Sunday, July 14, 2013

Honey

       Honey stores for an extremely long time as long as it is made safe from humidity.  Even objects stored in honey are preserved for decades or more. Kept below 99 degrees, honey can remain unchanged in glass, ceramic or plastic containers.  However, the bees make the best storage device for honey and ibn it's raw state lasts the longest.

hubpages.com
the secret art of mead making
 A good way to check if the honey you have purchased is ready for long term storage is through a viscosity test.  The addition of water to the honey thins it and opens the honey to crystallization, and fermentation.  You want to store a Pure honey that falls off a knife or honey drip in a steady stream without separating into drops.  Also the honey should bead up when it comes to rest after falling off the knife.  If water is present, it will spread out and run off not holding it's shape.  Honey sold as honey flavored syrup is about half honey and where it is a lovely syrup, it is also not good to be stored long term.  It is ,however, ready to start fermenting into mead, so, watch out! 


     Honey, is classified by the nectar it comes from and qualified by the color and taste.  The label will state, honeysuckle or orange blossom or clover and this shows the honey is monofloral or made from one flower.   From Wikipedia: Bees and toxic chemicals#Toxic honey
Honey produced from flowers of oleanders, rhododendrons, mountain laurels, sheep laurel, and azaleas may cause honey intoxicationSymptoms include dizziness, weakness, excessive perspiration, nausea, and vomiting. Because of the natural presence of botulinum endospores in honey,[87] children under one year of age should not be given honey. A blended honey is honey that has blended two or more nectars to create a new flavor.  In commercial processing with blending of many honeys, it is thought the toxic nature of toxic flowers is undone, but the danger to newborns from any honey remains the same.  

      Due to it's multiple uses as a sweetener in cooking and baking and as a medicine and topical ointment, it is worth studying honey.  Consider your personal use of honey now, and how much storage space you have to devote to it.  Can you control the temperature?  Do you have space, is the price prohibitive? Consider the uses:

Lip balm- bee's wax, honey and almond oil
Sore throat-  honey and lemon
Moisturizer- 1/2 tsp. honey and two tbsps warm water. Apply, stand a few                       minutes then rinse and pat dry.
Energy boost- add a spoon full to any drink
Antiseptic- use full strength on open wound or burn use watered down as                       antimicrobial wash.
15 Unconventional Uses for Honey | Life Hackerylifehackery.com 
Preserving fruit- cover fruit with honey and seal.
Syrup- mix honey and water to desired consistency then break out the                             pancakes!
Sugar substitute- that speeds metabolism, fewer calories than refined sugar.
Infused honeys- add fruit or spice to hot honey and reduce to cool and use.



      

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