I’m not here to talk about the birds and the bees…but I am here to talk about what the bees make! Honey! Follow along to discover new tips on how to use raw honey.
Raw honey seems to be one of those polarized fad foods. The food camp that deems it healthy insists that you need to spend your child’s entire college fund to purchase the best 8 ounces of Manuka honey from the other side of the planet because it has the best such-and-such health qualities about it. And I can’t argue that it doesn’t. It’s probably amazing honey. It’s just a bit extreme for me.
The other food camp deems honey an evil blood sugar fiend. That camp avoids it at all costs and classifies it merely as a sugar. Which, it is a sugar and it does spike blood sugar. But in moderation, there are so many wonderful benefits of honey!
Since I try to stay away from food and health fads, I look at honey’s history.
Honey is not a franken-food. It cannot be manufactured in a lab. It is thousands of years old and was always a cherished food of ancient people groups. Honey has been around since the beginning of time.
Read More: Is My Honey Real?
So I say lets use it any way we can!
How to Use Raw Honey in the Kitchen
1. Baking – You can substitute honey for sugar in most baking recipes. Remember that honey is twice as sweet as sugar so only add half the amount of sugar called for. Also, your recipe may turn out a bit different in texture. For the adventurous, substitute and experiment away! For the rest of us, just look online for some recipes already formulated for honey like this castella sponge cake recipe!
3. Canning – I use honey instead of sugar in all my fruit syrup recipes. I can peaches and pears in a light syrup so I can open a jar and set it on the table.
4. Freezing – Do you freeze berries? I like to mix in a bit of honey with my sliced strawberries. I can pull out a container and have it ready to top waffles or strawberry shortcake.
5. Coffee – Um, yes, anything tastes delicious in coffee. A whole lot of cream with a dollop of honey in my coffee is a wonderful way to start the day!
6. Iced Coffee – I love that honey dissolves easily in cold liquids. Add some honey, cocoa and ice cubes and voila! Iced coffee drink!
7. Hot Tea – Nothing like honey in a hot cup of herbal tea.
8. Iced Tea – Again, honey will dissolve easily in cold liquids.
9. Kombucha – Sometimes I forget about my kombucha and it gets a little ripe on me. I just add a little honey or stevia to tone down the ferment and it is easier for kids to drink.
Read More: How to Make Kombucha
10. Smoothies – Add a bit of honey to your yogurt, green or kefir smoothies.
11. Salad Dressing – Homemade salad dressings are delicious! Use honey instead of sugar in the recipe. I remember my mom always making our dressings in the blender. She would drizzle in the honey as it’s blending and the dressing was done in seconds! Or find a recipe already formulated for honey like this Perfect Honey Mustard Dressing from Jami at An Oregon Cottage.
12. Yogurt – My mom always made our own yogurt. She used a yogurt maker like this with individual cups. Each person could flavor their cup any way they wanted. Honey, maple syrup and peaches were some of our favorites!
13. Kefir – Are you new to kefir? I make my own from raw milk. I usually drink mine plain. If you buy yours, get plain kefir so you can control the amount of sugars and flavors in it. Add a dollop of honey and blend it a bit to tone down the tang. As you become a seasoned kefir drinker you can chose to quit adding it.
14. Pancakes – You can put plain honey one your pancakes or waffles. Or you can kick it up a notch with honey-butter! This was such a treat for us as kids. Mom would melt a stick of butter on the stove and stir in a 1/2 to 1 cup of honey to pour over our pancakes or waffles.
15. Toast – I love me some silky honey on a well-buttered piece of toast!
16. Oatmeal – Stir it into your bowl of oatmeal for some sweetness.
17. Sandwich – Have yourself a peanut butter an honey sandwich. My favorite way to make the sandwich is to put peanut butter only on one piece of bread and honey on the other. Then I lay the sandwich on my plate honey-bread down to let the honey saturate the bread and make it a little crunchy. Mmmmm!
It is also delicious on peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Spread both pieces of bread with peanut butter. Place banana slices on one piece and drizzle with honey. Fry like you would a grilled cheese sandwich!
18. Fruit – Are your berries a little tart? Or your fresh peach slices? Stir a bit of honey into your cut fresh fruit bowl and serve for dessert.
19. Fruit Dip – Mix a little honey into a pack of room temperature cream cheese. Fruit dip!
20. Midnight Snack – Just dip your clean spoon in the jar and lick away! This is the best way how to use raw honey!
How to Use Raw Honey for Health
21. Garlic Lemonade – I listen to Dr. Aviva Romm’s podcast, Natural MD Radio, and found out about this amazing health tonic. During the cold and flu season I love to have a recipe of this mixed up in the fridge and ready to enjoy. I know it sounds weird, but even my husband likes this stuff!
22. Cinnamon Honey Tea – The honey/cinnamon combination are widely toted for their weight loss benefits. Whether that is true or not, honey and cinnamon are a wonderful pair for so many other health aids.
23. Elderberry Syrup – This is another tonic I keep in the fridge for cold and flu season. Elderberry syrup is so easy to make! I just love Heather’s brief overview of the benefits of this syrup and how to make it. I always use her recipe.
Read More: Natural Cold Remedies
24. Allergies – Whether local honey helps allergies or not is controversial. I like the way Mayo explains the phenomenon:
Honey has been studied as a cough suppressant and may have anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, some experts point out that honey can contain traces of flower pollen — an allergen. And one treatment for allergies is repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens.
So really, it is helping with your allergies: if not in the way of pollen exposure, then as an anti-inflammatory.
25. Cough Syrup – As mentioned in Mayo’s quote above, honey is known to help suppress coughs. In my dorm room one night I was desperate for relief from my cough and was keeping my roommates up. I remembered this old wive’s tale of honey as a cough syrup and slurped some down. We all finally got some sleep!
26. Sleep Aid – Honey helps tryptophan (the sleepy amino acid turkey is known for…) cross the blood brain barrier and allows you to fall asleep quicker.
How to Use Raw Honey in Your Personal Care Routine
27. Exfoliate – Honey is a gentle exfoliant for your face. It is especially helpful for those who struggle with acne because of raw honey’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Just wet your face and gently massage in raw honey. Rinse.
28. Lips – I have horrible lips. Mostly my fault because I pick at them. But honey does wonders for healing them. I just rub some raw honey on them and let it soak in. And it’s delicious!
29. Face Mask – Raw honey is great for rejuvenating the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Rub honey on your clean, dry face and let sit 15-30 minutes. Rinse.
30. Hair Treatment – Some people are hardcore and use honey with a little bit of water for thinning to wash their hair. Otherwise you can just mix a spoonful in with your regular shampoo and wash as usual. For a more intense treatment, do an oil-honey mask and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
32. Waxing – Yes! Even waxing! Check out a recipe here for DIY natural honey waxing.
How to Use Raw Honey Around the House
33. Gift – I’m all about consumable gift giving. Gifting a jar of honey is a “sweet” gesture and I’ve never met someone who doesn’t like it. Plus, if you find some from your neighbor or other local source it adds a bit of thoughtfulness.
34. Ant Trap – Ants love sweet things. Check out this recipe for DIY ant control.
So many ways to use raw honey! I hope you found a few new tips for using raw honey and were reminded of some old ones. Honey is just one of those pantry staples that never goes out of style!
Do you have some secrets on how to use raw honey?