Secrets of choosing the right 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 sweet honey jar in winter, you get not only a treat for tea, but also an excellent remedy for the treatment and prevention of many diseases. In addition, with it, you can replenish the supply of vitamins and minerals, which we lack so much during the cold season. Indeed, 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 advantage of 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 sugar substitute.
In order to get the maximum benefit from it, you should buy a natural product. But here's how to choose the right honey, many of us have no idea.
For starters, you should know that honey is of two kinds. Depending on what the bees collect, it can be floral or fawn. In the first case, the bees collect nectar from the plants, and in the second, the pad (sweet excretions of insects and plants). By utility they are in no way inferior to each other.
Also honey is centrifugal and cellular. 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 honey comb 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 need to be very careful, because you can buy a fake - artificial honey. Outwardly, it practically does not differ from natural. But there will be no benefit from it. It is made from cane and beet sugar with the addition of melon juice and watermelon.
It completely lacks all the 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.
- Aroma. Artificial honey does not have such a pronounced honey smell that is inherent in the natural product of beekeeping.
- Consistency. We are used to buying honey exclusively in liquid form - this is its characteristic state immediately after pumping out. In fact, it can be "sat down" or crystallized. Depending on how much time has passed after pumping out natural centrifugal honey and at what temperature it was stored, 3-5 weeks are enough for it to fully crystallize, whereas honeycomb 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 at the bottom of the container.
But do not think that honey is something worse than liquid honey. After its crystallization, all useful properties are preserved in full. In addition, if you buy honey, you can be sure that this is a natural product.
If in the winter you see honey in the liquid state on the shelves of the market, then this is either fake or natural honey that has been melted. In order to transfer honey from solid to liquid, it must be heated at a high temperature. But in this case, it loses most of its useful properties. Temperatures above 50 ° C are detrimental to honey.
The naturalness of liquid honey can be checked as follows:
- take a thin wooden stick and dip it in honey;
- slowly pull this stick up - if the honey is natural, then it will reach for it with a thin continuous thread;
- when the thread breaks, a bump should form on the surface where it began, and the last drop of honey on a stick should be pulled upwards.
If honey quickly flows down 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, there is always some fading in it. 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 you have a fake, or hot 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 over time. At first it becomes turbid, then flakes (honey crystals) appear on the bottom of the jar, which gradually fill the entire can, and 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.Therefore, do not pursue amber-clear 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 at least 1.4 kg. If a liter jar is completely filled, and its mass is significantly less than the specified value, then you have either honey diluted with non-ripe 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 is very poorly stored. In addition, he can wander. Eating it is dangerous for your health.
- Colour. There are many shades of honey. They range from almost white to dark brown and burgundy. It all depends on the period of flowering of which plant coincides with the time of the honey collection, and on the state of 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 the bees collect nectar in a radius of 10 km, and different plants can bloom in this vast area at different times. Whatever it was, but the color of honey is not an indicator of its naturalness, it can only tell us what kind of product it is.
As for the variety of honey, you can get lost in all this variety. After all, there are a lot of flowering plants, and they affect not only the color of sweet delicacy, but also its healing properties.
The name of the honey varieties is mainly given depending on the prevailing honey plant, for example, lime, buckwheat, etc. It is not difficult to select the main honey plant if the apiary is located near the territory where it grows in large quantities, for example, near the field with buckwheat.
But there are cases when it is rather 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 collection 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 already been able to see, honey can be completely different, both in taste and in color.List all varieties simply does not make sense, but we can give you a brief description of the most popular and useful ones.
- Let's start with lime honey. It has a pleasant aroma of linden flowers. The color of this delicacy can be different: white, light amber, greenish, yellowish or completely transparent. Linden honey has a pleasant specific taste. And for its medicinal properties it has practically no equal. It is an excellent expectorant, so it is used to treat colds such as bronchitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, asthma. In addition, lime honey has remarkable antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is used to treat ulcers and burns, gynecological disorders, kidney and liver diseases. In addition, it strengthens the heart muscle.
- Acacia honey. It is almost transparent, but in the process of crystallization it becomes white like milk, and by its consistency it resembles cottage cheese. Acacia honey is the most liquid of all varieties. It has a delicate acacia aroma and taste. This delicacy is used as a fortifying agent, it improves immunity and soothes the nervous system.Therefore, it can be used as a natural sleeping pill. Especially this variety is useful in diseases of the genitourinary system, diseases of the kidneys and bile ducts.
- Buckwheat honey In color, it can be different, mostly dark shades: from greenish-brown to dark brown, and even burgundy. This variety has a characteristic spicy aroma and a pronounced taste, which can cause sore 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 it 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 thick sweet smell. It tastes a bit harsh and tart. This variety crystallizes very quickly, and its crystals are very large. It contains the largest amount of vitamin A compared to other varieties. Sunflower honey has excellent bactericidal properties, therefore it is used for the treatment of first and second degree of severity burns.
- Meadow honeyIt is collected by bees from a variety of wild meadow flowers, therefore it has a very pleasant aroma. It comes in different shades of yellow. It has good analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Field honey. It is harvested from the colors of crops. The color can be both colorless and orange-yellow. It has hemostatic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
And this is an incomplete list of all varieties of this sweet product. But in order to at any time of the year natural honey bring you the maximum amount of benefit, you need to know how to properly store this tasty delicacy.
- Dishes, which will contain honey should be either glass, ceramic, enamel, or birch bark. With wooden containers you need to be careful, as some species of trees can give the honey uncharacteristic smells and tastes. All containers with honey must be sealed.
In no case can you store honey in galvanized, copper dishes, or iron or black iron. The oxidation process begins in these tanks, and your useful product turns into poison.
- The place where the honey will be stored must be clean and dry. If the product is in a glass container, then it should be isolated from the light, as under the influence of direct sunlight the honey loses its useful properties. Also, it should not be stored near sources of strong odors, such as in the kitchen. This fragrant product very quickly absorbs all the surrounding odors.
- Honey storage temperature can be from 0 to + 10ºС. It is also quite possible to store it at lower temperatures, up to -20ºС. Therefore, you can keep this sweet treat in the refrigerator or cellar.
If you adhere to our recommendations regarding the correct selection and storage of natural honey, it will delight you with its taste and useful properties at any time of the year, in winter and in summer, and even after 30 years!
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