibacterial.html#ixzz3a5Xe05PR
How do I Store Honey?
Storing honey is easy. Simply keep it in a cool location away from direct sunlight in a tightly covered container. It is not necessary to refrigerate honey. In fact, it's much easier to handle if you don't.
In fact, honey has an indefinite shelf-life thanks to its high concentration of sugar. Raw honey with high pollen content will crystallize even faster, and cold temperatures also cause crystals.
What do I do when my honey crystalizes?
If your honey crystallizes, you can easily re-liquify it by gently heating the jar in a pan of hot water, stirring while heating. Do not overheat as heat may alter flavor and color as a result of carmelization of the sugars. Alternatively, keeping it in sunlight will also help.