Honey is an excellent source of sweetness, it's natural, and contains useful minerals and vitamins aplenty. Sounds simple and good, right? While it's definitely good, simple it is not. If you are just discovering honey, you are probably confused about raw, local, pure, floral, organic, and natural varieties of honey, let alone different brands.
Our goal here is to help clarify a few things and help you decide what honey could work best for you, so let's dive in:
Yes, the best advice we can give you is to get your honey raw and from a local beekeeper.
Those bees live in your environment and their honey can help you boost your immunity against allergies. By buying from local farmer you will support local economy and reduce your environmental footprint. You can even ask to tour the farm and see exactly where you honey comes from and if it's really organic and up to your standards.
If there are no bee keepers close buy and you can't get access to local farmers markets, store bought commercial honey might be your best option. Some people would fuss at this option, but any honey from the store is better than sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It's kind of the same as with the statement that table sugar is better than artificial sweeteners and that same corn syrup. This is why while commercial honey is not the best, but it's OK to buy 100% pure honey from your grocery store.
Not all honey is created equally. First, different bees have different access to different flower types, and then there is weather, landscape, soil, and environmental pollution level to take into consideration. For example honey from New Zealand will be a lot cleaner than honey from China simply because of pollution.
There are also different bee keeping practices, ethics, culture, and regulations, such as adding sugar, antibiotics for bees, and chemical use.
We all know that every honey maker claims his honey is best and the most valuable, but how do we find the real truth? That's not easy to verify, but it has been agreed that Manuka from New Zealand, Tualang from Malaysia, Sidr from Yemen, and honeydew honey from Europe all contain anti-bacterial properties and are medicinally more valuable.
These honeys can be 10-20 times more expensive than most regular kinds are simply unattainable for many consumers. If you do have such honeys, you probably won't put them in your tea, but use them for cuts, burns, infections, sore throats, and other illnesses.
It's all about the naming. We understand that raw honey is untreated, untouched, and comes in the most pure form. However, it's very hard to know exactly what goes on behind the scenes. Some raw honey gets slightly warmed to prevent granulation for a short time.
Pure honey contains an unknown amount of real honey and some additives.
Many natural honey brands use pasteurized, filtered, and/or heated honey. This appeals to people with allergies, but health conscious consumers prefer seeing some pollen and particles.
Imported honey can be cheaper, but it can also be cheap as in low quality. Local bee keepers have hard time competing with those volume exporters, so our suggestion is to support local farmers. Most honey in America is imported from China and packaged as local, so be very careful. We, the consumers, should spend a little more and support our own farmers and environment.
Honey production is extremely hard to keep track of, but there are plenty of certified organic producers. A lot depends on your own belief in organic food or the lack of that belief. It takes a lot to get the farm certified organic – the source of nectar, foraging area, bee management, honey extracting process, packaging, transportation, and many other variables all have to be certified as organic by agriculture certification body.
We believe in organic honey and would like to encourage you to spend a bit extra on a superior product for your own health and that of the environment.
This is where taste preference comes in. Some consumers enjoy rich taste of multi-floral honey, while others crave more distinct mono-floral flavors. You should definitely try various kinds before settling on your favorites. Mild honey works great with strong flavor foods and beverages, while bland foods and teas often call for rich and strong tasting honey. Some people love all kinds of combinations, so possibilities are endless.
Let's now take a look at 7 best raw organic honey brands we love to recommend:
1. 100% Raw Australian Manuka Honey
This beauty contains no added sugar, pharmaceuticals, or chemicals. There is no heat used in its production to save antibacterial properties for wound healing. It is made in a facilities powered by solar power and every batch is tested for medicinal potency. The plant bees get this honey from is native to New Zealand Leptospermum.
2. Y.S Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey
This unfiltered honey possesses live enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that remain whole and intact after processing. It's creamy and goes well with foods and various drinks. You will find flavor mild and texture containing natural crystals.
3. Kiva Manuka Raw Honey
Kiva honey is used as a supplement and thus is packaged in individual pouches with UMF ratings. The honey is harvested in forests and coastal areas of New Zealand. It is widely used for treating colds, flu, sore throat, wounds, digestion, beauty, and fitness needs.
4. Evva Sunflower Raw Honey
Evva honey is harvested in Moldavia and is very highly rated. It's organic, kosher, and has no additives. This honey is never heated to more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit and contains antioxidants, iron, fiber, and protein.
5. Go Raw Honey
This is the best source for saving money by buying in bulk. Every gallon of this raw unpasteurized clover honey has enzymes and yeast and is made in America. One order contains 12 gallons of light colored mild honey for you and your friends to enjoy for a long time.
6. Beenz Premium Manuka Honey
This is another great example of New Zealand honey held to the highest standards that comes from bees whose environment is carefully not disturbed. The flowering season of Leptospermum plant is very short – this is why this honey is so special and expensive.
7. Y.S Organic Be Farms Organic Raw Honey
This is not the only product from this company on our radar, but this honey is 100% raw, untreated, and comes in hard form with maximum crystals. However hard it is to ensure that bees gather pollen from organic plants this company is always going the extra mile to do just that.