Jammin' Jelly's
Pure Raw Honey
Michael Copping

Astor Park, FL

Throughout history man has enjoyed the delicious sweet taste of honey. Honey was man’s first sweetener. Ancient man treasured this natural sweet because it could not until recently be obtained in large amounts and because it was the only sweetener available. In some early civilizations honey was reserved for only the rich who could afford such luxuries. Taxes were many times paid in honey because of its great value.

There are several reasons why Honey should the sweetener of choice. It is easy to find. It is very easy to use. It gives superior results in all cooking, and surprisingly it is good for you. This cannot be said of many sweeteners. Honey is sweet and healthy to eat.

First, let’s talk about granulated white sugar, that cheap white, lifeless, flavorless sweet found in virtually everything, every where. Why use the word lifeless? White granulated sugar is pure Sucrose. Sucrose is a sugar new to the history of mankind as it can only be produced in large quantities from sugar cane and sugar beets. Millions of acres of these two crops are grown on overused marginal agricultural land using tons of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides for the subsidized profits that are received. The crop is then harvested, sent to huge refineries where the sugar cane or beets are crushed, squeezed, concentrated, bleached and stripped of all vitamins, minerals and flavors. When consumed by humans, the body must use previously stored B vitamins to help break down and digest the Sucrose before it can be used by the human body. Sucrose cannot be used by the body in its original form. The body must devote time and energy to use the Sucrose which has no food value to return to the body.

Honey on the other hand is hade by the Honeybee from a sweet fluid produced inside of flowers to attract the Honeybee. The flowers want to attract the Honeybee, because while it is gathering the sweet fluid, called Nectar, it purely by accident transfers pollen from one flower to another – this is called Pollination. When Pollination occurs a fruit, vegetable, seed or nut is sure to develop. In fact, if it were not for Honeybees, approximately one-third (1/3) of all food we eat would disappear for lack of Pollination. Honeybees account for nearly 20 Billion Dollars of Agricultural products.

In its natural form Honey is a mixture of sugars primarily Glucose and Fructose. These sugars do not require any special digestive process before they can be utilized by the body. Glucose as found in Honey is the energy source found and used naturally in the human body. Honey contains the B vitamins, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin, Nicotinic Acid and Pyridoxine. Small amounts of Vitamin C are also found. The Minerals found in Honey are quite extensive, including Potassium, Chlorine, Sulfur, Calcium, Sodium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Silica, Iron, Manganese, Copper and several trace elements. Accompanying these Vitamins and Minerals are acids and enzymes which help make Honey a truly fortified food.

Liquid Pure Honey does not contain any kind of preservatives or chemicals to enhance its flavor or its shelf life. Because of Honey’s high density, bacteria, mold, fungus, etc. cannot live in it. Nature has enclosed Honey in its own protective shield.

Honey is available in a variety of colors, from very light to very dark. Flavors are also varied depending on the type of flowers that the Honeybees gathered nectar from to make the Honey.

Honey in the form in which the Honeybees store it is called Comb Honey. Honeybees build sheets of small hexagonal compartments called cells from the pure edible beeswax which they make. In these small individual cells a few drops of Honey are stored and then sealed with beeswax. In years past this Comb Honey was harvested, cut into sections and sold as is. The contemporary way to eat and use Honey is in its familiar liquid form. The Honey when harvested is removed from the Beeswax Honeycomb and then bottles for use.

Honey can achieve one more form. This is a semi-solid form called Crystallized, Spun or Candied Honey. Liquid Honey when held at temperatures around 60ºF will form crystals of sugars. Eventually the Honey will have become a smooth creamy spread of microscopic honey crystals. All the flavor and nutrients are maintained. Honey in Europe is preferred in this form. If a liquid Honey is again needed, the jar of crystallized Honey can be placed in a pan of hot water until it reliquefies.

Those who previously believed Honey is only for breakfast toast are in for a surprise! Honey can be substituted for sugar in almost any recipe. In fact, entire cookbooks have been compiled containing only Honey recipes. A noted advantage of cooking with Honey is that foods made with it retain their moisture and freshness longer. When substituting Honey for sugar in your other recipes, follow these general guidelines: Substitute ¾ cup of Honey for one cup of sugar up to one cup. Reduce the total amount of other liquids in the recipe by ¼ cup per cup of Honey. Lower baking temperature 25ºF to prevent overbrowning.