Natural and unfiltered. From a brand that's been making pure honey since 1972. Tested for impurities including pesticides and herbicides. Has a loyal following of repeat customers who rave about the quality and flavor.
Some bottles arrived damaged and/or with broken seals. A few reports of crystallized honey upon arrival.
Generous 5-pound bottle will last for a long time. Perfect for consumers who use a lot of honey, such as bakers and chefs. Pure honey with no fillers. A good value for the price.
Customers have mixed opinions of the flavor – some love it, some say it's a bit "off." A few bottles arrived with loose lids, resulting in spilled honey.
Sourced in New Zealand and tested for purity. Contains MGO, a natural compound touted for having healing properties. Some consumers reported noticeable results when used for skin irritations. Also nice for sweetening tea and coffee. Has a thick consistency.
Expensive, plus you only get 8.8 ounces per jar. Not everyone likes the taste.
Raw, unfiltered honey; U.S. Grade A. Thick and easy to spread on foods like biscuits and toast. Has a pleasant flavor. Large 3-pound jar for a reasonable price.
Comes in plastic jars that aren't sealed very well. Not organic. A few owners found the label confusing and question if it's pasteurized.
Not only is it delicious and sweet, but the right honey is good for you. It can be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, soothe your throat, and possibly even help lower your blood pressure. Honey comes in a wide variety of flavors, no two jars taste exactly the same, and it is recognized as the only fresh food that doesn’t spoil.
If you’re looking for honey that has all of these benefits, you need to find raw honey. Raw honey is different from regular honey because it hasn’t been pasteurized and filtered to the point of eradicating most of its beneficial properties. Many types of regular honey also contain unhealthy additives like high-fructose corn syrup.
If you’d like to learn more about the different kinds of honey and how to determine which is healthier for you, keep reading. If you’re ready to buy a jar, consider one of the highly rated products we’ve spotlighted in our matrix.
When purchasing honey, the first thing to consider is the different types: regular, raw, and organic.
Regular honey is mostly what you find on grocery shelves. If it doesn’t say “raw” on the label, it is not raw honey. Regular honey is subjected to pasteurization and filtration, which makes the honey safer to eat, but those processes also destroy many of the natural benefits of raw honey. Most notably, regular honey may not contain any bee pollen, which is so beneficial that some countries recognize it as a medicine. Additionally, regular honey may contain additives, such as added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Because raw honey is sold in its natural state, unpasteurized and unfiltered, it retains all its vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and bee pollen. It is possible that trace elements of undesirables, such as venom or bee parts, may find their way into raw honey as well. However, raw honey contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the human body. If you are looking beyond sweetness for the healthier option, raw honey is the way to go.
Organic honey is not necessarily raw honey. Rather, it means the flowers, bees, and honey are not permitted to come into contact with chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. However, organic honey may be pasteurized and filtered like regular honey, which removes much of the honey’s beneficial properties. For the very healthiest honey, look for a product that is labeled as both organic and raw.
The other features to take into account when buying honey come down to matters of personal taste and preference.
How much honey do you use? Since honey doesn’t spoil, if it’s more economical to buy a larger jar or even to purchase in bulk, that might be a wiser choice.
The color of honey offers more than just aesthetic appeal. Typically, the darker the color, the more intense the flavor.
Honey typically comes in two different textures, either the sticky liquid that most people are familiar with or a buttery cream. Liquid honey is usually pasteurized but not always – it depends on how hot the honey was heated. Honey can also crystalize over time, but that texture can be smoothed by slightly warming the honey while slowly stirring.
The flavor of honey comes from the flowers the bees visited. If you discover a fondness for a particular flavor, such as tupelo, search for that type of honey. If you’d like to explore your options, there is a wide variety of honey flavors to choose from.
Many individuals prefer honey from their area. But if you’d like to expand your palate, consider honey from other locales and different countries.
If you have concerns about how the honey you are considering is harvested, look for honey that is True Source-certified. True Source is a voluntary system that allows honey manufacturers to be transparent, certifying that their sourcing practices are in full compliance with U.S. and international trade laws.
Don’t be swayed by price alone. Though the best honey may cost a little more than you were expecting, that is not to say you can’t find exceptional honey at a lower price. In the $5 to $10 price range, you’ll find jars of mostly wildflower and clover honey that is a golden or amber in color.
From $10 to around $17, you can find local honey along with jars that have been infused with other ingredients, such as ginger, lemon, and additional pollen. The honey may come in glass jars instead of squeeze bottles at this price.
From $18 to $30, you’ll find specialized products, such as tupelo honey and manuka honey. For over $30, you should be cautious and do your research because the higher price does not always translate to a better product.
Honey is most often named for the nectar of the flower it contains. In the United States, there are roughly 300 different types of honey. To give you an idea of what is available, here are some of the more common varieties of honey.
Q. Can local honey cure my allergies?
A. This is one of the most hotly debated issues in the world of honey. The answer depends on who you ask. Taking a spoon of honey won’t stop you from sneezing, but some doctors believe local honey can work like allergy shots by helping you build up an immunity to local pollen. Other doctors state that the allergens found in local honey are not the ones that bring about sneezing fits. However, honey has been proven to suppress coughs, and it has some anti-inflammatory effects – inflammation is part of an allergic reaction – so the debate continues.
Q. Is honey safe for my child?
A. Never give honey to a child who is younger than 12 months old because it contains a bacteria that can cause botulism. Infant botulism is treatable if caught early. The symptoms can begin as soon as 18 hours after ingestion and include constipation, weak muscles (which shows up as floppy movements), weak cry, irritability, drooling, paralysis, and more. The sooner you get medical treatment, the better.
Q. My honey has turned into hard crystals, should I throw it away?
A. No. One of the many wonders of honey is that it is the only food that doesn’t spoil. Processed honey, however, may not last forever because vital elements have been filtered out. The crystallization of honey does not mean it has gone bad. In fact, if you simply place the jar of crystalized honey in a container of warm water and stir it gently, those crystals will dissolve.
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