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Re: Honey

>>From: "Barbarisi, Karen R." <Barbarisi.Karen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>I bought raw, unfiltered honey because I was told by a nutritionist that
>>this version is very nutritious in comparison to the more processed
>>Does anyone know if this is true.  I assume it still has many calories
>>as sugar does.
>>Also, does it need to be refrigerated?

We were backyard beekeepers for many years. By the way, I loved my bees and primarily 
kept them as "pets", although we had to harvest the honey to prevent them from swarming into 
our neighbor's yards - bees will keep producing honey as long as there is room to store it; 
when there is no more room, they swarm. I'm not sure I really understand vegan avoidance of 
honey, since it is something produced by bees rather than part of the bees - unless it is the 
fact that many beekeepers (not me!) don't care if they kill bees during the harvesting?

You should never refrigerate honey as it will cause it to crystallize more quickly and the 
crystals that result will usually be larger and coarser.  Crystallization does not harm the honey 
and many people like the finely-crystallized forms of honey, but most people prefer it in its 
liquid state. You should also avoid heating honey at high temperatures, Short 10-15 second 
bursts in the microwave, followed by stirring, then repeated bursts if necessary can be used to 
reliquefy crystallized honey. You can also just place the honey jars in warm water until the 
honey reliquifies.

Processed honey, like that available from the commercial companies, is almost always 
blended and has to be heated to pass through the processing and bottling equipment. It is the 
heating that causes the deterioration in the flavor. Not that commercial honey is bad, but it 
pretty much all tastes the same. The flavor of honey depends upon the floral sources from 
which the bees gather the nectar and can range from very light tasting (such as clover, the 
most commonly available) to deep, rich and heavy (eucalyptus, avocado, buckwheat, 
tamarind, etc.). The floral source also primarily determines the color, from almost water white 
to very dark. Normally, the darker the color the more robust the flavor. Some honeys, such as 
the various citrus honeys, can have a tangy, almost spritzy taste.

Another factor is that the large processors usually end up with more wax and debris in the 
honey, which requires filtering. As small-scale backyard beekeepers, we had no need to filter 
our honey because we took care to keep wax and other particles out of it. Filtering also 
removes any pollen, which is why unfiltered honey is often recommended for allergy sufferers. 
I must point out, however, that it would have to be honey local to your area to do any good. 
Also, concern has been expressed that someone that is super-sensitive to a pollen could have 
a reaction by trying to seek exposure to it.

The following is courtesy of the California Honey Advisory Board:

Honey is a natural sweet and is composed of simple sugars, mainly fructose and glucose.  The 
glucose provides energy.  Fructose gives honey its unique flavor. Usually, the milder flavored 
honeys are lighter in color. Honey is available in several forms in addition to the most popular 
form, liquid honey. Creamed honey is finely crystallized making it spreadable.  Comb honey, 
which is honey straight from the hive, may be available only certain times of the year.  
Remember, the comb is edible. In all forms, honey has no additives and no sodium.

Honey will granulate naturally.  However, this does not mean it is spoiled.  Do not refrigerate 
honey as this will hasten granulation.  Store in a dry place as honey is will absorb moisture.  
To reliquefy honey, place container in pan of warm (not hot) water until clear, or heat on high 
in microwave for 30 seconds or until clear.

Honey is heavy by weight.  A 12-ounce jar equals one standard 8-ounce measuring cup. 
Honey may be easily measured by coating the cup or spoon with non-stick pan coating spray.  
You may also wet or oil the cup or spoon. Honey slightly warmed will blend more easily into 
beverages, sauces, or marinades.  Never overheat. Honey may be substituted for other 
sweeteners in favorite recipes if the recipe calls for no more than 1 cup of sweetener. Replace 
one cup of dry sweetener with 2/3 or 3/4 cup honey, depending upon sweetness desired.  
Reduce oven temperature by 25 ( when baking.
Sherron, La Palma, California (but my heart is in Hawaii)
See our rats at: http://users.deltanet.com/~dwp/ratgallery.html