bee happy bee healthy

honey health benefits | bee happy bee healthy | Chef Gretchen Hanson

Bee happy bee healthy

Are you getting enough honey? There is so much honey can offer you to both bee happy and bee healthy.

Click on the link below to read my new article published in Consumer Health Digest.

Learn all about the amazing honey health benefits. And check out my recipes for granola and apple cobbler while you are getting your buzz on in the kitchen.

Make sure to post great raw and natural honey sources in your area in the comment section!



Are you getting enough? Raw unfiltered honey that is… Honey is one of the oldest and natural remedies on the planet but still underutilized in wellness care. Honey has been found in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharoahs, was mentioned by Aristotle and by King Solomon in the Bible and used by the very first Olympic athletes as an energy source. Honey has been honored for thousands of years and yet our culture does not take advantage of the myriad of healing, holistic and nutritive properties.

Did you know that raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and over 5000 enzymes?  It’s true. Raw unfiltered honey is also one of our greatest natural antioxidant sources, a true superfood. Consuming raw local honey is shown to increase polyphenol activity in the bloodstream.

RAW VERSUS PROCESSED There is a huge difference between raw, local honey and commercially processed and pasteurized honey. Honey should never be heated over 95 degrees Fahrenheit, any higher and you lose all the natural healing properties and nutritional benefits. Filtering takes out the naturally occurring bee pollen and limits the ability to reduce local seasonal allergies. Make sure you store your honey in a cool dry and dark location exactly like a fine wine or olive oil. Supermarket honey is almost always heat treated and always filtered.

HEALING HONEY Raw unfiltered honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties and also boosts your natural immunity. Honey applied externally has been used to treat wounds and prevent infection since earliest recorded history and is proven to be especially helpful with burn healing. Honey consumed stops certain infectious bacteria from growing and fungal infections from spreading. Putting honey on bandages and on wounds is still a holistic healing method used all over the world. Manuka Honey is especially good for creating immunity to diseases.

SWEET ENERGY Honey is a natural energy source. Honey doesn’t have a high glycemic load. Actually honey helps people with blood sugar problems to help regulate naturally. The average American honey annual consumption rates are only 1.3 pounds a year as opposed to over 200 pounds a year for sugar and sugar wannabes. Substitute honey wherever you can in sweetening and you will bee happy you did.

SKINNY HONEY Honey can help regulate weight management. Honey allows your liver to stop over producing glycogen which gives us that nice jelly roll around the middle. Honey activates hormones which suppress the appetite. There is considerable research being done on this subject right now but we can safely say that substituting honey for sugar is a no brainer. One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories but is an antioxidant powerhouse and gives you the energy you need without ending up padding your midsection.

SLEEP WITH HONEY Honey is a natural sleep promoter. Honey stimulates melatonin production and that means going nighty night naturally. Taking a teaspoon in the morning and again at night has been shown to help regulate sleep patterns.

CUT YOUR SNEEZES Honey is a natural cough suppressant and helps with seasonal local allergies. Since your local bees use the pollens in your backyard for their flower nectar you get just enough of those pollens to help create immunity. Many people discover a lessening of their seasonal allergies when consuming local honey. Make sure you are using your local honey and not putting it is tea over 95 degrees. Honey is must in your medicine cabinet during the winter months.

WHERE IS MY HONEY? Most local farmers markets have amazing sources of local honey. Make sure you talk to your farmer and spend time learning about where your honey comes from. Flavor variations of local honey make honey tasting something the whole family can enjoy. Need to find a market near you? Go on





APPLE COBBLER makes 12 servings

10 honey crisp apples (I prefer Honeycrisp but you can use your favorite)

1 cup organic unsulphured raisins (I prefer Himalayan but anything will do)

½ cup apple juice or white wine

¼ cup local honey

½ cup organic brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ cup coconut oil melted (optional)


Core apples and dice in a thick cut 1” dice. Toss all ingredients together except honey. Put in a casserole to hold all ingredients and cover tightly. Bake at 350 degree oven till all ingredients soft and gooey about 45 minutes to an hour. Allow to cool and drizzle with honey.



GRANOLA makes 15 servings

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup sliced blanched almonds

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup organic dried fruits chopped

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

½ – 1 cup coconut oil

¼ cup organic cane sugar or demarara sugar

½ cup local honey


Melt coconut oil and start by adding ½ cup to oats and nuts. Toss with spices and sugar, add more coconut oil as necessary till the texture and weight is similar to a damp paper towel.  Bake in a 350 oven stirring frequently till everything lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add honey and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool and harden but it will still be a bit sticky. Keep refrigerated or use right away as cobbler topping.


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