Sunday 11 December 2016
I was recently sent some Beagle’s Bees honey from my friend Sophie to test out, as she knows I like to use honey to naturally-sweeten my baking.
I use raw honey because it retains beneficial properties, so it not only sweetens, but can also help fight colds and allergies.
Before I go on let’s start by clarifying what exactly a natural sweetener is. A natural sweetener is by definition is one that is unprocessed, and naturally occurring in nature – in the same state (or requiring minimal processing that you could do yourself).
So what’s so good about Beagle’s Bees honey? They are an organically based beekeeping and honey processing company based in Hawke’s Bay, adhering to Rudolf Steiner principles of natural living. Processing their own product allows them to supply an unheated product, ensuring an undamaged enzyme count with botanicals and a complex flavour to the pallet. They pride themselves in producing the best quality honey. As unprocessed as possible, fresh from the hive and into the jar (doesn’t get much more natural than that). Trying to eliminate processed substances from our diet while adding sweetness to our food can be tricky, and this is why Beagle’s Bees Honey is the perfect solution.
When honey is processed through larger beekeeping factories everything is heated, and it is highly likely that sugar, additives and water are added – which ruins all healthy qualities of honey. You may as well just eat sugar. By doing this themselves, Beagle’s Bees are able to give customers 100% honey – the way bees want it to be.
What are some of the health benefits of honey?
•Honey is a reducing sugar - meaning that your body can absorb it without having to process it.
•It’s a pure source of energy.
•It’s a bacterial static, antibiotic that helps balance the bacteria in your gut.
•It's loaded with an array of vitamins and minerals, including B2, B6, iron, and manganese.
•Its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties ward off colds.
I was given two flavours to try. The Green Planet Organics, which has a deep, rich, intense flavour of spice, apple, mustard and cinnamon was perfect for my paleo friendly crumble (http://www.embracingit.co.nz/php/recipes.php?recipe_id=96).
I used the JayJay’s blend, which had an intense yet smooth, toffee flavour with a mild citrus taste for my protein chocolate (http://www.embracingit.co.nz/php/recipes.php?recipe_id=138). Which gave it the subtle sweetness it needed alongside the cocoa. This was good as some honeys can add quite a distinct taste and take away from the flavours you are trying to create.
I found that the Beagle’s Bees products helped the baking keep for longer and made it moister than other honeys I have previously used. The honey melted really nicely when combined with coconut oil – showing its pure state.
Honey is sweeter than refined sugar, so you don’t need to use as much. If you are substituting in a recipe use ½ cup for each cup of sugar. You’ll find that once you start using it you may not even need this much.
I highly recommend this brand for your baking needs, it is reasonably priced and can be purchased online from http://www.beaglesbees.nz/They even have a big 1.5kg cooking jar!!
Be careful when shopping for honey, as a lot of products sold as natural, actually require a lot of refining and processing to get to the state they reach us in – making them far from natural. In small quantities organic raw honey can be an expensive purchase. Therefore, finding a local supplier such as Beagle’s Bees is the best option.
Remember - naturally derived sugars are still sugars, so moderation is key. But if you're going to have sugar, honey is one of the most nutritious ways to get it.
Thanks for sending these my way Beagle’s Bees, I’ll be back for more! Be sure to head over and give them a like on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beaglesbees?fref=ts