Honey should be the luxury on our dinner table, since it can safely replace refined sugar in most recipes.
Changing the consumption of refined sugar for honey is the wisest decision for our health, since as we said in another chapter, honey enters the blood stream in 15 minutes and does not need to be metabolized by the body. Honey has the advantage that it does not produce indigestion, inflammation nor gasses like refined sugar does and it takes three to four hours for it to be metabolized by our organism.
When we include honey in our kitchen recipes, we not only enhance the taste, but we also improve our health.
Also, cakes made with honey stay moist longer, come out of the oven softer and spongier. You must take into account that when you make a cake with honey, the amount will be three quarter the amount of refined sugar needed. Some excellent cooks say that if the sweetener used is honey you only need half the amount of refined sugar needed, so that the cake is not heavy and so it does not have a very strong flavor. Likewise, milk or any other liquid can be reduced by one fifth of the amount needed for every tablespoon of honey that is used.
Use these measurements for your recipes: a teaspoon of honey equals approximately 30 grams; a cup of honey weighs 350 grams; one half a kilo of honey equal one and a third cups. If we use a lot of honey, we prove that it is more economical and convenient to buy it in cans with six or more kilos. Take advantage of the Autumn harvest season to buy enough honey for the whole year.
Honey´s Therapeutic Properties
Honey has the power to provide the body with quick energy, and this property has been recognized for thousands of years.
A poultice of honey placed on burns and wounds provides fast relief from pain and itching. The germicide effects of honey are attributed to its ability to absorb water (hygroscopic). The bacteria trapped by it die from a lack of humidity. Its bactericide power is increased by its acid reaction and because it contains potassium, which makes it an unfavorable environment for the growth of bacteria.
Numerous experiments have proven that when diverse germs or bacteria are placed in honey they die shortly afterwards. Honey has been attributed therapeutic properties since the acids it contains fulfill two functions: they contrast the flavor and preserve it from being attacked by microorganisms. The types of acids found in honey are: acetic, butyric, citric, formic, and glycolic, among others. Its properties are: nutritive, biological and therapeutic.
Honey is a carbohydrate with a high energy value (3,3 cal/g), rich in sugars, natural acids, minerals, proteins, amino acids, enzymes and other substances that are incorporated into the blood stream within 15 minutes after its consumption. Refined sugar takes from two to four hours to be metabolized and converted into sucrose in simpler more digestible forms. Also, opposed to other types of sugar, honey does not produce dental cavities (Moisés Asís. Apiterapia para todos / Apia therapy for everyone).
Honey contains an amount of enzymes, biological catalyzers and minerals that make it a first level food. Honey exercises an important dynamo genic action: it stimulates those who do not have an appetite without altering a person´s natural appetite; it facilitates the assimilation and the digestion of other foods; it surpasses refined sugar by its positive influence on the absorption of calcium in children and the retention of magnesium. Its other properties are: that it works as a laxative and a sedative, it is antitoxic and antiseptic, antipyretic (lowers a fever) and it has emollients.
Why should we consume honey?
It is important that the honey not be hot, since heating it damages its delicate enzymes. If honey remains liquid for a long time, that shows that it has been heated or adulterated.
We should get used to consuming virgin honey, even if it is crystalized, since the crystallization is a sign of purity. This way, we take maximum advantage of all its nutritional and therapeutic qualities, with the advantage that honey that has not been processed contains small pieces of pollen, that are pure protein, which help us with respiratory problems.
This healthy food that bees provide has a high energy value, since it possesses 322 calories per every 100 grams, with the advantage that it is easy to digest.
As part of a daily diet it is especially indicated for the elderly, children, convalescents and athletes, since it is an energetic food that is more digestible and aromatic than refined sugar. Up to date more than 180 substances have been discovered that are beneficial for the human body. In our Apiaries we harvest honey from the altiplano, that is from a variety of flowers, such as, orange, sunflowers, tacote, and multiple flora. This honey is very clear, easy to spread and softly crystallizes, almost like cream.
Wherever the honey comes from one needs to acquire a taste for it and enjoy its unique and incomparable flavor. Each type of honey has its own peculiar properties and different flavor.
It is important to remember that honey should be consumed pure, just like it comes out of the bee hive it should be extracted by centrifugal force, without using any heating methods. When it reaches 60° it can lose its excellent nutritional, antibiotic and antibacterial properties, besides also altering the enzymes and the amino acids that it contains.
If when you purchase honey it remains liquid for a long time, that means that it has been heated. Virgin honey crystalizes due to its purity: it is a natural phenomenon.