My little honey was so excited about this lemonade that she couldn’t wait for me to snap the shot before she grabbed a glass, poured herself some and started chugging. Love this little pitcher – perfect for small hands! (But remember, honey should not be given to children under one.)
If I need to sweeten something, I usually go for raw honey. I want to sustain balance in my body and therefore I am seeking out foods that nourish and heal. Raw honey, unlike sugar, is complex and nutritious and far better suited for our bodies.
I think sometimes people avoid honey because they look at it as a waste of calories. “I don’t want to put honey in my tea because I’m going to eat a cupcake later” type of mentality. But I think that’s missing the mark. It’s not sweet that’s bad for us, it’s refined sugar that we are better without. Tea with honey has nourishing elements. A cupcake is depleting no matter which way you look at it.
When we satisfy our taste for sweet with nutritious foods that the body can use, we do just that, satisfy ourselves. It’s easier to stop. Sugar, on the other hand is a drug. There is no satisfaction. Just highs, cravings and withdrawal. So while a tablespoon of sugar has less “sugar” and calories, we end up eating far more of it than we would honey.
My husband once said you have to take a stand against sugar. It’s true. It takes a little while to attune your taste buds to unsweetened foods or foods lightly sweetened with honey. But as one who has been on both sides, i can attest that the transition is possible and after a bit of an adjustment period, you will not want to go back! I don’t even miss it! (She says as she finishes her scone – I am no purist.)
Here is a sugar/honey comparison with a couple of caveats.
1) I still have sugar in the house and use it on occasion, very sparingly – it will make an appearance from time to time in my recipes. Since I don’t use it often, I haven’t yet prioritized replacing it with a less refined sugar such as sucanat or rapadura.
2) Honey should be moderated too, which will not present as much of a challenge as moderating sugar.
Sugar: ~12.5 grams of sugar and 45 calories per tablespoon.
- Refined sugar (whether sourced from organic cane or, more commonly, genetically modified beets) has no benefit to the body, unless used in a medical situation such as to rapidly raise blood sugar levels.
- It is processed to the nth degree (watch this 2 minute video “Sugar Cubes Don’t Grow on Trees”). This is why the body processes it as it would a drug – not well.
- Read my post “Motivation to Cut Sugar” learn more about what it does to the body and mind.
Raw Honey: ~17 grams of sugar and 64 calories per tablespoon.
(I prefer honey to sugar whether it’s raw or not, and will even use pasteurized honey in baking or hot drinks. But raw honey is significantly more beneficial so that’s my focus here.)
- Honey is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes.
- It boosts immunity with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
- Honey is anti-inflammatory making it a much better sweetener than sugar for those with a compromised digestive system, skin conditions and any other issues related to inflammation.
- Honey is slightly alkalinizing, or at least closer to neutral on the pH scale. (Sugar is acidifying.)
- Some say local honey can alleviate allergies since it likely contains small amounts of the pollens that are causing a reaction (almost like a slow, natural vaccine effect). In my experience any move toward a more pure diet helps with allergies, so whether it’s the pollen it contains or a general boost in immunity it’s worth a shot.
- Honey makes an excellent throat soother and expectorant. And when it’s mixed into this concoction it’s an effective cough suppressant.
Oh but wait, you came here for a lemonade recipe. Here it is!
(Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter 7/25)
Makes a little more than a cup. Easily doubles, triples, quadruples…
1 lemon, juice of
1-2 tbsp honey (preferably raw)
1 cup water
Combine all ingredient and stir til dissolved. Chill and serve.
(I was able to use cold water with no problem so it was ready to serve when mixed. But if your honey is not dissolving, add a touch of hot water to help it along.)
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24