Clover is an abundant source of honey the world over. The plant grows in temperate climates around the globe. There are in fact 250 species of clover in all. The ones best for honey production are:
- White or Dutch Clover
- Alsike Clover
- Red Clover
- Crimson Clover
- Sweet Clover
North Dakota is perhaps the number one state in the US for honey production. This video explains why bee keepers from all over the country move their bee hives into the state.
Clover is a popular fodder crop and a member of the legume family. It's also a plant that naturally adds nitrogen into the soil it grows on. Clover is a plant that grows wild and finds its way into lots of the world's honeys. However, the majority of single-flower clover honey derives from agricultural crops. True monofloral clover honey is a pretty rare food that makers usually mix with other honeys.
Clover honey is the most widespread honey produced in the United States. It comes from the bees that feed on the nectar of the clover plant.
The Nutritional Profile of Clover Honey
The nutritional profile of clover honey is quite variable. It all depends on whether the bees fed on other types of plants as well as the clover. The way the honey is processed also plays a role. Storage is yet another factor in the nutrient content of this honey. A study published in February 2004, found some interesting facts about clover honey. It showed that heating the honey during processing did not affect its antioxidant content. However, six months of storage reduced antioxidant capacity by as much as 30 percent. You can read an abstract of this in the Journal of Food Science report below:
Effect of Processing and Storage on Antioxidant Capacity of Honey
X. H. WANG, N. GHELDOF and N. J. ENGESETH
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2006 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.2004.tb15509.x
Behind the US, New Zealand and Canada are the largest producers of this common honey. The white or Dutch clover honey is perhaps the one that is produced in the highest amounts around the world.
Properties of Clover Honey
- Flavor – mild floral with a sweet aftertaste
- Color – white to pale amber
- Smell – grassy floral
- Crystallizes easily
Regarding the last point, the honey crystallizes into solid white mass of fine grains. Because of this it's mostly available as a creamy substance more so than a syrup. The color of clover honey depends largely on the soil and the floral source.
The Health Benefits of Clover Honey
In its most pure, raw form, advocates of this honey claim it has the following health benefits:
- Promotes wound healing
- Helps to regulate blood pressure
- Controls liver problems
- Helps to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol
- Helps in treating burns
- A perfect natural sweetener (sugar alternative)
- Effective remedy against cough
- Prevents premature aging
Clover honey is said to contain numerous medicinal properties. Whatever the claims, it is a perfect substitute for table sugar, which we now know is detrimental to human health. A spoonful of this tasty honey is a great way to begin any new day. It's inexpensive, easy to digest and full of natural goodness.