What is raw honey and how does it compare to the honey in the stores? Let’s take a look!
I don’t know about you but honey is a staple in my pantry. Sometimes too much of a staple and it crystallizes, but it’s still good. Honey doesn’t spoil so I’m all good there! About 2-3 times a year, we make the drive about 45 minutes away to Pahrump for local honey. I use it for cooking and adding it to my tea or coffee, spreading on toast and bagels. One of my favorite ways to have it is spread on toast so a nice thick spreadable honey is ideal. Enter raw honey. The term is not new, however there are differences between honey you see in the grocery stores and unfiltered, raw honey.
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What Is Raw Honey Exactly?
Last week, Jacob came home with a small jar of raw honey from Treasure State Honey in Montana. One of his mechanics gave it to him because his family owns a bee farm. If you’ve never tasted raw honey, it’s magical. Why? Well first of all it’s spreadable. And no drips! It spreads on much like butter. Now, you may have heard that consuming unpasteurized honey isn’t safe. Well, the jury is still out on that, however you DO NOT want to give it to infants under 1 and if you’re preggo, don’t even try it. This is because the digestive systems of infants aren’t mature enough to filter out the bacteria and can cause serious problems.
Being unpasteurized, raw honey retains the creaminess and crystallization. Pasteurization is the process of heating up a substance for a period of time, long enough to kill bacteria. This process also kills good bacteria which honey has to help build immunity to local allergens. It’s always good to buy local honey to you; as it contains pollen from local flowers which helps to build immunity to environmental allergies. Although raw honey is still heated, it’s never heated to 161 degrees. This allows the good gut bacteria to still be present and help create immunity to allergies. It contains all of the nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and pollens. Pasteurized honey is often mixed with additives, like caramel color and sugar to get the syrup consistency. Unless you are buying your honey directly from a farm, chances are you are getting less honey and more sugar in your jar.
So let me start with the packaging. The jar was wide mouth so I could get my spoon/knife or whatever all down in the golden goodness and not get sticky! Raw honey is much creamier than the kind you find at your grocery store. So the color is more on the side of beige instead of a deep brown or golden color. This also more spreadable, like butter rather than syrup consistency. The immediate taste that hits my tongue is lemony, like a bright citrus flavor. It’s smooth and not grainy and easily melts in my coffee. I haven’t tried it on my toast yet, but I can imagine it will spread nicely once hit hits a freshly toasted, warm piece of bread.
Eating local honey is best, however I will buy Treasure State again because the taste is so mild and bright. This also makes the perfect honey to have with scones and would mix perfectly with butter to make a lightly sweetened honey butter. There are so many ways to use honey in cooking, baking and my favorite; coffee and tea! One of my favorite coffee houses has a Honeysuckle Cortado which would be so good with Treasure State! This honey would be perfect to use for that as it pairs nicely with light espresso to highlight the fruity blend. I found that this honey dissolves beautifully in my coffee and tea and doesn’t leave a pool of syrup at the bottom.
To grab your own jar or Treasure State Honey, visit their website and check out some of their other bee products like lip balm, whole beeswax (for candles) and fresh honey comb. Leave a comment below and let us know if you tried Treasure State or what other type of local honey is your favorite!
Till next time friends, keep exploring!