As Southern California explodes into an epic Super Bloom, flower fans will also see busy little bees working overtime with the abundance of Spring pollen. This is also a time for us honey fans to rejoice, as the varieties of honey that come from the various flower pollens are exceptional and delicious!
Honey is not only a great source of antioxidants, but it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. Honey has been used for centuries to heal wounds and it’s super for soothing a sore throat.
I love to pick up jars of honey when I travel because it’s a consumable, and it makes the perfect ‘locally made’ gift. Honey often take on the flavors of the flowers or plants that the bees are visiting, so it’s not unusual to see ‘flavored’ honey options such as orange blossom, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, radish and so on. It’s a gourmet way to experience honey and it never gets boring!
Here are some of my recent favs that I discovered at Expo West and you don’t even have to get in a car or plane to experience them! Although these honey varieties are available online, the ‘travel’ journey is in the bottle.
In celebration of the Spring desert bloom, my first pick is Rango Honey, from the Sonoran Desert. A family-owned company, Rango Honey harvests raw honey and bee pollen from more than 1,500 hives located throughout the Sonoran Desert, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America. The honey’s consistency is very thick and rich and amazing with hard cheeses. If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll appreciate the texture, flavors and beautiful butterscotch golden hues.
Rango Honey also sells beautiful bee pollen which is tasty on acai fruit bowls, cereal, and yogurt combos, or salads.
Available online here & they even have seasonal packaging for gifts! You can find yummy Sonoran Desert Rango Honey Online Here.
New Zealand Manuka Health Honey
My next pick is quite a distance from the Sonoran desert in the U.S. Take a plane ride for about 13 hours from LAX and can sample some of the richest honey in the world. Kiwis are SERIOUS about their honey. Manuka honey, sourced from the manuka tree, is a deep dark rich honey color with a thick consistency to match. New Zealand honey companies rate their honey by MGO. MGO stands for methylglyoxal, the naturally occurring compound that makes Manuka honey so special. Every jar of 100% New Zealand Manuka Health MGO™ Honey is tested and certified for natural MGO content.
This testing number is then placed on the jars of honey so a consumer can clearly see the grade, and the higher the number, the higher the grade. Not only does Manuka honey have exceptional dietary health benefits, but it’s extremely beneficial in wound care, especially with tough to treat cases as is often seen with diabetes. Save the lengthy plane trip and find Manuka Health Honey online and in fine retailers.
Queen’s Bounty Honey
My third pick is back in North America in an area that is very special to me. We go to Oregon almost every summer to hike, crab and pick ripe juicy blackberries off the trails. Oregon’s Queen Bounty’s raw honey captures that blackberry flavor beautifully in their golden glossy honey. Queen’s Bounty raw honey is sourced from over 600 hives in the Eugene, Oregon area. The hives are well dispersed all over the county, so the bees have ample area to forage for nectar and pollen. Queen’s Bounty honey is raw, so that means it’s never heated and many of the natural enzymes remain present. Two of the most common enzymes are diastase and invertase; Diastase breaks down complex starches into simpler carbohydrates while invertase breaks up sucrose sugar into glucose and fructose sugars that can be used by your body.
Most commercial honey is ultra-filtered. This removes not only the things you genuinely don’t want in your honey such as twigs or blades of grass, but also many of the things your probably do want, such as local pollen. Queen’s Bounty honey is never filtered. Instead, they allow the honey to settle and let gravity and time do the work. Wax and other particulates float to the top after which they can be scooped off while clear honey gets drained from a spigot in the bottom.
Learn more about this healthy honeybee operation here https://www.queensbounty.com/
Some of the links in the article may be sponsored. Thank you to the following companies for the product to review and to Manuka Health Honey in providing their product via the New Hope Blogger Network.
Superbloom flower cred to my friend Laura K.