With raw honey and other natural sweeteners such as stevia, raw food folks can have incredible desserts. Honey also has some amazing healing properties. Especially when combined with other powerful natural foods. Another popular natural sweetener is stevia. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, is grown specifically for its sweet tasting leaves. Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. Stevia is very low in carbs. It for diabetics and those seeking low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
Dark colored honey is considered to be higher in minerals and antioxidants than light colored honey and one of the most well known dark colored honeys is buckwheat honey. Raw buckwheat honey contains a higher amount of minerals and an antioxidant called polyphenol, which gives it its dark color.
When cooking or baking with honey, it is not necessary to use raw honey since the heat destroys the all of the pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and aromatics.
When using honey instead of sugar in baked goods recipes, substitute about ¾ cup honey for 1 cup sugar, and reduce the any liquid ingredients by 2 about tablespoons. Honey is acidic so if the recipe does not call for sour cream or buttermilk, it is a good idea to add a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the acidity.
Baked goods made with honey will brown faster so when using honey instead of sugar in a recipe you should reduce the oven temperature by about 25 degrees. Honey is also hygroscopic which means that it attracts water to itself so; baked goods made with honey will absorb moisture from the air and become soft faster than those made with sugar.
Food made with honey will retain a subtle honey flavor so it is a good idea to taste the honey before you use it in a recipe. Orange blossom honey will add a delicate orange flavor, while a dark buckwheat honey will impart a robust, heady, pungent flavor.
Honey has an incredible amount of enzymes. It is very important that honey be maintained below 95 degress F in order to preserve maximum enzymes and nutrition. Here James Stewart, the owner of Rawsome in Venice, CA explains more: