Human beings love sweetness. Often this sweet sensation gives us the signal that this food is an indulgence. However, some of the sweetness we experience is a sign that what we are consuming is actually good for us. This is the case when we eat ripe fruits or stir a bit of honey into our tea. Far from being detrimental to health, raw honey confers many benefits. That is why we wanted to share the ten best raw honeys with you.
Honeys vary dramatically in terms of quality, taste, clarity, and price point. To make matters more complicated, just because you end up paying more for a certain type of honey does not mean that it will taste better nor that it will confer superior health benefits upon you. To pick the best raw honeys from the subpar products, we had to evaluate multiple factors for each item.
Raw Honey FAQ
1. What Is Raw Honey?
Honey is a sweet, viscous, usually golden, food substance that bees create out of the sugars collected from plants. For honey to be truly “raw” it has to be harvested from a beehive and then not processed with heat. In other words, raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized.
Although the prevailing wisdom had been that pasteurization sanitizes our food, we are now discovering that much of what gets burned away in this process is actually beneficial to us. A great thing to keep in mind is that honey is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.
2. What Is Manuka Honey?
Those that are interested in raw honey have surely come across a particular type of honey called “manuka.” Manuka honey is extremely interesting and quite rare. It comes only from European bees feeding on the flower so the manuka tree, which grows uncultivated only in Australia and New Zealand. That means this unique honey comes from only some of the most unique ecosystems in the world.
To be true manuka honey, the bees have to feed on only the manuka flowers. This gives the honey a darker color, and a flavor profile that includes herbs, petrichor, a bit of bitterness, and heather. It is by far a much more complex set of flavors than those that one typically experiences through more traditional honeys. Many people consider it a gourmand’s honey.
Many people seek out manuka honey not only for its complex flavor profiles, but for its properties as an alternative medicine. Western science has not fully explored what makes manuka so beneficial, but tourists from all over the planet flock to New Zealand to get a taste of this delicious and fascinating honey.
3. What Should I Look Out for When Buying Raw Honey Online?
In recent years, there have been a few scandals surrounding honey manufacturers that replace the actual honey in their “honey products” with cheaper (and less nutritious) alternatives. This is known as “adulterated honey,” and unscrupulous producers have found ways around international standards to sell adulterated honey all over the world. Most often the honey is adulterated with sugar or the even cheaper corn syrup, which we all know is pretty bad for human health.
Unfortunately, very few standards exist for evaluating the contents of honey sold internationally. Many just require documentation that states the product is entirely composed of actual honey. These documents can be easily faked, and when many of these are tested in a lab they are shown to contain many adulterants.
This is why brand reputation is so important to the honey buying process. In our list, we provide you with only the best raw honeys that come with no adulterants. If you want to buy something that we did not list, please keep the “HoneyGate” scandal in mind and make sure you trust your honey supplier.
4. What Are the Benefits of Raw Honey?
Raw honey is a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the build up of free radicals in your body. The build up of antioxidants in the body is correlated with cancer risk, so that means the consumption of raw honey can be a preventative measure against certain types of cancer. Free radicals also damage cells in general, so reducing them will help your body stay young and healthy.
Raw honey additionally contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, meaning it can be used to kill harmful bacteria and funguses in the gut (if consumed) and the skin (if applied topically).
Raw manuka honey is even used in some hospital settings to accelerate wound healing and prevent infection. These are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health benefits of the best raw honeys around. They are also a great source of phytonutrients, and we all know the way that honey can help soothe sore throats and settle upset stomachs.
5. Where Can You Buy the Best Raw Honeys?
Some of the absolute best raw honeys need to be harvested in New Zealand. But do not fear, if you do not live in this unique island in the South Pacific, you can easily order raw honeys online. Local suppliers may be able to get you raw honey, and it may be worth strolling through your local farmers’ market to see if you can attain it locally. However, we know many of our readers are using the internet for a reason. That is why all of the items on our best raw honey list can be purchased online at Amazon.com.
How We Reviewed
Taste is a major factor when it comes to comparing one type of raw honey to another. However, brand reputation is almost as important in this case because so many unscrupulous vendors tend to adulterate their honey with cheaper sweeteners. The price point at which you can receive the honey measured heavily into our evaluations, as did whether or not the raw honey was a monofloral manuka honey or a multifloral honey. There are chemical compounds in manuka honey that cannot be found in regular multifloral honey (or even monofloral honey from flowers other than those on the manuka tree.)
Overall Price Range
In general, you can find about 22 ounces of the best raw honey for around sixteen dollars. However, the same amount of manuka honey will can cost you around forty-five dollars. This may seem like a large jump in price, but the taste difference is absolutely appreciable. Manuka honey also confers more benefits upon the consumer, which helps to justify this price jump.
