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Honey is nature’s gold. It’s rich in antioxidants, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it acts as a prebiotic, helping feed the good bacteria in your digestive system to keep your gut healthy. Honey has even been touted as a way to speed up wound healing and soothe a sore throat. It’s also absolutely delicious.
But, when it comes to both nutritional value and taste, not all honeys are created equally. The squeezable kinds you can find on most grocery store shelves are highly pasteurized and processed, which can strip the honey of its enzymes and negatively affect the taste. On the other hand, the honeys that made this list are all unprocessed, free of added ingredients, and as close to their natural form as possible. This not only leaves you with a sweetener that’s loaded with all the good stuff, but one that tastes divine, too.
Y.S Eco Bee Farms has four generations of beekeeping experience and is considered one of the pioneers of certified organic beekeeping, so it’s no surprise that its Raw Honey earned the top spot of best honey overall. It’s pure, raw, unpasteurized, and comes straight from the hive to the jar, so it retains all of its live enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants.
But it’s not just good for you—the taste is out of this world. It has a light, but rich honey flavor with the perfect amount of sweetness and a velvety smooth consistency that easily melts into your favorite tea or on top of warm peanut butter toast. Since the honey is completely unprocessed, it gets hard at cooler temperatures, but a warm metal spoon cuts right through it to turn it into the perfect consistency for spreading.
Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey is where health and convenience meet. As the name not-so-subtly points out, the North American Honey is raw and unfiltered, so that it retains all of the pollen and beneficial compounds, but it’s also heated and strained so that it comes out smooth, squeezable, and clear of any bee remnants. This straining process also mutes the flavor slightly, so you’re left with something that’s mild enough to add to your most delicate teas, but also delicious enough to stand on its own if you like to sneak some in right off the spoon.
If you want raw, organic honey, Nature Nate’s also offers a certified USDA organic version that combines honeys sourced from Brazil and Uruguay. Both versions are also certified kosher and gluten-free.
Manuka honey comes from the Leptospermum scoparium (or manuka) tree, a close relative to the Tea Tree that grows only in New Zealand. Although all natural honey has health benefits, manuka is often considered the holy grail when it comes to antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Wedderspoon offers many different products, but its main focus is on high-quality and delicious manuka honey, like the Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor 16+.
The raw, unpasteurized, non-GMO honey is sourced directly from New Zealand and guaranteed to meet the New Zealand government’s standards for high-quality honey. The KFactor 16+ is a trademarked descriptor that means the honey is wholly or mostly from the manuka tree. This is the highest grade manuka honey you can get from Wedderspoon and one customer describes it as her “pot of gold.”
Of course, it’s also one of the priciest. If you want the health benefits of manuka honey and you’re okay with a mixture of different plants and nectar sources, Wedderspoon’s KFactor 12 honey is a close second with a lower price tag.
Thrive Market developed its Thrive Market Goods in an attempt to offer high-quality food and ingredients at a great price, and it hit the nail on the head with this Organic Raw Unstrained Honey. The 24-ounce jar is reasonably priced, but it’s full of enzyme-rich, raw, unfiltered, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic honey that’s sourced directly from Brazil.
The flavor is slightly floral and fruity without being overly sweet, which makes it as versatile in your kitchen as it is good for you. Like most raw honeys, this one is thick and viscous right from the jar, but a quick stir with a spoon transforms the texture to one that’s easy to drizzle on top of your yogurt or overnight oatmeal.
Mike’s Hot Honey combines sweet and spicy—the best of both worlds. The chili-infused honey is made from just three ingredients: 100 percent pure honey—that’s sourced from the United States, Argentina, and Brazil—real chili peppers, and vinegar.
The sweet-heat combo has just enough kick to get your mouth watering without being totally overpowering. Originally created as a topping for pizza, Mike’s Hot Honey has evolved into the perfect finish for all types of dishes, like chicken wings, French toast, seafood, and even your favorite veggies. And it’s available in several different sizes, from single-squeeze packets to a 12-ounce tabletop version to a 1-gallon jug.
If you’re looking for delicious honey with a little twist, you’ll find it in Bee Harmony’s American Raw Berry Honey. Unlike other products that use added and/or artificial flavors, Bee Harmony’s honey gets its subtle flavor naturally by sourcing the honey from bees that pollinate several berry fields in different areas of the United States. As a result, the honey has a rich berry flavor and aroma that’s infused into every bite. And like other raw honeys that don’t undergo any processing, this honey is rich in enzymes and beneficial pollen.
All of the honeys made by Bee Harmony, which also include varieties like raw clover, raw wildflower, and raw buckwheat, are sourced responsibly with a focus on protecting the bees and the environments in which they thrive. Bee Harmony also donates some of the proceeds from the sale of its honeys to pollinator conservation efforts.
Almost all regular honey crystallizes over time, even when stored properly, but creamed, or whipped, honey undergoes a mechanical processing that turns large honey crystals into smaller ones that give the honey a smooth, spreadable consistency. This type of honey doesn’t crystallize and is perfect for toast or more delicate items, like fresh biscuits. While there are several creamed honey options out there, Cox’s Creamed Honey earned the spot of best creamed honey for both quality and taste.
The honey, which is raw and unfiltered, comes from mountain clover that’s grown in or near Southeastern Idaho and then bottled in its purest form to create a 100 percent clover honey that’s rich in natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. The honey itself is smooth and creamy, with no honey crystals in sight, and has a mild not-too-sweet taste that goes well with anything you can imagine putting it on.
SB Organics makes portability easy by packaging its raw, unfiltered, and unpasteurized honey in convenient, individual sticks that come in packs of 100 or 200. SB Organics All Natural Honey Stix are made and sourced in the United States from the nectar of star thistle flowers and have a taste that people call “light, refreshing, and clean.” And not only does the honey taste good, each stick is easy to open by lightly biting the top and squeezing the honey out as you go.
As an added bonus, SB Organics doesn’t only focus on product quality—the brand is also big on sustainability. It uses ethical sourcing practices and each purchase you make helps support sustainable and organic bee farmers in small, local communities.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.