It’s September, and that means it is National Honey Month!
Honey Month was initiated by The National Honey Board in 1989. September was chosen because it is the month that marks the end of the honey collection season for many of the US bee keepers. In honor of National Honey Month, we have put together this list of 18 interesting honey facts.
1. According to the Honey Association, honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey. So, one bee would have to fly around 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
2. The bee’s nectar source (the blossoms) determine the color and flavor of the honey. In the US alone there are more than 300 kinds of honey.
3. Lighter colored honey is generally milder in flavor and the darker colored honey is usually stronger in flavor.
4. Honey is great when used to soothe a sore throat. For a soothing drink for sore throats, mix honey with the juice of half a lemon, add boiling water and stir.
5. According to the National Honey Board, honey is a rich source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon, which makes it ideal for your working muscles since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are necessary in the diet to help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates, which are the most important fuel source for athletes to help them keep going. Add honey to your bottle of water for an energy boost during your next workout.
6. Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. For this reason honey is used in a variety of moisturizing products including cleansers, creams, shampoos and conditioners.
7. In the past, honey was the primary sweetener used in cooking and baking. When refined sugar made from sugar cane came along, it provided an inexpensive alternative form of sweetening and began to replace honey for cooking purposes.
8. Honey is one of the purest foods on the planet. A bottle of pure honey contains nothing but a sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants. Nothing is added to or taken out of honey.
9. Honey never goes bad! It was reported that archaeologists found 2000 year old jars of honey in Egyptian tombs and they still tasted great!
10. You should not give honey to babies. Honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin-producing bacteria in infants’ immature intestinal tracts, leading to illness and even death.
11. Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage mead, which is also known as “honey wine” or “honey beer”.
12. As of 2012, the top producers of honey were China, Turkey, and Argentina followed by the Ukraine and the United States.
13. Some people consume local honey as a treatment for seasonal allergies due to pollen. There is inconclusive scientific evidence to back up the claim.
14. A cave painting in Valencia, Spain holds evidence that humans began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago.
15. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
16. Historically honey was often used as a dressing for wounds and a first aid treatment for burns and cuts because of its antiseptic properties.
17. To avoid crystallization, store your honey at room temperature (on your countertop or a pantry shelf are good places). If your honey crystallizes, place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve, or place the honey container into near boiling water that has been removed from the heat.
18. You can find honey raised locally by clicking on “find a farm product” on our homepage. Type in honey and a list of farms that produce honey will appear!
With fall around the corner, and National Honey Month in full swing, go ahead and celebrate with this Pumpkin Honey Bread recipe we found on the National Honey Board’s website.
Pumpkin Honey Bread
• 1 cup – honey
• 1/2 cup – butter or margarine, softened
• 1 can (16 oz.) – solid-pack pumpkin
• 4 – eggs
• 4 cups – flour
• 4 teaspoons – baking powder
• 2 teaspoons – ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons – ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon – baking soda
• 1 teaspoon – salt
• 1 teaspoon – ground nutmeg
In large bowl, cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. Sift together remaining ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Divide batter equally between two well-greased 9 x5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert pans to remove loaves and allow to finish cooling on racks.