Heather honey: properties and features of use
Heather honey has long been a controversial product - on the one hand, many beekeepers consider it to be grassroots, on the other hand, almost everyone who has tasted this miracle admires its aroma and taste. Heather honey is useful or not, how to use and store it is discussed in this article.
What is heather honey? Description and characteristic
The substance is produced by bees after visiting the flowers of heather - an evergreen shrub of the heather family. The uniqueness of the plant is confirmed by the fact that it is the only representative of its family. Heather grows in many countries, but in Scotland its wild thickets make up about 75% of these bushes worldwide. It can also be found in Russia. The habitat of the plant chooses sand and peat wasteland, burning, coniferous forests.
Important! When thickened, this bee product does not tend to sugar, but takes a jelly-like form. After thorough stirring, it becomes liquid, and over time it gels again.
Heather honey has characteristic features that cannot be confused with any other product:
- color - depending on the place of collection, it can be either yellow-red or dark brown;
- smell - the aroma of wild wastelands with bushes of honey heather is difficult to convey in words, as it is beautiful and unusual;
- taste - tart, rich, has a long finish and pronounced bitterness;
- crystallization - does not occur due to increased ductility.
The chemical composition and calorie content of the product
This type of honey is characterized by a high protein content - up to 1.86%, with the calorie content of other species up to 1%. The composition includes compounds of light metals - potassium, calcium, zinc. There are also a large number of B vitamins (in particular, riboflavin).
Calorie content of the product is as follows:
- 100 g - 300 kcal;
- tablespoon - 110 kcal;
- teaspoon - 35 kcal.
Properties of honey for the human body
The bee product, although useful, has some contraindications. In some cases, its use can bring not pleasure from the taste, but rather large health troubles.
How useful this unique sweetness can be told for a very long time. And folk recipes from it are numerous and varied.
- In addition to the use in cooking, the healing properties have long been used in the treatment and prevention of many diseases:
- antiseptic and early healing of wounds;
- respiratory diseases - from colds to asthma and pneumonia;
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract - diarrhea, heartburn;
- problems of the musculoskeletal system - gout, rheumatism;
- psychological problems - phobias, insomnia, a state of arousal.
Did you know? From one hectare of moorland, bees can produce up to 200 kg of honey, and one family can make up to 50 kg per bribe.
Harm and contraindications
Heather honey does not have any toxins, but it must still be used sparingly. Given the presence of so-called “fast” sugars (glucose and sucrose), it can be understood that it can lead to obesity and diabetes mellitus no worse than sugar or chocolate. Moderate use will protect against such misfortune. Allergy sufferers should not use the product - in order to avoid health problems. Children can be given sweetness in small quantities only after consulting a pediatrician.
How to determine heather honey for naturalness at home?
Given the considerable cost of this exclusive product, some businessmen are able to go in for falsification of the product and give out some kind of mess for real sweetness. When buying, you must carefully consider the proposed substance, even if this causes protests from the seller.
Only a real treat of heather for 2-3 minutes will not begin to flow down the walls of the jar, laid horizontally. The color may be different, but the properties are the same - if the viscous liquid is not glass, then the product is natural.
Another verification method is the presence in the mass of small bubbles that appear during pumping out of the cells. The presence of such air bubbles indicates that the substance was not subjected to heating, stirring, mixing or dilution. The more uniformly the bubbles are located in the thickness of the product, the greater the likelihood of its authenticity.
How to apply
Heather honey is used for various purposes, since its beneficial properties have been familiar to man since ancient times. He treats ailments, and is used in cosmetics, and used in food.
Read also about the properties of sainfoin honey.
In folk medicine
Traditional medicine offers recipes with the help of which heather honey can treat some diseases:
- insomnia, a state of stress - a teaspoon of goodies eaten before bedtime will help;
- the appetite will restore the dessert of two tablespoons of the product, which is mixed with half a glass of peeled walnuts;
- problems with the oral mucosa in inflammatory diseases can be solved by dissolving a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water.
Regular intake of small portions of bee medicine will help in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and also improve mood.
External use is not limited to rinsing the oral mucosa. Heather sweetness is good for cleansing the skin, wrapping honey for weight loss, relaxing treatments and massage for the whole body.
Using honey for food is a natural and very enjoyable process. Both an athlete and any person without contraindications can safely eat up to four tablespoons of this treat, regardless of the intake of basic food products. For adolescents, the "dose" should be reduced to two spoons.
Important! When diluting honey with warm water, tea or another liquid, when added to hot dishes, it is worth remembering: at a temperature of 40 ° C it loses almost all of its useful properties. In the form of desserts, the delicacy can be used in mixtures with dried fruits, various nuts, kefir or yogurt, butter, ice cream. It harmonizes well with any warm tea. Heather delicacy can also be used in marinades or meat sauces.
Given the sweetness, the uniqueness of the taste and aroma of the bee product from heather, it is not surprising that a person has learned to make excellent alcohol out of it. British heather honey liqueurs are famous for the perfect combination of taste for this type of liquor.
At home, Scottish liquor can be prepared as follows.
Ingredients (per 0.5 l of liquor):
- heather honey: 1-2 tbsp. l .;
- whiskey: 250 ml;
- cream: 100 ml;
- oatmeal: 2-4 tbsp. l
Step by step recipe:
- Slowly pour the cream into the cereal bowl while stirring constantly.
- Bring the mixture to a creamy state and set aside for 1 hour until thickened.
- Introduce whiskey into the thickened mixture, stir until smooth.
- Add honey, mix thoroughly until it dissolves.
- Pour into a wide-necked bottle or other suitable container.
Did you know? The ballad of R. L. Stevenson, popular in the Soviet Union, “Heather Honey” (1880) has such a name only in the translation of the Soviet poet Samuel Marshak (1941). The author himself called his verse Heather Ale.
Keep this type of bee product in view of the fact that it does not crystallize. Therefore, some conditions for him are different from "brothers."
Storage conditions are as follows:
- temperature - +4 ... + 18 ° С;
- humidity - 60%;
- the room is a dark basement, cellar, canopy, pantry, but not a refrigerator;
- dishes - ceramic or glass.
You can not overheat or supercool banks, it is also necessary to protect them from direct sunlight. Heather honey is a unique product whose properties have not yet been adequately studied. The symbiosis of bees and heather bushes brings amazing results in the form of a delicious bitter-sweet fragrant honey that brings true pleasure to gourmets.