Is it healthy to cook with honey?

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dragnlaw

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as opposed to what? Agave, cane sugar, ???

Only unhealthy thing I can think of is overindulgence. But that goes for everything.
 

HeyItsSara

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The word Health can be everything or nothing. Sure, honey has nutrition - minerals, etc. But it matters what the options are.
 

blissful

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Honey has some nutrition in addition to the sugar. Fruits are good sweeteners too. Starting with dates........and least of all grapes.
 

blissful

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No wonder I have to consume so many grapes.... I concentrate them into a juice, let them ferm.. oh, ummm, never mind...

But there is plenty of "sugar" there? right?

;);)
lol....
They have a lot of sweet flavor, but less of a concentration of nutrients. Red, obviously have more anti oxidants, but they are a very sweet watery fruit. Compared to say, dates, where there is lots of sweet and fiber and nutrients throughout it.
 

larry_stewart

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Date Wine?
I actually made a cranberry wine a few years back which in addition to the cranberries, called for raisins and dates. It came out surprisingly good ( compared to the other crappy wines I've made).

I love honey, I want to take a bee keepers class next time I is offered locally.
Dont know much about its health benefits, but as mentioned above, I'd have to assume it has more nutritional benefits that plain sugar.
 

blissful

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You can look up recipes for date wine, and honey wine-mead.
@larry_stewart we are going to start beekeeping this next spring. The beekeeper's clubs in our area have monthly meetings. There is one in your area too.

I haven't done any search for nutritional benefits but have read that heating honey can destroy some of the nutritional benefits, so it needs to be kept under 115 deg F if warming it. We currently get honey from azure standard, unheated honey.
 

taxlady

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With all its bacteria, honey boost your immune system. But only when your immune system is active.
I really doubt that. Honey has properties that make it very inhospitable to microorganisms. It will keep for years and years, as long as it is properly stored. It's hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs water from the air, so it has to be stored air tight. It does contain yeast, but honey is extremely unfavourable to microbiological reproduction. To make mead, the honey has to be diluted with water to allow fermentation.
 

taxlady

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When I think about whether or not using honey in cooking is healthy, I think of it as sugar with a different flavour. Consuming too much honey is no healthier than consuming too much sugar. There have also been many cases of honey adulteration, which with a lot of consumption can lead to health problems. I'm not saying don't buy honey, I do, but I buy from small producers who care about their reputations. As far as I remember, it's some of the more industrial producers that have been caught cutting costs by the addition of cheaper adulterants.

Also, honey can change the texture of baked goods. Sometimes this is desirable. But, you can't just swap out the same amount of honey for sugar in a recipe and be assured of getting a similar or even acceptable result.
 

larry_stewart

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@larry_stewart we are going to start beekeeping this next spring. The beekeeper's clubs in our area have monthly meetings. There is one in your area too.
I looked into it a few years ago. I waned to take it with my soon. When we were finally ready to take the class, the head beekeeper had to leave the state for some Bee reasons. When the classes were finally going to resume, covid hit. Now its just a matter of finding a class that fits my schedule, but its definitely on the bucket list, Not sure if I'll ever get aa hive ( not even sure if its legal where I live in aa residential area), but just taking the class will be cool.
 

msmofet

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I just picked this up from Trader Joe’s. It’s pretty good. Going to do a test with a small amount of my cranberry relish. If good I’ll use as the sweetener for my relish this year.

A2EC29AC-2196-4C8B-8EA8-23EDBB3CB4E1.jpeg
 
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dragnlaw

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msm, sounds like it would go great in your relish. I think the flavours would match.
Not so sure about other things tho, a rather strong distinct flavour, no?

Agave has 56% to 68%, and the point is? Anything to excess is not healthy. But I believe honey or Agave would be better than cane/beet sugars. Sadly if you are diabetic - none of them are "good" and must be closely monitored.
 

GotGarlic

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From Honey vs Sugar: Which is Healthier?
Honey is composed mostly of the monosaccharide molecules glucose and fructose, just like table sugar. It has higher moisture content than table sugar, about 18% water. The exact makeup of each individual honey varies somewhat, but honey is generally composed of 80% sugar (fructose & glucose), 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen & protein...
Honey has trace amounts minerals and vitamins. This may be viewed as an advantage, but the values are so low that honey can’t really be considered a source of these nutrients.

For example, you would need to consume 40 cups of honey a day to reach your daily iron requirements.
Honey is quite acidic - its pH averages 3.9, which is below the level required for safe canning. This means that microorganisms can't grow in it. The low water content also prevents microorganisms from growing. The only one that can survive in it is Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism. That's why it shouldn't be fed raw to infants under one year old.

So it has tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals, but large amounts of sugar. Because of the water and acidity, it can't be substituted in a direct 1:1 ratio for sugar in baking recipes because it changes the chemistry substantially. For savory cooking, add to taste 😁
 
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Marlingardener

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We are former beekeepers. We would still have our two hives if a "neighbor" hadn't decided beekeeping was a good idea and moved in a hive of Africanized bees. In a matter of months, our bees were wiped out.
Anyway, there is no such thing as "organic honey". Bees forage for nectar/pollen for three miles in every direction from their hive. Also, bees are not aggressive unless they feel their hive is threatened. During a bad year (drought) they need supplemental feeding with white cane sugar water.
We studied up on beekeeping before making the substantial investment in equipment and a nuc, which is a nuclear hive to start a fully inhabited hive.
The best books we found were Beekeeping for Dummies (ISBN 0-7645-5419-0) and Hive Management by Richard E. Bonney (ISBN-13: 978-0-88266-637-2).
Larry, you don't need a beekeeping club to learn--just read and find a source of equipment and starter hive.
Beekeeping is very enjoyable, and the honey is an added bonus!
 

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