How to choose the right and natural honey?
Summer is not only a season of holidays, but also a time when you need to make supplies for the winter. Do not forget about the most delicious and useful delicacy. It's about honey. This wonderful beekeeping product with a sweet and slightly tart taste has an invaluable wealth of vitamins and macronutrients that have been preserved in it unchanged for a long time.
And opening a jar of sweet honey in the winter, you get not only a treat for tea, but also an excellent tool for the treatment and prevention of many diseases. In addition, with its help, you can fill the supply of vitamins and minerals, which we miss in the cold season. After all, honey contains substances such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, iron, chlorine and phosphate. In addition, it has many vitamins A, C, E, K and group B, as well as folic acid.
But the most important thing about honey is its composition. In addition to all of the above, it is 80% composed of fructose, glucose and sucrose. They are completely absorbed by our body, and unlike sugar, do not do him any harm. Therefore, honey is very useful, tasty, and most importantly, a natural substitute for sugar.
In order to get the most out of it, you should buy a natural product. But here's how to choose the right honey, many of us have no idea.
To begin with, you should know that honey can be of two kinds. Depending on what the bees collect, it can be floral or padeevym. In the first case, bees collect nectar from plants, and in the second - beads( sweet secretions of insects and plants).By utility they are in no way inferior to each other.
Also honey is centrifugal and honeycomb. Most often in the market we can find centrifugal honey. It is so called because of the way it is received. Honey is pumped from the cells with the aid of a honey extractor, in which the frames with honeycombs are located, and when they very quickly spin then honey, under the influence of centrifugal force flows into a special hole. The name honeycomb speaks for itself.
It is not pumped out and sold directly within the framework of sealed honeycombs, or they can be sold in the form of rectangular pieces. The main thing that you need to pay attention to when buying honeycomb is that all honeycombs should be sealed and have a white or light yellow color. The price of this sweet product is much higher than the centrifugal, but you have a 100% guarantee that this honey is natural.
In the case of centrifugal honey, you must be very careful, because you can buy a fake - artificial honey. Outwardly, it practically does not differ from the natural one. But there will be no benefit from it. It is made from reed and beet sugar with the addition of melon and watermelon juice.
It completely lacks all useful enzymes and substances that are in natural honey. And if you consider that the cost of this sweet product is rather big, it will not be superfluous to know several conditions in order to choose the right natural honey.
- Fragrance. Artificial honey does not have such a pronounced honey smell, which is inherent in the natural product of beekeeping.
- Consistency. We are used to buying honey only in liquid form - this is its characteristic state immediately after pumping. In fact, it can be "sat down" or crystallized. Depending on how long it took after the pumping of natural centrifugal honey and at what temperature it was stored, it takes 3-5 weeks to fully crystallize it, whereas the honey honey begins to crystallize only after 3-5 months. As for artificial honey, it practically does not change its liquid state, and only sometimes dense crystals can form on the bottom of the container.
But do not think that sitting honey is worse than liquid honey. After its crystallization, all useful properties are preserved in full. In addition, if you buy already sown honey, then you can be sure that this is a natural product.
If in winter you see honey in the liquid state on the market, it is either a fake or natural planted honey that has been specially melted. In order to transfer honey from the solid state to liquid it needs to be heated at a high temperature. But in this case, it loses most of its useful properties. The temperature above 50 ° C is harmful to honey.
The naturalness of liquid honey can be checked as follows:
- take a thin wooden stick and dip it into honey;
- slowly pull this wand up - if honey is natural, then it will follow it with a thin continuous thread;
- when the thread breaks, then on the surface where it began, a tubercle should form, and the last drop of honey on the stick should be pulled up.
If honey quickly drips from a wooden stick, and just drips from it, then you have a fake.
- Transparency. We have an erroneous opinion that the more transparent the honey, the better it is. This error is actively used by unscrupulous producers of sweet delicacies. In fact, a good natural product is never crystal clear, it always has some fading. In addition, in a jar of honey, pollen grains or wax particles will always be present. If you are offered a crystal clear and transparent product, then before you a fake, or warm honey. It is after a long heating that the crystallized honey acquires an extraordinary transparency and purity, but as it was already said, while losing all its medicinal properties.
Any natural honey begins to crystallize with time. At first it becomes turbid, then at the bottom of the jar there are flakes( honey crystals), which gradually fill the entire can, and the liquid honey turns into a dense mass. In addition, it is quite often there are white spots - it is not time to rise crystallized glucose. So do not chase amber pure and transparent honey - it can be a fake.
- Taste. Good honey always has a tart taste, and dissolves in the mouth without leaving crystals on the tongue.
