Despite its sugar content, honey, particularly raw honey, has long been associated with health benefits. The trace nutrients that it contains may have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, while there are even claims that honey can decrease appetite. Relying on healthy drinks with honey is one of the best ways to enjoy honey regularly, without increasing your sugar intake too much.
The drinks on this list tend to use around a teaspoon or two of honey, often as a form of sweetener. The honey can also help to mellow out the intense flavors of other ingredients, like lemon or turmeric, creating a delicious drink that you’re certain to enjoy.
Before we get started, let’s dispel one common myth – the idea that honey is toxic when heated. This isn’t the case at all. Honey is completely fine once it has been heated.
Heated honey might not be quite as healthy as cold honey, as the heat does change the chemical composition somewhat and could weaken or even denature some enzymes. Even so, heated honey still ends up being healthy and is certainly safe to enjoy.
Table of Contents
Healthy Drinks With Honey
- Honey Water
- Honey With Milk
- Golden Milk
- Honey And Tea
- Honey And Coffee
- Honey Lemon Water
- Ginger Tea With Honey And Lemon
- Homemade Lemonade
- Rosemary-Raspberry Lemonade
- Other Types of Lemonade
- Hot Toddy
- Honey Cocktails
- Honey Limeade
- Iced Tea
- Hot Chocolate
The simplest way to drink honey is in a mixture with warm water. The water doesn’t need to be piping hot – just warm enough so that the honey dissolves. While the drink isn’t packed with flavor, it’s an almost effortless way to enjoy honey. You don’t even need to boil the jug. Hot water from the tap would be warm enough.
There’s also the suggestion that warm water in the morning might help with digestion. You might get more energy too if you’re drinking the water on an empty stomach.
The honey may provide extra advantages too, given that it does contain some nutrients and minerals. And, of course, honey does offer some sugar, so warm water and honey will give you more energy than water alone.
Honey With Milk
Honey and warm milk is a soothing drink that is ideal in the evening. The idea is basically a step up from a glass of warm milk, one that provides you with some extra flavor and trace minerals from the honey.
You can take the drink a step further too by including spices. Even just cinnamon and vanilla take the drink from simple to amazing. You could even use cardamom and cloves as well to create a comforting spiced drink.
Golden milk is a hot drink made with turmeric and some type of milk (plant-based milk tends to be the most common choice). The basic idea is that you boil the ingredients together, simmer them and then strain the finished drink into mugs.
We’re including golden milk on this list because it is often made with extra ingredients, including various spices and honey. The honey ends up being particularly important, as it helps to mellow out the drink, decreasing its otherwise intense flavor.
Smoothies can be made in countless ways, with diverse flavor profiles. Many rely on fruit, fruit juice, or even plain sugar for added sweetness. However, honey is sometimes used as a sweetener as well. Honey is actually a particularly good choice, as it adds a flavor of its own to the smoothie.
Besides, a smoothie made using honey is going to be healthier than one that uses an excessive amount of fruit juice.
There are even some smoothies that take advantage of the way that honey tastes. To do so, you need to make sure the other ingredients are relatively mild. Ingredients like almond milk, cinnamon, and plain yogurt are all examples that can work well.
The trick with smoothies is to choose your ingredients carefully. If you rely on nutrient-packed ingredients and superfoods, then you’ll end up with a healthy drink, one that might be filling too. On the other hand, smoothies that heavily rely on fruit juice, bananas, and fruit are often packed with sugar and may not be very good for you at all.
Honey And Tea
Instead of adding sugar to sweeten your tea, you can use honey instead. This is an easy way to appreciate honey, as the flavors of honey and tea perfectly complement one another.
It doesn’t matter whether you include milk in your tea or not, the honey will work well either way.
Similarly, you can use honey with any type of tea. This includes herbal teas. In fact, the flavor of honey naturally complements many types of herbal tea. For example, clover or holly honey pairs well with jasmine tea, while mild types of honey are perfect for chamomile tea.
With so many types of herbal tea out there and just as many varieties of honey, you might need to play around to find the best combination. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the experimentation can be quite fun.
Honey And Coffee
Most people choose sugar over honey with their coffee and it’s easy to see why. Honey has a distinctive flavor that doesn’t always combine well with coffee. This is especially true if you’re using strongly flavored honey.
Still, some types of honey will go better with coffee than others. You might get lucky and find a combination of coffee and honey that you love.
Besides, some people do enjoy the taste of honey in their coffee. We all have our own flavor preferences, after all. Choosing mild honey is a good place to start, as there’s less risk that the honey’s flavor will clash with your coffee.
You can add in other complementary ingredients too, such as cinnamon and vanilla extract. Combining ingredients like this creates a more complex flavor profile, which could make your coffee much more delicious.
Honey Lemon Water
This hot drink is as simple as the name suggests. You are just drinking a cup of hot water that has some lemon juice and honey added in.
Various claims have been made about this drink, including the idea that it can help you to lose weight or to get rid of toxins. Such claims are often overblown, but you’re not going to see negative effects from honey lemon water either. After all, you’re only looking at three ingredients and they’re all good for you.
