What is raw honey?

Raw honey is unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey collected straight from the extractor and cold packed. An alkaline-forming food, raw honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn't ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.  The flavor is also altered during pasteurization.

Hamakua Apiaries honey is not pasteurized.

Honey will deteriorate when exposed to heat. The higher the heat, the faster and greater the effect. For example, honey has numerous enzymes. Most of these enzymes remain stable under 100ºF but have decreased activity when exposed to temperatures over 120ºF. For instance, the enzyme diatase, which is common in honey, shows a 50% reduction in activity after 15 days at 122ºF. Most enzymes in honey are almost completely destroyed when exposed to temperatures above 160ºF for even a short period. These enzymes are also destroyed when honey is liquified in a microwave oven. An interesting side note is that most of the enzymes in honey are added by the bees!

Why does honey granulate?

Most Hawaiian honey will granulate. Honey that has granulated has not gone bad. Honey is a supersaturated solution and has a tendency to turn towards a granulized state. Some honeys crystallize quickly and some crystallize slowly. This is due to the types and amounts of the varied sugars present. To return to a liquid state, loosen lid on jar and simply warm the jar in a pan of hot, but not boiling water.

Why do different honey varieties have different colors and tastes?

No two nectar sources have the same chemistry. They have different combinations of sugars, minerals and enzymes. For example, very dark honeys, such as Macadamia Nut or Eucalyptus, have a high mineral content. This gives them their color and is also considered desirable by food experts. Light honey, which is lower in minerals, is usually milder and sweet.

How do I substitute honey for sugar in my baking recipes?

Honey may be substituted for granulated sugar in baked goods, cup for cup, with the  following alterations to the recipe: •For each cup of honey used, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup. •Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used. This will neutralize honey's acidity and help the food rise. •If the recipe contains sour cream or buttermilk, however, you can forego adding baking soda. •Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent over-browning.