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Honey

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Preview of Honey

Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

June 15 - September 15

One of the most efficient factories in the world is the beehive. And within its hub of activity is found the only human food produced by insects... sweet, sticky honey.

What to Look For

The honey normally sold in stores is most often blended and heated from sources outside the country.  Ensure that your honey is local, or at the very least from Ontario, by checking the label on the side of the container.

Storage

Due to its high concentration of sugar, pure, raw, local honey that has been stored under proper conditions will last for years. 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 handles better at room temperature.

Nutritional Information

Honey is a source of carbohydrates – mainly fructose (38%) and glucose (31%). On average, honey is 18% water. In addition, honey contains a wide array of trace vitamins such as B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Essential minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. Honey also contains several flavonoids and phenolic acids that act as antioxidants. Generally, darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys.

1 tablespoon of honey has 64 calories, 0g fat, and 16g sugar and 0g protein.

How to Use

If your honey crystallizes and you prefer it in liquid form, you can easily re-liquify it by gently heating the jar in a pan of hot water, stirring constantly. Do not overheat the honey as heat may alter the flavour and color due to carmelization of the sugars, and it may destroy the antioxidant benefits of the raw form.

It's very easy to substitute honey for sugar in your recipes. Honey is almost twice as sweet as table sugar, so it is necessary to reduce the amount of sugar called for in a recipe by one-third to one-half. In addition, since honey is composed of up to 18% water, you will need to reduce the liquid called for in baked goods by about one-fifth.

Honey is an excellent choice for salad dressings as it acts as an emulsifier.  In baked goods, honey’s ability to retain moisture creates products with longer shelf lives.

Varieties

There are as many flavours of honey as there are flowers, since flavour is directly influenced by the type of nectar gathered by the bee. Honey flavours can range from mild to aromatic, spicy, fragrant or medicinal.  Generally speaking, the lighter the honey colour, the more mild the flavour.