Honey is a sweet food which is produced by bees foraging nectar from flowers. It gets its sweetness from fructose and glucose, and is about as sweet as granulated sugar.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between raw and pasteurised honey? Raw honey contains natural vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and many other important natural nutrients. These nutrients are destroyed when honey is heated and pasteurised. It is worth noting that eating pasteurised honey is almost the same as eating refined sugar, without any of the health benefits of raw honey.
Raw honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties, promotes digestive health, strengthens the immune system, can help to soothe a sore throat, promote better sleep, is a great remedy for skin wounds and various infections, and contains phytonutrients which provide both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Most microorganisms don't grow in honey so sealed honey does not spoil - if stored properly it will last thousands of years! However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to babies, as it may result in botulism. For this reason, it is not recommended to feed honey to babies under 12 months old.
There is a lot you can do with honey! You can add it to baked goods as a sweetener, drizzle it over cereals and yoghurts, spread it on sandwiches and toast, add it to dips, dressings and marinades, and roast meat and vegetables in it (mixed with garlic - delicious!).
The following recipes all use honey and taste amazing. Take a look through them to get some new healthy ideas to cook for your family.