- Weight. If you buy honey by weight, then you have the opportunity to check the content of water in it and how it was stored. Ideally, 1 liter of mature honey should weigh not less than 1.4 kg. If the liter bank is completely filled, and its mass is much less than this value, then before you, either honey diluted with water, or unripened honey. In it, the water content exceeds 20%.This is due to the fact that an unscrupulous beekeeper pushes honey from yet unsealed honeycombs. Such a product practically does not crystallize and because of this it is very poorly stored. In addition, he can wander. There is it - it's dangerous for your health.
- Color. There are many shades of honey. They range from almost white to dark brown and burgundy. Everything depends on the period of the flowering of which plant coincides with the time of honey picking, and on what condition is the honey - liquid or crystallized. Also, it is worthwhile to know that one and the same grade of honey with each season can change its hue. This is due to the fact that bees collect nectar within a radius of 10 km, and in this vast territory at different times can bloom different plants. Whatever it was, but the color of honey is not an indicator of its naturalness, it just can tell us which grade the given product belongs to.
As for the variety of honey, you can get lost in all this variety. After all, flowering plants are huge, and they affect not only the color of sweet delicacy, but also its healing properties.
The name for honey varieties is mainly given depending on the prevailing honey plant, for example, linden, buckwheat, etc. It is not difficult to single out the main honey plant if the apiary is located near the territory where it grows massively, for example, near the field with buckwheat.
But there are cases when it is difficult to determine the main honey plant, because bees collect nectar from a huge variety of different plants. In this case, the honey variety gets its name, depending on the area where the honey takes place, for example, steppe, meadow, mountain, forest. In addition, the name of the variety may indicate the time of collection of honey, for example, in May, etc.
As you have seen before, honey can be completely different, both in taste and color. Listing all varieties just does not make sense, but we can give you a brief description of the most popular and useful ones.
- Let's start with linden honey. It has a pleasant aroma of linden flowers. The color of this treat can be different: white, light amber, greenish, yellowish or completely transparent. Lime honey has a pleasant specific taste. And on medicinal properties, he has practically no equal. It is an excellent expectorant, so it is used to treat colds such as bronchitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, asthma. In addition, linden honey has remarkable antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is used to treat ulcers and burns, gynecological disorders, kidney diseases, and liver. In addition, it strengthens the heart muscle.
- Acacia honey. It is almost transparent, but in the process of crystallization it becomes white as milk, and resembles cottage cheese in consistency. Of all the varieties, acacia honey is the most liquid. It has a delicate aroma and taste characteristic of the acacia. This delicacy is used as a general restorative, it improves immunity and calms the nervous system. Therefore, it can be used as a natural sleeping pills. Especially this sort is useful in diseases of the genitourinary system, diseases of the kidneys and bile ducts.
- Buckwheat honey. By color, it can be different, mostly dark shades: from greenish brown to dark brown, and even bard. This variety has a characteristic spicy flavor and a pronounced taste, which can cause perspiration in the throat. In terms of vitamins, amino acids, protein substances and iron, buckwheat honey takes first place among all other varieties. Therefore, it is recommended to use for anemia, anemia, chronic blood loss, as well as for the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, liver and heart.
- Sunflower honey. It has a beautiful golden color and a thick sweet smell. To taste it is a bit sharp and tart. This variety very quickly crystallizes, and its crystals are very large. It contains the highest amount of vitamin A in comparison with other varieties. Sunflower honey has excellent bactericidal properties, therefore it is used for the treatment of first and second degree of severity burns.
- Meadow honey. It is collected by bees with many wild meadow flowers, so it has a very pleasant aroma. It can be of different shades of yellow. It has good analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Field honey. It is collected from the flowers of crops. The color can be either colorless or orange-yellow. It has hemostatic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
And this is far from an incomplete list of all varieties of this sweet product. But that at any time of the year natural honey brings you the maximum amount of benefits, you need to know how to properly store this delicious treat.
- The dishes in which honey is to be kept must be either glass, ceramic, enameled, or birch bark. With wooden containers you need to be more careful, as some tree species can give honey uncharacteristic smells and tastes. All containers with honey should be hermetically sealed.
Do not store honey in a galvanized, copper container, or cast iron and black iron. In these tanks, the oxidation process begins, and your useful product turns into poison.
- The place where honey will be stored should be clean and dry. If the product is in a glass container, then it should be isolated from the light, because under the influence of direct sunlight honey loses its useful properties. Also it should not be stored near sources of strong odors, for example in the kitchen. This fragrant product very quickly absorbs all surrounding odors.
- The temperature of storage of honey can be from 0 to +10ºС.It is also quite acceptable to store it even at lower temperatures, down to -20 ° C.So you can keep this sweet treat in the fridge or cellar.
If you follow our recommendations regarding the right choice and storage of natural honey, it will please you with its taste and useful properties at any time of the year, in winter and summer, and even in 30 years!