U: Unpasteurized honey

I admit, “U” was a hard letter.

But when I thought about unpasteurized honey, voila! A very healthy option indeed.

What is unpasteurized honey, you ask? Well, it’s honey that has not been heated. Most of time, you’ll find “raw” honey if it’s unpasteurized which means it also hasn’t been processed in any way. There is a difference, but generally, where you find unpasteurized honey-it will be raw as well.20150609_063815

Pasteurization of honey is different from that of dairy products. Because of the low moisture content, bacteria cannot live or reproduce in honey. Pasteurization is usually done to prolong the shelf life and prevent granulation from happening unlike dairy where pasteurization is used to make sure there is no bacteria. So with honey, it’s not necessary and doing so eradicates some of the health benefits.

What health benefits? WELL! Honey is super super good for you. It’s a natural antimicrobial, antibiotic and full of vitamins such as B6, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin. It’s also got minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. There are hundreds of different kinds of honey, depending on which flowers the bees collect the nectar, but manuka tends to be one honey that has a higher mineral content. Yummy minerals.

Honey has a lower glycemic index than processed or refined sugar so it’s a good choice of sweetener. Whenever you can, swap out the sugar and use honey instead. Your body will be happier. That doesn’t mean it’s any lower in sugar though, so don’t go gooping it on everything! It still has about 60-70 calories a tablespoon.

Where do I get my honey? The side of the road. If that is not an option for you, find a good farmer’s market and talk to the beekeeper! They’ll tell you all about the bees and the nectar they collect. It’s fascinating. Deliciously fascinating.20150609_063751

On that note, bees are very important to our survival. Without bees, we wouldn’t have half of the food in our grocery stores. If you’re interested in saving the bees from pesticides currently being used in Canada, check out this link and send a message to your government official.

So there you have it-unpasteurized honey is part of the healthy alphabet! If you would like a couple of recipes, I have some awesome ones for you:

Muffins with honey!

Cake with honey!

Jam with honey!

Dinner with honey!

Or create your own masterpiece using honey. Drizzle away!

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