Cassandra is back!  Today’s boss of the blog is coming to us all the way from Sweden, if you haven’t yet, meet Cassandra – kitchen ninja, creative health-nut, wife and mother.  She is is currently studying to be a health and nutrition coach.  Today is the first of three blogs where she’s talking all things bees.  Bzzzzzzz…
Hello!  It’s Cassandra again and I’m starting a small series dedicated to bees – why you should know a few and maybe talk to them a little bit. Do you know any bees? If not you might want to start making friends with some bees in your area, or at least their keeper.  If you’re wondering why you suddenly need these new friends well then….
Let me tell you ’bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees…(Lyrics of the great Dean Martin)
Let’s see now, the birds sing beautiful songs, the trees clean our air, the flowers smell pretty and the bees, well they make honey of course! Honey; this is the first part of the series. First off, honey is obviously delicious, there may be some of you that don’t agree with this statement, however, might I just say, perhaps you have yet to try the right type of honey… 

Bees do their bee thing in all different regions, as you can see in the above picture there is quite a wide spectrum of color profile. This is based on what is available to them in their surrounding area. The color however, is not the only profile being influenced, the flavors vary as well! So go ahead and give some of these other types of honey a try, speak to a beekeeper about what their bees are pollenating and see if those flavors suite you better. 

 If you were in the camp of ‘obviously delicious’ then you are likely aware of the many uses of honey… by itself drizzled over things, in baked goods, in salad dressings, in a cozy cup of tea, used to make homemade cough syrups; and there’s also some less known uses such as it’s beautifying and cleansing effect on our skin. Seeing as how we are heading into the dry-skin seasons, I’ll be sharing with you one of my favorite beauty recipes you can make with raw honey.  First? The nerdy stuff. 

Here’s the why of RAW HONEY.  The super runny translucent “honey” that you often see at the grocers in those deceptively cute plastic bear bottles is pasteurized and ultra-filtered. This process removes and destroys many of the great benefits honey has to offer ie: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and essential nutrients. The predominant vitamins available in honey are B2, B3, B5, B6 and vitamin C, providing energy and immune support. Honey in its raw state also offers amazing medicinal benefits; it is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.  As you can see the variety of support raw honey lends to the human body both inside and out explains why this post could essentially never end.  I won’t bore you however with my list of 1,000 uses for raw honey. Instead, if you have any specific request of uses mentioned in the post earlier on, head over to PN’s Facebook and comment on this topic. Tell us which recipes you’d like to see me share (ie: cough syrup, favorite baked good with raw honey, salad dressing).
As with anything, the closer you are to the source, the easier it is to have better knowledge about the product you are purchasing. This is why I asked you, do you have any bee friends? Because if you did then you would be able to ask their keeper if the honey is organic (we don’t want to eat honey that is contaminated with pesticides and chemicals that the bees have collected from their surrounding area.). Secondly, you could ask them if they give the bees any feed (again, we want the bees that are doing their bee thing in nature, right?). Lastly, you could ask them if they have other products from their bees available, such as: bee pollen, our next bee-licious topic. 

Recap: the best standard to look for is local raw organic honey. However, if you’re not able to make friends with a local organic beekeeper in your region then, go for the best tasting local honey you can find!  Just make it work for you. 

Ok now onto the serious stuff, how to stay bee-autiful!  Due to certain amino acids that exist in raw honey, it helps your skin to retain moisture. Smear a thin layer of that deliciousness all over a clean face; don’t forget your lips and eye area. Now leave it on approximately 10 mins – although I have been known to leave it on for an hour (during the dead of winter). Now, you can either rinse if off and be done with it or before you rinse it away…. tap a little baking soda into your hands and use it with the honey to create a gentle scrub, then rinse away.
This morning I just gave my lips a quick dose, as I was feeling a little bit chapped, it did just the trick! P.S. if just doing lips, skip the rinsing step, as that would just be silly when you have a tongue in such close proximity! Just lick that deliciousness off when your lips feel plump and rejuvenated! 



Until next time!