Food & Fitness

Product Review: Tropical Traditions Canadian Raw Honey

Don’t forget to answer this month’s blogging/journaling poll!

BlogHer NYC 2010 Conference

Today I am flying to New York City for this year’s BlogHer conference! If you’re in the area of attending the conference, let me know so that we can meet up πŸ™‚ Also, if the Hermes company would like to offer me one of their scarves in return for a product review blog post while I’m in NYC, I would be delighted to do so. Just sayin’.

Product Review and Giveaway

Who doesn’t love honey? Not only is it delicious, but honey also has many healing properties. One of my favourite reference books, The Science of Good Food, notes that honey has mild antibacterial properties and that it can be used as a topical ointment. It also cautions against giving honey to infants, however, because it could potentially be toxic to them (who knew?).

I prefer not to use granulated sugar if I can help it, and instead I like using real honey or real maple syrup if a sugar is required in a recipe – for example, if I am baking, or if I am being particularly decadent and wish to add a little extra sweetness to a meal. The reason for this is that honey and maple syrup are less processed than granulated sugar (even “sugar in the raw” or “organic cane sugar”, which many healthy folk like to use. Because those are just glorified forms of sugar. Honey and maple syrup are also glorified forms of sugar, but at least they are in a more natural state and have a slightly higher nutrient content).

Tropical Traditions honey comes right from my dear home country of Canada. It is 100% organic, raw, and unprocessed, all of which I approve of. It is a glorious golden colour, all beautiful swirls, and it can be stored in the cupboard without altering the product. I first tested this product with the best way honey can be tested: with good old fashioned bread and butter! It was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. I also tried using the honey in my homemade ketchup instead of using agave nectar and it worked very well for that, too. I am planning on making some kind of lemon-current-honey loaf in the future, so when I have perfected that recipe, I will of course be posting the recipe!

Please remember that sugar is still sugar, no matter what the form. Honey does have a nutrition content, but it should only be used in small quantities and as a treat. If you must use sugar (and lets face it, at some point or another, having a little bit of sugar in our lives is a good thing), honey is one of the best options you can choose.

Beware, however, that if you use honey in baking, it will alter the texture and taste of the recipe. The Science of Good Food recommends replacing 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 cup minus 2-3 tablespoons of honey, and reducing the liquid in the recipe by about 3 tablespoons. It also suggests that because honey is acidic, you should add 1/4 tsp baking soda to neutralize the acidity levels in the recipe. Give it a try! It will add a whole new dimension to your favourite recipe.

Want to win some honey for yourself? Leave me a comment below with your favourite honey recipe, some pearls of wisdom about sugar and health, or what you think about the very unfortunate situation of the decreasing bee population around the globe. As always, any particularly insightful, clever, or amusing comments will give you a greater chance to win a jar of honey! Winner will be announced next week on Wednesday, August 11th.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Β Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.


  1. South Beach Steve

    I have never had raw honey before, and honestly, I probably never will as I just don’t eat sugar except when it is in food. It has be curious though.

    Regarding honey, the decline of bees is concerning to say the least. My wife and I have talked about putting up a bee house, but we would rather wait until we get a place more in the country. A friend of mine helped me work with his one day though. Unfortunately, my hands were too big for his gloves that he loaned me and a bee stung me through the glove — no exactly a great first experience, but it didn’t scare me away. πŸ™‚

  2. Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15)

    I really like raw honey. It’s funny, because I hated the taste of pasturized honey growing up.

    When it comes to sugar, I have three different perspectives–that of the sugars, that of myself, and that of others.

    Refined sugar is nutritional garbage, as is “raw sugar.” Of course it won’t kill you, but there’s nothing beneficial. Its only contribution to the world is creating certain tastes and textures in food. Honey, maple syrup, and molasses all have interesting nutritional profiles, especially honey, which is antibacterial/antifungal. I also think “out there” sweeteners like lucuma are interesting and add neat tastes, but I lump them in with honey and molasses.

    For me…sugar is no friend. I get lightheaded and speedy. What helps is when it’s fructose or combined with lots of fat. So, raw desserts and high-fat ice creams treat me better than a bowl of sugary sorbet. But sugar is still sugar, so I try to keep it low. Stevia is my go-to. After that, I like honey and maple syrup. They both add dimensions and tastes to foods that stevia can’t, they do have vitamins, and I don’t feel like I’m getting cheated out of good eats. I just try to keep it in check.

    For others…it depends on the person. I don’t think anyone should consume tons of sugar, especially refined, but some people process it much better. It does give them a kick without much crash, as long as they’re smart about it. But it also depends on goals. For someone trying to just be healthy, yeah, have fun with honey and maple and molasses. But for someone trying to lose weight, the vitamins are not worth (in my opinion) the calories. The only justification I see in those on a weight-loss plan is psychological–helping the person enjoy their food so they don’t get pissy and dissatisfied and thinking too much about Hagen-Daaz. Stuff that helps compliance = critical for successful weight loss. Also, for someone who is diabetic, low-glycemic sweeteners like agave can be useful for assuaging a sweet tooth…but I think diabetics should try hard to curb their natural sweet tooths if they have problems with self control. Unless, of course, they are having a low blood sugar attack. Then bring on the Coke and cookies.

