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Can You Eat Honeycomb? Benefits, Uses, and What You Should Know

How to eat honeycomb
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Jocelyn Morales

It is a bit of a trend among health-conscious consumers – but should you really eat honeycomb? Is it safe? And how do you use it? Here are the basics.

What Is Honeycomb?

Honeycomb is a natural product made by bees. The structure consists of hexagonal cells and is entirely made of beeswax and raw honey. Honeycomb is used by the bees both as an important part of their hives’ internal structure and for storing their eggs and larvae, pollen, and honey. Bees produce honeycomb from wax they secrete from special glands on the bottom of their abdomens.

The raw honeycomb you can buy as an edible treat consists of the wax structure itself as well as the raw honey stored in it. It may also contain some pollen or royal jelly.

Do you know about the health benefits of raw honey? Find out more: Why Raw Honey Stands Out from Regular Honey Varieties

Can You Eat Honeycomb?

Yes, honeycomb is perfectly edible – and many people find it incredibly tasty. You can eat the whole honeycomb, wax, honey, and all. If you like the taste of honey already, but haven’t tried a jar of honey with the honeycomb still in it, you’re in for a treat.

honeycomb is produced by bees to store honey.
Honeycomb is produced by bees to store eggs, larvae, pollen, and honey. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Kianakali)

Note: Honeycomb is completely raw. Once honey is processed and pasteurized, there’s no longer any honeycomb involved. The potential benefits of eating unprocessed honeycomb are the same as those of eating pure honey.

Are There Health Benefits of Eating Honeycomb?

The natural chemicals that the bees produce when making honey are also present in honeycomb. Both raw honey and honeycomb contain small amounts of nutrients, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and natural color and flavoring substances. Honeycomb is also rich in antioxidants which are anti-inflammatory. Raw honey is said to have antibacterial properties. So you may have a lower risk of infection when you eat it regularly.

Both the wax and honey contained in honeycomb may be beneficial for heart health by helping to lower cholesterol levels.

The final benefit is true of any sugary treat: Your child learns how important brushing teeth after eating honey (or honeycomb) is. It could even be the solution to otherwise sugary teeth.

Note: If you want to profit from the potential health benefits of honeycomb and raw honey, it’s best not to heat it to any high temperatures (somewhere below 95 °F should be fine).

Are There Risks to Eating Honeycomb?

Eating honeycomb is generally considered safe.

As is often the case, anything as delicious as raw honey should be eaten in moderation. Honeycomb contains lots of sugar. Your son who can’t stop eating it once he’s started should probably find some additional (healthy) snacks he likes.

Read more: Nutritious Food For Kids: Healthy Eating Habits for Children

Does honeycomb have any health benefits?
Like all sugary treats, honeycomb should be eaten in moderation. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Kai Hawes)

If you or your child are allergic to pollen, bee venom, or honey, honeycomb could be a problem and you should probably avoid it. Otherwise, you have little to worry about.

However, for pregnant people and infants, there are issues with eating any raw food product. Whether milk or cheese or fish, during pregnancy you should avoid raw and unpasteurized products. That also goes for eating honeycomb: Because of the risk of botulism, you shouldn’t eat it if you’re pregnant or give it to small children.

How Do You Eat Honeycomb?

You want to try honeycomb for the first time or you like the texture, but don’t know how to serve it?

This is an easy query to deal with. Eat honeycomb with everything you’d pair with honey. Sweet things match well with anything sour – like fresh fruit. Alternatively, something quite salty would be balanced nicely by the natural sweetness of honeycomb. Anything goes when you’re mixing natural foods, after all.

Blue cheese? That might be the most obvious possibility. Any strong cheese, actually. Recipes with Gorgonzola can be your first attempt. Imagine that strong powerful taste being counterbalanced by raw honey deliciousness. Make sure you buy your cheeses organic and local!

Read more: The Best Homemade Vegan Cheese Substitutes

Paring honeycomb with cheese
Not sure how to use honeycomb? Paring it with cheese is a classic and delicious idea. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash – Tim Collins)

If you’ve never had honeycomb until now, open the jar and simply put a slice on a piece of toast. Or try it on your peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Cooking with honeycomb is exactly the same as with honey. Avoiding processed sugar is noticeably easier when you include honey in your recipe. Honeycomb’s gummy texture that some people can’t get enough might be the right ingredient for your next sugar substitution.

Where to Buy It

This last tip is all about where to get the purest honeycomb. If you’ve got a reputable honey dealer nearby, that would be the first place to start. Perhaps a farmers’ market in your neighborhood already has a honey stand? Just walk up, tell them you read an article that made you want to try eating raw honeycomb, and watch the beekeeper’s eyes light up.

For the sake of the environment and the bees’ welfare, it’s important that you buy local and from responsible beekeepers. You may find honeycomb in natural or health food stores but make sure it’s clear where it came from. If possible, check for fairtrade or organic certifications.

And finally, don’t forget that honeycomb is a product that lots of bees work hard to create so we should consume it with appreciation!

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