Written by contributor Krissa Jeldy of More Than Mundane.
One of the things I always keep well stocked in my home is raw honey. Of course I use honey all the time in the kitchen, but I’ve also found many other uses for honey in our home.
That’s why, when the local U-pick blueberry farm opened up this Spring and I remembered enjoying the couple of containers of honey I had picked up the year before (and run out of far too soon,) I decided to stock up. A good price on local, raw honey? I’m in!
The girls at the counter seemed surprised by my request for so much honey and asked me what in the world I used all the honey for, and all I could think was, “Everything! What don’t I use it for?” I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t completely normal to be buying so much honey!
Honey not only is a natural sweetener and a delicious addition to baked goods and other dishes, but it also has many other amazing qualities as well. Here are a few benefits of raw honey:
- Natural humectant, drawing moisture from the air, making it wonderful for your face and hair.
- Antibacterial, making it great for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
- Good source of antioxidants.
- Good source of carbohydrates, providing a natural energy boost.
In the Kitchen
Honey is sweeter than sugar and has a distinctive taste, which is important to keep in mind when substituting honey for sugar. I always use a little less honey and decrease other liquids in the recipe slightly when using honey. Try these delicious baked goods made using honey:
Salad Dressings and Marinades
Raw honey is a perfect replacement for sugar in many salad dressings and marinades. Honey is a natural emulsifier as well, so it is a great addition to any vinaigrette. Simply substitute honey for sugar in your dressing and marinade recipes, or try one of these dressings or marinades containing honey:
- Sweet Onion Poppyseed Dressing
- Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
- Honey Sesame Dressing for Asian Chicken Salad
- Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
Honey is commonly used to sweeten tea, but I also love adding honey to warm milk with a little vanilla and/or cinnamon for a sleep-inducing bedtime drink.
Smoothies don’t usually require much sweetening, but if you find that you do need a little sweetness, a squeeze of honey is perfect.
Perfect Honey Pairings
- Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts
- Fruit: apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, figs, citrus, peaches, pears, plums, raisins
- Herbs and Spices: cinnamon, ginger, lavender, mint, mustard, nutmeg, sage, thyme, vanilla
- Vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes
- Dairy: butter, buttermilk, soft cheeses (goat, ricotta), cream
- Meats: chicken, duck, ham, lamb, pork
Some winning combinations:
- Dried apricots + goat cheese + almonds + honey = Dried Apricots w/Basil Goat Cheese & Almonds
- Blueberries + Honey + Cream/Buttermilk = Blueberry Honey Ice Cream (pictured above)
- Apricots + Honey + Lavender = Honey-Sweetened Apricot Lavender Butter
In Your Beauty Routine
I love to wash my face with honey. It’s simple and easy and does the trick! Honey is great for all skin types, and since it’s a humectant, it provides great moisturizing benefits as well.
To wash your face with honey, simply take a small dime sized amount and rub between your fingertips. Smooth all over your face and rinse off. Read more about washing your face with honey here.
Honey makes a great conditioner. Smooth into your hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes as a moisturizing hair mask, or if you’re short on time, add a squeeze of honey to your conditioner.
Homemade Honey Beauty Products
In Home Remedies
Colds, Coughs, and Sore Throats
For a cough and sore throat take a spoonful of raw honey or mix some honey into your tea.
I also use honey to help get the garlic down. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and a well known home remedy for illness. However, it’s not so fun to eat raw. I’ve found it so much easier to stomach when it’s mixed with raw honey on toast, and then you get double the benefits from the garlic and honey combined!
I make this Elderberry Syrup all Fall and Winter to boost our immunity and help us get better quickly when we’re sick. Naturally, it contains raw honey, which should be added after the Elderberry Syrup mixture has cooled down enough to not destroy all of the health benefits of the raw honey.
Raw honey has antibacterial properties and provides pain relief while healing, making it perfect for cuts and scrapes and even bee stings. It also helps make removing bandages less painful.
Honey is also helpful for postpartum care.
The uses and benefits of raw honey are extensive. Always make sure you buy raw honey to achieve the maximum benefits and local, raw honey is even better! Use this Honey Locator to find raw honey near you.
**Remember not to give honey to infants under one year old.
Am I the only one so crazy about honey? What’s your favorite use for honey?