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Winnie the Pooh Knew a Health Secret

honeyWinnie the Pooh is famous for his love of honey. He would go to great lengths and perilous endeavors in order to get his paws on some of the golden goodness he loved to eat. I’m here to tell you that he was completely justified in his obsession. From skin health, to improved immunity, allergy relief to nutritional powerhouse, honey has served humanity well throughout the ages and deserves a place on your kitchen counter. Many people benefit from regular consumption of honey  but a question lingers… Can you get too much of a good thing?

How to Use Honey for Health

Honey is healing. I can verify that. Review my previous post for health benefits of honey.  But like all good things, it’s important to know where the balance is. It’s good to remember that honey is also a concentrated form of sugar, mainly fructose. When consumed in excess, fructose can cause a number of problems in the body, including fatty liver, elevated triglycerides, insulin resistance and obesity. This scenario is most likely to occur when calories are eaten in excess. So in other words, if you are maintaining a normal weight or losing weight, the amount of honey you eat can be more liberal. But if you are overweight or gaining weight, evenly slowly, the more fructose or honey you consume, the more likely it can lead to poor health consequences. The other thing that is tricky about honey (and sweeteners in general) is that it overrides our natural ability to know when to stop eating. If we have a sweet treat, whether it’s sweetened with honey or any other type of sugar, we are at greater risk for overeating. This can lead to an accumulation of excess calories and cause weight gain. This behavior will put you back into the unfavorable scenario described above. So what’s the right amount? One tablespoon of honey provides 17g of sugar and about 70 calories. For the average person who is not dealing with blood sugar issues or struggling to lose weight, a tablespoon a day is completely reasonable amount that should be well tolerated, especially if you’re only using a teaspoon at a time in your coffee or tea. If you are having trouble losing weight, adding 70 calories of sugar a day is not recommended. If you have diabetes or other difficulty metabolizing sugar, you would not want to consume a large portion of honey by itself. Instead, eat a smaller amount (a teaspoon) divided throughout the day (ideally with meals) to minimize the blood sugar response. honeycomb

Honey Recipes

Switchel

An old fashioned recipe used by farmers who needed a refreshing, energizing drink to keep them going during a long day out in the fields.

  • 9 cups water, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • Fresh lemon slices for garnish

Combine 3 cups water with ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the ginger-infused water into a pitcher, pressing on the ginger solids to extract all the liquid. Add honey (or maple syrup) and molasses; stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar and the remaining 6 cups water. Chill until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight. Stir the punch and serve in tall glasses over ice cubes. Garnish with berries, mint sprigs or lemon slices, if desired. (From Eatingwell.com)   From the Vermont Beekeepers Cookbook:

Honey Cocoa

  • 1 quart milk (can use almond milk)
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup honey

Mix cocoa and salt. Blend in ¼ cup hot milk. Mix until smooth. Add to scalded milk and stir in honey. Continue heating. Mix with rotary blender before serving. Serves five.

Apricot Chutney

  • 1 lb. dried apricots
  • 4 onions
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 Tbs grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1 cup honey
  • cayenne pepper and salt to taste

Soak apricots overnight in enough water to cover and boil until soft. Mince raisins and garlic and chop onion. Mix all ingredients together, boil for 30 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve with any curry dish or just as a condiment.

Honey Salad Dressing

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika

Whisk all ingredients together or shake using a lidded jar.

Honey Fudge Brownies

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 1oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup flour (use gluten free oat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 well beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt together over low heat, the butter, chocolate, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in rest of ingredients. Pour into greased 9×9 pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Sore Throat Remedy

  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs glycerin
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice

Mix together over low heat. Take a teaspoon as needed.

Cleansing Face Mask

  • Equal parts:
  • honey
  • egg yolk
  • sour cream or fine oatmeal

Apply liberally and leave on for 20 minutes before washing off with warm water.

Hand Lotion

  • 4 oz. honey
  • 4 oz. cucumber juice
  • 1/2 cup vodka

Pour cucumber juice and vodka into a bottle and seal & store in a dark place for 8 days. Filter the liquor through cheesecloth and stir in honey. Apply once a day.   If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more informative health tips and recipes like this in your inbox, sign up for the Bee Buzz Newsletter. There’s a free gift in it for you, too!

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