Call something “sweet as honey” or create a “honey-do list” and these buzzwords evoke heartfelt sentiments. A natural form of sugar, honey is created by bees from the nectar and pollen of flowers and tree blossoms. If bees have access to one type of flower, the honey can be classified by the flower name, such as clover or orange blossom, and will have a distinctive flavor and color. Other honey, such as wildflower, is made from a variety of flowers. As a general rule, the darker the honey, the deeper the flavor.
Store honey in an airtight container in a cool dry place and it will keep indefinitely. Honey’s high sugar content and slightly acidic pH helps to inhibit bacteria and molds from growing in it. If honey becomes crystallized, place the container in hot water for 15 minutes to return it to a liquid. Microwaving honey to soften is not recommended because it changes the flavor.
To make honey slide off easily from a measuring spoon or cup, spray the tool with cooking spray or warm the tool under hot tap water before measuring honey into it. Since honey tastes sweeter than table sugar, you can use less for the same sweet flavor. Honey has a low to moderate glycemic index, which estimates how it affects blood sugar. Keep in mind that honey is a simple sugar, so moderation is still important if you have diabetes or need to count your calories.Honey not only adds sweetness to our food, but an abundance of folklore surrounds the almost magical powers of honey to cure and prevent a multitude of physical ailments. Honey is being studied as a cough suppressant, a carbohydrate source for athletes and as an aid to heal wounds. Modern scientists are researching exactly how and why honey works. One thing is for certain, honey is filled with antioxidants made by the plants on which bees feed.
Special Care for Infants: Avoid honey until at least the age of 12 months. Honey can harbor spores of a toxic bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can be fatal to the immature immune system of an infant. We know that the future supply of honey, and of our food supply in general, lies in the health of bees. Bees are needed to pollinate the flowers of plants that produce our fruits and vegetables. A mysterious disorder causing the death and disappearance of millions of honeybees is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Home gardeners can all take part in encouraging bee health by avoiding pesticide and herbicide use and planting a variety of native species that provide bees with the proper nutrition. So let some clover grow in your lawn and plant some wildflowers in your garden for a Bee Healthy Idea!
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