If nothing else, honey lemon water is an easy way to increase your water intake, especially on a cold day. This alone makes the drink a healthy choice.
Ginger Tea With Honey And Lemon
While we talked about honey and tea earlier in this list, the idea of lemon and ginger tea deserves a special mention. The drink is often popular because of the ginger, as ginger is thought to have various health benefits. Many people love the flavor too, making this a more interesting drink than hot water with lemon and honey.
There are various ginger teas on the market, but most people who talk about ginger tea with honey and lemon are making the drink themselves. This means grating the ginger root yourself and steeping it in water.
Using fresh ginger can be a little frustrating if you’re short on time. Still, the end result is worth the effort. Powdered ginger simply doesn’t have the same intensity of flavor that you’ll get with fresh ginger. You’re likely to see more health benefits with the fresh stuff too.
Lemonade is often a sugary drink that might not even include very much lemon juice. However, if you make lemonade yourself, you can control the quantities of ingredients that you use.
For that matter, many homemade lemonade recipes don’t use all that much sugar at all. This approach allows the lemon to become the dominant flavor, as it should be.
Swapping the sugar out for honey works well too. The flavor from the honey often complements the lemonade nicely. If you’re going to use honey, then it’s important to heat the lemonade as part of the preparation process. This helps to infuse the lemon flavor into the water, but the main reason is to ensure that the honey dissolves well.
Regular lemonade isn’t the only approach to consider. Many variations use extra ingredients for taste, like rosemary-raspberry lemonade. This approach gets flavoring from rosemary, raspberries, lemons, and the honey, making it a more refined drink than the classic lemonade.
Heating is important for this recipe too and not just because you’re using honey. You also need to boil the rosemary with water to create a rosemary infusion. This part of the process is essential, as you won’t get the flavors from rosemary by simply adding the herbs to your drink on their own.
Other Types Of Lemonade
There are, of course, countless other types of adult lemonade to consider. These follow a similar theme, where you are adding extra flavoring ingredients to create a more complex drink.
Many such recipes use mint leaves to create a refreshing drink that is ideal for summer. Lemon balm is sometimes used as well. This is an extra source of lemon flavor for the drink, one that adds some subtle flavor variation as well.
The ingredients of a hot toddy are all classic for a healthy hot drink, including lemon, cinnamon, honey, and hot water. Other spices like turmeric or star anise might be added to, depending on your flavor preferences.
What makes the hot toddy special is, of course, the alcohol. A hot toddy is generally spiked with whiskey or perhaps rum. The alcohol makes the drink even more warming and relaxing. The alcohol is even relevant for people feeling under the weather, as it can help to soothe the throat and make sleep a little easier.
Just make sure to watch the alcohol content. Too much alcohol in your hot toddy could easily dehydrate you, while meaning that you get fewer benefits from the drink itself.
Now, including alcohol in a list of healthy drinks is somewhat controversial. Some people feel that avoiding alcohol entirely is the best option for health, while others feel that a little alcohol every now and then is actually good for you. We’ll leave you to make up your own minds, but either way, the rest of the ingredients in a hot toddy are very healthy indeed.
Honey also finds its way into cocktails. For example, a Bee’s Knees cocktail can be made using gin, honey, and lime juice, while another type of honey cocktail uses tequila, lemon juice, and honey.
As with a hot toddy, whether you call a honey cocktail healthy entirely depends on your definition of healthy. Still, many such cocktails keep the sugar content low and don’t rely on fruit juice, so they’re fairly healthy as cocktails go.
We mentioned various types of lemonade earlier in this list. Limeade is a similar approach, where you’re relying on limes rather than lemons as your source of citrus. The process can be more difficult, as limes have much less juice than lemons and have their own distinct flavor.
Still, you can certainly make delicious limeade using honey as a sweetener. And, once again, there are many variations for you to try. Adding in fresh ginger is a simple approach that works surprisingly well. Cucumber, orange, blueberry, peach, and even coconut are other flavors that sometimes make their way into limeade recipes.
Honey isn’t reserved for hot tea. It works just as well as a sweetener for iced tea. The process is easy, as you’re generally using hot water to steep your tea bags anyway. You can mix the honey in once you’ve removed the tea bags and before you chill the tea.
This process means that the honey will completely dissolve and will nicely sweeten your drink. The rest of the steps are the same as with any other type of iced tea.
Did you know that honey works in hot chocolate too? Now, we’re not talking about the powdered hot chocolate mixes that you can buy in many stores, which often rely on fillers and have a decent amount of sugar. Adding honey to one of these would create an excessively sweet drink that isn’t very healthy at all.
Instead, honey works best when combined with high cocoa cacao. The cocoa percentage should be at least 75%, although higher cocoa concentrations are always better.
There are two reasons for this. First, the high cocoa content means that you’re getting many of the beneficial compounds that cocoa offers. Products with a low cocoa percentage don’t have nearly as many of these compounds.
Plus, high cocoa products tend to be bitter. Honey is a perfect way to balance out this bitterness, while promoting the best outcomes.