Raw honey is a natural additive to everything from drinks and meals to facial masks and holistic remedies. However, jarred raw honey can crystallize if allowed to sit for a long period of time, which can deter buyers. Crystallized honey is difficult to spread, and it may not mix well in drinks. Fortunately, there are ways to reverse this process quickly and easily so that you can use it exactly how you intend. We’ll show you how to de-crystallize your raw honey supply so that you can enjoy its goodness in the way that suits you best.
The Science Behind Honey Crystallization
Honey consists of nectar that a bee colony has carefully collected. It contains a complex mixture of chemical compounds that give it its unique taste, aroma, and texture. Honey also consists of glucose and fructose, which are simple sugars that provide energy to the body. This is what makes it such a sweet treat. Unfortunately, this chemical makeup also results in honey’s eventual crystallization. When you store honey at low temperatures, these sugars tend to separate from the water molecules and form crystals, creating a solid mass with a grainy texture.
It’s important to note that honey crystallizes at different rates, depending on certain factors, including the type of honey, its temperature, and its storage conditions. Knowing what crystallization is and why it occurs is crucial to maintaining the usefulness of your honey.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might have some additional questions about what crystallization means for raw honey products. We have answers! Here’s some additional information that could help you.
Is Crystallized Honey Safe To Consume?
In short: yes, crystallized honey is safe to consume. The crystallization process occurs naturally over time as the glucose in the honey begins to separate from the water content. This separation causes the honey to become grainy and opaque. However, the quality and safety of the honey don’t diminish due to the crystallization process.
Does Crystallized Honey Lose Its Nutritional Value?
No, honey maintains its nutritional value even after it crystallizes. Raw honey that hasn’t undergone heating or processing offers many health benefits, including antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Crystallization does not affect these benefits, so you can continue consuming granulated honey without any worries.
Does Granulated Honey Taste Different From Regular Honey?
Granulated honey has a unique texture and flavor that differ from those of liquid honey. It has a crunchier bite, with a creamy sweetness that could be its own treat, depending on your tastes. Some people also describe it as having a more complex flavor than regular honey. You can use it as a spread on toast or add it to your cup of tea or coffee.
Can I De-Crystallize Honey at Home?
Yes, you can quickly and easily de-crystallize honey at home. There are a handful of ways to go about it, but the process often involves heating the honey. However, make sure to avoid overheating the jar, as it can cause nutrient loss and change the texture of the honey.
How To De-Crystallize Honey in the Jar
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to discuss exactly how to de-crystallize your raw honey supply. Though you can consume crystalized honey, you might not want to, and knowing how to change its state can be very helpful for making the most use of this product. Here are some simple steps.
Use the Stovetop
Heating your honey crystals on the stovetop is one of the most effective and easy to control ways to melt them back into liquid form.
- Step 1: Remove the lid from your jar of crystallized honey.
- Step 2: Place the jar in a bowl or pot of hot water. Ensure the water is warm but not boiling, as boiling water can destroy the natural enzymes in honey.
- Step 3: Allow the jar to sit in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Step 4: Remove the jar from the hot water and gently stir the honey with a spoon.
- Step 5: Repeat the process until the honey is completely liquefied.
Use the Microwave
Another method to de-crystallize honey is using a microwave. However, you’ll need to do so carefully to avoid overheating. Here’s how to use a microwave for this purpose:
- Step 1: Remove the lid from the jar of crystallized honey.
- Step 2: Select the “defrost” setting on the microwave and place the jar in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Step 3: Remove the jar from the microwave and gently stir the honey with a spoon.
- Step 4: Repeat the process until the honey liquefies.
Honey Crystallization Prevention Techniques
If you want to avoid needing to de-crystallize your honey again, knowing how to prevent the crystallization process is crucial. These tips can help you increase your liquid honey’s longevity.
Store at the Right Temperature
One of the most common causes of honey crystallization is storing it in a place that’s too cold. Honey will start solidifying in temperatures below 50°F (10°C). To prevent this, store your honey at room temperature, preferably between 70°F and 80°F (21°C and 27°C). Make sure to keep your honey away from direct sunlight and heat sources as well.
Consider the Type of Honey
Some types of honey are more prone to crystallization than others. For example, honey that comes from clover or raspberry plants has a higher glucose content, so it tends to crystallize faster. On the other hand, honey from acacia or tupelo trees has a higher fructose content, which makes it less likely to crystallize. So if you want to avoid crystallization, choose honey varieties that are less prone to solidification. Note, however, that all types of honey will undergo this process eventually if you don’t use it up quickly enough.
Use Airtight Containers
The more air that gets into your honey, the more likely the honey is to crystallize. As such, consider using airtight containers with tight-fitting lids, such as glass jars or plastic containers, to store your honey in. This will keep moisture in and air out, keeping crystallization at bay a little longer.
Just because your raw honey crystallizes doesn’t mean you can’t still use it. In fact, many people find even more applications for these delicious sugar particles. Bell Honey provides premium raw and unfiltered honey chock-full of nutrients and flavor. Whether you’re looking to replenish your supply or you want advice directly from our beekeepers for keeping your honey fresh, we’re your number-one resource.