Local Raw Honey

Local Raw Honey -The secret weapon to fight seasonal allergies, naturally.

Do you suffer each year from itchy eyes and runny nose? Are you dreading those first blooms of the Spring or the harvest each Fall? Most people experience some form of seasonal allergies ranging from a minor discomfort to a more extreme reaction. While over-the-counter allergy medications may provide relief, these pills also come with a slew of side effects. Drowsiness or anxiousness can affect your daily routine and impair your livelihood. That a daily allergy pill also adds one more set of pharmaceuticals and unnatural chemicals into our bodies and our lives. Fortunately Mother Nature has already provided us with a valuable resource that can help fight seasonal allergies. Local Raw Honey.

Beecher Bees Local Raw Honey

Honey

Most peoples already know that bees produce honey from the nectar and pollen they gather from local plants and flora. This means that honey contains enzymes for breaking down the nectar and pollen of these plants. When you eat raw, local honey, you are ingesting the pollen from these plants, in a broken down form. The pollen is no longer active so it doesn’t cause a reaction, and your body gets used to the pollen being in your system. After some time, your body will react less harshly to that pollen in your environment, thus reducing your seasonal allergy symptoms. Local raw honey, then works like a natural vaccination against the allergens. 

Raw Honey

However, in order for this natural allergy treatment to work, you must use local, raw honey. Unfortunately, when you walk through your grocery store, some of those jars labeled honey,may contain little or no actual honey. A quick look at the label will show you that many of the generic honeys from large companies are mostly made up of artificially flavored corn syrup. Real honey is one of the few things in nature that can truly last forever. It has an almost indefinite shelf life and therefore, needs no preservatives or additives. Make sure your honey is just honey. Raw honey has not been as heavily processed as regular honey, which is important if you want to fight seasonal allergies. Overprocessing will kill the enzymes which help neutralize reactions to plant pollen. Unfiltered honey is even better, as this type of honey will contain higher amounts of pollen. 

Hansen's Honey Local Raw Honey

Local Honey

The last important criteria for your honey is that it must be local. Wildflower honey from Hawaii is delicious, but it will not help me in the Midwest to fight seasonal allergies. That’s because the local flora in Hawaii is very different than the plants in the Midwest. Local bees are using the plants in your area to make their honey, so the benefits are specific to those plants. There is no specific rule for how close the honey must be, in order to be considered local. Generally, the closer the better. However, as long as the area contains similar plants, the honey should be effective. To help you find honey near you, I’ve compiled a directory of local honey suppliers. Click to access this free resource and find honey in your area. 

Local Raw Honey

Using Your Local Raw Honey

Now that you’ve got your local raw honey, how do you use it to help fight seasonal allergies? While there is no specific amount, as little as 1 tablespoon a day can help you start to build up a tolerance to local pollen and reduce your allergy symptoms. A spoonful in your morning coffee or nightly tea is an easy way to incorporate honey into your diet. But as a natural sweetener and healthy alternative to refined white sugar, honey can be used in almost anything. From smoothies, to baking, once you start to experiment, you’ll be surprised at how often honey can replace sugar or other sweeteners in your cooking. As an added bonus, you’ll be removing one more processed ingredient from your kitchen and replacing it with a natural alternative. Honey is also sweeter than sugar, so you will use less to achieve the same effect. 

Responsible Use

A word of caution, remember that children under 1 year old should never be given honey. Those with severe or life-threatening allergies should always consult a doctor before trying a new remedy. This article is meant to educate and advise. Always use your own judgement for your specific situation.  

Smoothie Pops by TheLookingGlassCraft.com

Smoothie Pops

Warm sunshine on the beach, a cool breeze on the green grass, and sweet frozen smoothie pops are the best things about summer. These sweet and colorful smoothie pops are so simple to make. I love making a big batch to freeze after going berry picking at our local farms! Nothing compares to the taste of fresh berries.

Fresh, Ripe Berries

These smoothie pops are an all natural, healthy treat for your daily dose of sweet! They can be made with all varieties of fruit for your favorite flavor combination. Frozen berries can be substituted, but for the best results use fresh, unblemished berries.

Pick out ½ cup of your favorite Berries or cut fruit. This can be a single flavor, or a combination. Experiment and have fun! Pour berries into a blender and add 1 cup Yogurt.  I use plain, unsweetened yogurt for my smoothies, but you can substitute with whatever kind you like. However, if using a sweetened yogurt, omit Brown Sugar and only use ½ of the Honey called for.

Organic, Local Honey

Add in 2 tablespoons Honey to your smoothie mix to sweeten and flavor it. I like to use organic, locally grown honey whenever possible. Using locally grown honey has the added benefit of boosting your immune system and resistance to potential allergens in your area. Bee’s use the local plant life to gather nectar and make their honey, in the process their immune system neutralizes potential allergens from these plants. Just 2 teaspoons of local honey a day helps your own immune system to neutralize local allergens as well, reducing allergy symptoms.

Sweeten to Taste

Finally, for unsweetened Yogurt, add in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to sweeten. You can substitute this with a more natural sweetener, like agave nectar, if you prefer. However, if you use an alternative sweetener, adjust to taste as these can tend to be stronger than normal sugar. A drop of vanilla extract or another suitable extract can be added for flavor if you like, but start small with these as a little bit goes a long way. Pour smoothie mix into a popsicle mold and freeze.

Create and Have Fun!

One of the neatest things about these smoothie pops, is the way that berries and fruit will naturally color your smoothie, making these a fun and healthy treat for the kids as well. I recently made these smoothie pops for a 4th of July cookout and the effect was spectacular! Instead of choosing just one, I made three different flavors of smoothies. One smoothie was made from raspberries, another from blueberries, and the last one was made with a banana, cut into slices. Using a popsicle stick and plastic wrap to cover, I layered the colors one at a time into my popsicle mold. By letting each layer freeze slightly before adding the next, beautiful red, white, and blue striped popsicles were created. What a fun addition to our holiday cookout! Have fun creating your own unique combination of smoothie pops and share with us in the comments below.

Smoothie Pops

1/2 cup Berries (or cut fruit)

1 cup unsweetened Yogurt

2 T. Honey

2 T. Brown Sugar

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Experiment with new flavors and enjoy!

Smoothie Pops by TheLookingGlassCraft.com
Perfect for summer parties or a sweet treat for the family.