Honey is a delicious and natural sweetener many of us are already familiar with. For those looking to eat fewer processed foods, honey may seem like a good natural choice as a sweetener, but first you must know that not all honey is created equal.
Most commercial honey sold in stores is heated to high temperatures and pasteurized, getting rid of most of the beneficial enzymes, antioxidants and other nutrients that are heat-sensitive.
Commercial honey has also had most of the pollen removed. Bee pollen is considered to be one of the most nutritionally complete foods available due to its high amino acid and antioxidant content.
Although most commercial honey is not beneficial to your health, raw honey has multiple health benefits. Raw honey is unheated, unprocessed and unpasteurized. Therefore, it is able to keep all of its nutrients intact, as they are not destroyed by processing.
Raw honey contains bee pollen, has a high content of antimicrobial agents and is full of antioxidants. It will generally have a honey comb included in the jar along with the honey.
Since it is not processed, it will usually crystallize easily and may not be in an easy to use liquid form. It will also usually not be clear, as we are used to with commercial honey, but may be a little cloudy due to the pollen and nutrient content.