Honey is made by bees from the nectar that they gather from flowers and shrubs. They add the enzyme invertase which starts the honey-making process. Once the nectar reaches the hive, the nectar is stored in the honeycomb and the bees reduce the water content of the nectar. Once the water content reaches about 18% the bees seal the comb with wax and the honey is stored for future use.
The beekeeper harvests the honey by first removing the bees from the honey boxes of the hive. Once the honey boxes are moved to the honey house, the wax cappings of the honeycomb are removed to allow access to the honey. The honey is then spun out of the honeycomb cells by centrifugal force in an extractor. The honey is jarred directly from the extractor without any processing.
Honey is composed mostly of the sugars glucose and fructose (~80% sugars, ~20% water). It is a supersaturated solution which means that the water in honey contains more sugar than it could naturally hold. The overabundance of sugar makes honey unstable and therefore it crystallizes easily.
In order to re- liquefy honey, you can heat it gently by putting the jar in a hot water bath.
Honey is a natural sugar (mostly fructose and glucose) as compared to sucrose in refined sugar. Honey will not raise blood sugar levels as much and as fast as refined sugar does and it is easier for our bodies to metabolize.
Additional benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, nutrient-rich: vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Not only are you supporting beekeepers in your area, you are also consuming small amounts of pollen from your local flora. This can help prevent and reduce the effects of seasonal allergies.
Since honey is a supersaturated solution (it has a high sugar content), it is nearly impossible for microorganism to grow in honey. So as long as it is stored properly in a dry location, is safe to consume for years. Some honey found in Egyptian tombs is still safe to consume today.
Raw Honey: Honey that has not been filtered or heated. It is extracted form the hive, settled, and bottled. It can contain pieces of wax, bee parts, natural yeasts, and enzymes.
(Unpasteurized) Liquid Honey: Honey that has been filtered and gently heated (without pasteurizing) in order to stay liquid or to re-liquefy.
Pasteurized Honey: Honey that has been heated to high temperatures (60°C or higher). It kills bacteria, yeast, and enzymes, and it will stay liquid for long periods of time.
Replacing refined sugar with honey is easy. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, replace with ¾ cup of honey. You will also have to reduce other liquids in your recipe by about ¼ cup. When baking with honey, the cooking temperature should also be reduced by 25°F.
For example: If your recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of milk replace with ¾ cup of honey and ¾ cup of milk.
In addition, honey is "hygroscopic" – it attracts moisture and thus keeps baked goods fresher longer. It also makes a good stabilizer for dressings and sauces.
Beeswax is made by worker bees in their wax glands which are located on the abdomen. The bees naturally use the wax to cap or protect their honey in the hive. It acts as a natural sealant to protect the honey until the bees are ready to utilize it for consumption. Wax is produced at the expense of honey production and it can take 6-8 pounds of honey to produce 1 pound of wax.
100% Beeswax Candles have no additives. They produce no by-products when being burned and should be dripless.
Some even say that beeswax candles produce negative ions when burned which assist with eliminating dust, odours, and mold in the atmosphere. They may also assist with easing allergy and asthma symptoms.
Why maple syrup?
Pure maple syrup comes directly from the maple tree’s sap. The only processing that occurs in pure maple syrup is to boil the sap and put it in a concentrated state. Pure maple syrup is just that – PURE and NATURAL! Refined (white sugar) and corn syrup are heavily processed and are simply sweeteners – they do not have the health benefits.
Pure maple syrup contains 65 antioxidants that can help delay or prevent diseases. Pure maple syrup also contains essential minerals such as zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Benefits of ¼ cup of pure maple syrup:
· Contains 100% of the daily dietary requirements of manganese, an important mineral that helps with energy production and antioxidant defenses.
· Contains 37% of the daily dietary requirements of Riboflavin (vitamin B2) which aids in your body’s metabolic process.
· Contains 18% of the daily dietary requirements of zinc, essential for a healthy immune system.
· Contains 7% of the daily dietary requirements of magnesium which is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease.
· Significant daily dietary source of calcium (5%) and potassium (5%) which helps for the health of bones and teeth and helps maintain blood pressure.
· Has the same beneficial classes of polyphenolic compounds found in berries, tomatoes, tea, red wine, whole wheat, and flax seed. Equivalent to eating raw broccoli, bananas, or gala apples. The darker the maple syrup, the higher the antioxidant value.
Pure Maple Canada, www.puremaplefromcanada.com
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
Canadian Nutrient File (Health Canada)
Maple syrup is a healthy sugar and is easy to replace in any recipe. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, replace with ¾ cup of maple syrup. You will also have to reduce other liquids in your recipe by about ¼ cup. If you are using it to bake, lower cooking temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent browning or burning. Maple syrup can be used as a healthy sugar replacement in everything from cookies, muffins, pies, breads, yogurt, tea, and coffee.
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