    Sorry for the rambling post! I guess, ultimately, I’m not wild about sugar, but it has its uses. Like any food, even healthy foods, it’s only too much of it that makes you fat. I just find that with sugar, “too much” comes much more quickly than with other foods.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      No need to apologize – I love it when this much thought goes into a comment. I am of much the same mind as you; it seems to be really dependent on the person as to how they react to sugar. Sugar reminds me of oil in that way: yes, it has its nutrients, but generally the amount that we need is so minute, so we wind up overdosing. And that doesn’t do us any good.

  3. Pubsgal

    This stuff sounds marvelous! I used to have a humongous sweet tooth, and honey was one of my favorite sweeteners. Try a drizzle of this stuff on some plain, Greek-style yogurt and a handful of walnuts or pecans…heavenly!

    The decline of bees is pretty darn scary, when you think of all that depends on them. πŸ™ I like bees…in nature. There were a couple of times that some tried to take up residence in our chimney. They ended up trying to exit through the fireplace and collected on the back door. Pretty dang freaky, especially since I was at home with my toddler-aged kids at the time.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Yes, SO MUCH depends on them. It’s interesting, looking at where different products come from, and realizing how much we rely on sources such as animals for just about everything that we’ve got.

      I don’t think I’d want bees in my chimney. Eek. They’re great creatures, but I like to keep my distance from them… I hope your kids didn’t get stung!

  4. Mary Anne in Kentucky

    Of course I have to disagree. : ) Everyone does not like honey. I never did, and because I’m allergic to many pollens I never tried to learn to like it. (Many people recommended eating honey to _cure_ the pollen allergies, but my allergist said “Don’t Do That.”) And of course, allergic to maple, I do my best to avoid maple syrup and when it sneaks into something away from home, my head aches.
    Recently some friends of mine with bees (in another state, not nearby) sent me some of their raw honey that they were quite sure did not contain any of the pollens I’m allergic to nowadays. I don’t like the taste, although I can tell it’s different from not-raw, but I’m using it to cook with because the taste isn’t detectable through chocolate, or spices.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Hehe I always enjoy your comments! It’s nice to hear this perspective.

      It’s cool that you’ve been able to make use of the raw honey at least in cooking. But I’m curious about the pollens – how can one know which different pollens have been used in the honey? Wouldn’t there be tons of different kinds? Are there only specific pollens that you’re allergic to?

      1. Mary Anne in Kentucky

        I am only allergic to maple, locust, and goldenrod in flower pollens. (I’m allergic to timothy and fescue pollen, but I think those are grasses that bees aren’t interested in. I know they ignore most grass pollens, though they love clover.) So when people harvest their honey regularly, they know what has been blooming in the area, and whether the honey would contain any.
        I’m not very knowledgeable about bees, but Charles has a Ph. D. in entomology, so I trust that he knows what his bees are up to.

  5. vered

    It’s not really a honey *recipe* but it’s my favorite way to eat honey: I mix a TBS of honey with a cup of plain Greek yogurt (Voskos is my favorite but they’re a client so I might be a tad biased), then add whatever else I feel like – berries, a banana, granola, trail mix… whatever. It’s one of my favorite snacks these days!

  6. charlotte

    I love raw honey and buy it by the gallon from a local beekeeper here. The best part is that it comes with all kinds of bee detritus in it. I don’t knwo why I am so amused by that but I love crunching down a bee knee:) And have fun at BlogHer!!

      1. Sagan Morrow

        I had no idea that Canadian honey wasn’t affected the same way! Now that’s really interesting. There are so many differences to take into consideration in terms of how food products are inconsistently produced from one country to the next… thanks for the information; I want to look more into that.

  7. Chelle

    I have been wanting to try this honey for a while. I love Tropical Traditions products. A friend of mine keeps bees (is that the correct way to put it?) and it’s an amazing process getting honey. He puts a lot of pics on Facebook it’s so informative and cool to keep up with.

  8. Jenny

    I too love Tropical Traditions for their coconut oil products, but haven’t tried many other products on their site. I’ve always wanted to try their honey, and also the Coconut peanut butter! I bet they’d go great together too.

    I will share my favorite two ways to use honey:

    1. Honey mustard–mix equal parts of a good grainy dijon mustard and honey, and it can be used in so many ways. As a dip, as a salad dressing, to brush on meats before or after cooking or grilling. I think it’s an awesome flavor–makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

    2. In a refreshing summer watermelon drink: Fill your blender about 3/4 full of seedless watermelon chunks, add a little water (1/2-1 c or so), the juice of a fresh lime, and 2T of honey (or to taste), and blend til smooth. Delicious I tell ya! Also a nice cocktail with either vodka or rum in place of the water.

    One last note, thank you so much for offering this wonderful give-a-way, actually Wed, Aug 11, is my 39th birthday, so I’m hoping to win! πŸ™‚

  9. Melissa W.

    my favorite dessert from Tropical Traditions is the Gluten Free Coconut Brownies. They are sweetened with honey and SO GOOD! We try to use honey or maple syrup to sweeten things and cut out the white sugar. We sold our house about two months ago and are waiting on a short-sale. Our new house will have 2.5 acres and we plan to try raising bees. We’ll see how it goes.

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Wow, you’re really going to try raising bees? That is way too cool! Keep me posted how that goes – I would love to hear about it (maybe a future guest blog about it?). And I have to find that gluten-free brownie recipe for sure.

  10. Pingback: I LOVE TROPICAL TRADITIONS!!! | My Mystic Mama

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