Land of Milk and Honey


Olaf Hendriksen from The Netherlands asks:
“I’ve just read your Q & A about honey in hot drinks, but what about honey in hot milk?

My reply: Hello Olaf. Yes, according to India’s classical medical science, Ayurveda, you should avoid cooking with honey in any way, as it becomes slightly toxic when heated. Even with hot milk. So whereas it is fine to use honey at room temperature, or drizzled on pancakes etc, honey must never be heated above 40 degrees Celcius.

Don’t get me wrong, honey is a wonderful food. Ayurveda considers honey to be a food supplement that should be taken regularly in small quantities.

It is a boon to those with weak digestion. All organs in the body respond favourably when honey is eaten. Honey is considered as an all-purpose medicine for all types of diseases.

Unfortunately much of the nutritive qualities of honey are lost by heating the honey for commercial use, or heating pure honey at home in your cooking.

So, if you want to put honey in milk, then you should wait till the milk cools before adding the honey. But since Ayurveda recommends milk to be taken very hot for optimum benefits, both physical and other, honey may not be really suited. The health-giving properties of the milk will be offset by the slightly toxic effects of the over-heated honey.

Believe me, if you take honey in milk because it is more ‘healthy’ than sugar, but you heat the honey, you would be healthier adding sugar. You probably know that there are some natural sugars out there. Of course, some will curdle the milk due to their high molasses content. Hope this sheds some light.
Posted by Kurma on 16/8/07; 9:56:31 PM

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