how some foods bring back memories. Every time I put honey on
my oatmeal, I remember — as a child — watching my
grandfather do the same.
recently sampled honey from L.R. Rice — a family-owned honey
farm in Greeley, Colo., and thought about the "Colorado
honey" my mom stocked in our home. My aunt, uncle and
cousins lived in La Jara (and later in Alamosa) and when we
visited, we’d make a special trip to buy honey from the
Haefeli family in Del Norte, Colorado. Later, after I was
married, we even bought Colorado honey on our
bees make honey from the nectar they collect from flowers.
While they buzz from plant to plant, they also help transfer
pollen that collects on their wings. That’s pretty important
since plants and trees rely on pollination to grow fruit and
honey is primarily a mixture of two simple sugars, fructose
and glucose, with a higher fraction of fructose compared to
glucose. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service,
one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, 17 grams of
carbohydrates, plus trace amounts of vitamins and minerals
including vitamin C, iron, zinc, and selenium.
food label, "honey" is defined by the US Food and
Drug Administration as the "thick, sweet, syrupy
substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers
and store in honeycombs." Some labels use the term
"pure honey" to reinforce this definition.
honey" has no official definition but according to the
National Honey Board (NHB), it generally denotes honey that
has not been heated or filtered.
ingredient removed when honey is filtered, says the NHB, is
pollen. Since "unfiltered honey" may contain
incidental amounts of pollen, it might not be the best choice
for people with pollen allergies.
honey better for you? In 2012, a team of researchers at the
University of Utah analyzed both raw and processed honey
samples for their vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content.
They found that processing almost entirely removed the pollen
from honey but did not affect nutrient or antioxidant levels.
In fact, these scientists reported that processing actually
increased the overall mineral content and antioxidant capacity
of the honey.
wine, honey can have different flavors depending on the type
of nectar a bee collects and the location of the hive. My
personal bias is Colorado clover honey but you can find local
varieties from Texas to Washington and everywhere in between.
Store your honey at room temperature in a sealed container,
since honey is an animal-produced food, it is not officially
on the accepted list for vegan diets.
important warning: DO NOT feed honey to infants less than one
year of age. Their immature digestive systems are more
susceptible to spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria
that can reside in honey and cause a rare but serious disease
called infant botulism.
fun fact: Both L.R. Rice and Heafeli’s are 5th generation
honey farmers in Colorado. That’s pretty sweet.