What We Reviewed
Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey
Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey is completely pure. That means it is not pasteurized, filtered, or processed. This leaves the naturally beneficial enzymes intact inside of the honey. It is a USA Grade A honey and comes only from happy bees. It is one of the best raw honeys to spread on biscuits and pancakes since its lack of processing leaves it nice and creamy. It is additionally one of the cheaper honeys to make our list of the best raw honeys one can buy.
Where to Buy
Raw Natural Acacia Honeycomb by Savannah Bee Company
There is something to be said about the healing properties of the flora in Oceania. Many of us have used eucalyptus to soothe a cough, and we have already sung the praises of manuka. Acacia is another tree that is found in abundance in Oceania, and the honey made from its showy, yellow flowers is delicious and nutritious. We loved that the Raw Natural Acacia Honeycomb by the Savannah Bee Company comes with your own chunk of honeycomb. We suggest chewing bits of honey comb like bubblegum to prolong the flavor of your honey.
Where to Buy
Onuku Manuka Honey
Made all the way in bright and sunny New Zealand, this honey is a bit more unique than some of the other honey on our list. Manuka is a monofloral honey that is made from Manuka tree nectar. It is even sold as alternative medicine in and out of New Zealand. It contains many antibacterial properties. This doesn’t even begin to cover how different the taste is! If you like honey with a twist, then this is one of the best raw honey products on the market.
Where to Buy
Kiva Raw Manuka Honey SNAP-Packets
Another honey all the way from the edge of the world, New Zealand produced Kiva Raw honey is a great honey for those on the go. It comes in easy to transport snap packets for hikes, work-outs, or quick grab lunches. This is some high purity honey perfect for snacking. It is both raw and great for you.
Where to Buy
Sandt’s Unfiltered Raw Honey
Sandt’s offers one of the best raw honey packages in terms of choice. You can get this honey in three distinct flavors! The options that you have are clover, golden, and orange blossom. This particular package of honey comes with all three included! You can mix, match, and discover your favorites. You really will not believe how different each of these honeys can taste from one another.
Not to mention that this honey is made as the bees intended, raw, unfiltered, and straight to the jar. You can trust that Sandt’s flavor, health benefits, and practices will send you back to their company shelf again and again.
Where to Buy
Crockett’s Raw Unfiltered Wildflower Honey
Good old Crockett has gone and done it again. The honey made by this company is amazing. Not only is it raw and unfiltered, but it is packed with tons of great stuff for you. If you are looking out for your own health, then you really should get on the raw honey train.
One outstanding feature of Crockett’s raw honey is the taste. Since the honey is made near a desert, it carries the distinct flavor of creosote and wildflower. The taste might even be described as fresh out of the beehive!
Where to Buy
Desert Creek Honey’s Raw Texas Honey
This is honey that is made for a vigilant consumer, and Desert Creek has gone the extra long Texas mile to ensure the health and safety of the consumer is taken care of. We are almost obliged to say “bless their hearts.”
The company uses honest bee keeping, farm to table practices, and unfiltered honey in their formula. Their raw honey is not only tasty, but packed with tons of good stuff for you. From important amino acids to propolis and antioxidants, this honey has it all, and it works on the Paleo diet, too.
One stand-out feature of this honey is the container. It only costs a few dollars per pound but is sold in a giant jug. So if you hate running out to the store every week to buy honey, then this bulk option is the one for you!
Where to Buy
Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey
Nature Nate’s Pure Raw Honey is a great source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, protein, iron and fiber. It goes great in and on just about anything in your kitchen cabinets. Due to the high health factor of this yummy honey, you can indulge without regret. It is even good for you!
Another company caring about the consumer’s health, Nature Nate’s is a farm to table operation, leaving no room for tomfoolery. You can rest assured that the ingredients in this jar are exactly what reads on the side of the bottle, 100% raw, unfiltered honey. Not to mention that it tastes great too!
Where to Buy
Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey
Ordering this raw honey online is a great option due to how many packages they have available; you will end up saving a little bit of money in the process. A serving size of this particular honey is around 1 tablespoon, so even with the smaller jars you are really getting a lot of use.
One wonderful feature of the Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey is how organic it is. The honey does not contain any chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, or GMOs. You really know what you are getting here, when you order organic honey. It is about as healthy as you can imagine.
The only drawback on this honey is the price point. It could be a bit cheaper, but for all the organic benefits, you really win here. Wedderspoon suggests a variety of methods of using their Raw Premium Manuka Honey. A dollop of manuka honey is always great as a sweetener. They also tout its ability to be placed in both pre-workout snacks and post-workout smoothies. It is even ideal for making do-it-yourself face masks or other homemade beauty products.
Where to Buy
The Verdict: The Best Raw Honey
When it comes down to selecting a singular best raw honey, the benefits of manuka honey are just too hard to ignore. Yes, we saved the best raw honey for last. Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey takes first place. Not only is it delicious, nutritious, and healthful, but its price point is completely reasonable. There are certainly honey-buyers out there that prefer an uncomplicated taste to their honey. However, usually those who enjoy raw honey like to have a bit more character to the flavor profiles in their honey jars.
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