What Is The Shelf Life Of Honey
Honey is actually a pretty interesting foodstuff. First off, we all know that it has antibacterial properties and it is thought to help fight against infections such as colds and flu. In addition, some people take it internally (such as cough drops) or externally (such as ointments) in order to treat minor cuts and burns. It also contains antioxidants which are believed to protect us from cancer and other diseases. Finally, it is said to be great for our skin because of its vitamin-rich nature. However, these only scratch the surface when it comes to what honey can do for you.
As mentioned above, honey is primarily composed of sugar, but not just any type of sugar – bees produce their own special kind called “honey”. This means that the chemical makeup of each batch is different. As with many types of fruit, this unique blend of sugars makes honey very caloric, so too much can cause weight gain. On the flip side, eating healthy amounts of honey can keep you feeling full without adding extra calories. Also, studies show that consuming honey may lower your cholesterol levels. Lastly, honey is often used as a sweetener for recipes, especially baking ones.
However, like any other product, honey does have an expiration date or “shelf life” if you will. Like milk, honey should always be consumed within 6 months after opening. If you plan on storing it at home, then make sure to use a container that keeps it in a cool dark place. Otherwise, it could last about 2 years if it is unopened and kept away from heat and light, though it won’t necessarily last as long once opened.
According to the National Honey Board, most honey products have an expiration date or “best by” date of around two years. Although this seems quite long, bear in mind that this is not how long it would last in actuality since it depends greatly upon where you bought it and what ingredients were added. For example, pure raw honey (meaning nothing was added to it aside from water and bee pollen) can last up to 5 years! So basically, if you buy it in bulk and store it properly, it can effectively stay good for decades, sometimes even longer. And, unlike many processed foods, honey doesn’t have preservatives, additives or dyes added to keep it fresh looking.
So next time you’re thinking about popping open a jar of honey, think again. You might want to wait until you have another reason to enjoy it before doing so…like cooking with it instead.
You may remember hearing something about “bee bread,” but did you ever wonder why? Well, according to the American Bee Journal, the origins of “bee bread” began during World War II. Back then, bakers had to use a lot less flour due to rationing. They found they could replace it with wheat bran and surplus molasses. Afterward, they began experimenting with various combinations of those three ingredients with varying degrees of success. Today, “bee bread” is now popular throughout Europe and America. Its popularity is likely due to its versatility; it is delicious, easy to prepare, and contains nutrients that can benefit health. Even better, it tastes wonderful.
The following recipe is one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Bee Bread Recipe
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup skimmed milk
Mix together well. Grease 4 muffin tins. Divide mixture among them. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on wire racks.
Makes 12 servings.
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