Many health-conscious people have abandoned refined sugar and instead adopted honey. Refined sugar is associated with many health complications hence the need to use honey, which has numerous benefits to the body. As you continue using honey, you will experience the problem of crystallization. Unfortunately, it’s is difficult to keep the honey from crystallization though you can slow the process. Read more to understand why your honey crystallizes.
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
Remember, honey is made of 20% water and 70% carbohydrates. Honey contains sugars that include glucose and fructose. Crystallization occurs when the water in the honey precipitate out of that mix. The separation of water from the glucose makes the sugar to have some crystal form. New crystals build on top of the earlier crystals once the honey crystallizes.
Note that If your honey is unfiltered, it will crystallize faster that the honey that is filtered. Depending on the nectar the bees used to make it, some honey will crystallize faster as compared to others. If your honey has more glucose than fructose, it will crystallize faster. So how will you know if your honey will crystallize faster? If your honey is clover, lavender, or dandelion, then it will crystallize faster. But if your honey has higher fructose as compared to glucose, then the process will be slower. Such honey includes acacia, sage, and tupelo.
How to Prevent Honey From Crystallizing?
It is impossible to stop the raw honey from crystallizing. Luckily, you can slow the process. There are various ways to slow the process, which includes
Filtering the Honey
As indicated earlier, if your honey is unfiltered, it will crystallize faster compared to the filtered. If you bought the honey in a store, it would be filtered already, so no need to filter it further. If you harvested it on your own or you bought it from a farmer near you, then it is unfiltered. Place a 200-micron filter on top of an empty glass jar. Pour the honey on the filter, and as it passes through to the glass jar, it will catch particles, including the pollen.
If you don’t have a micron filter, you can buy it in the beekeeping supply store near you or even in a home supply store. If neither is near, order online. Note that the crystals will begin to forms around particles if the honey is unfiltered. So filtering slows the process.
Put It in A Sealed Glass Jar
If your honey is in a plastic container, it will crystallize faster since plastics allow more moisture in. That’s why you need to put the honey in a clean sealed glass jar. Even after buying the honey that is in a plastic container, remove it immediately once you go home and put it in a sealed glass jar.
Some people make a mistake of keeping honey in a refrigerator. Note that cold weather (below 50°F) accelerates the process of crystallization in honey. Again if you expose the honey to high temperatures above 81°F, your honey will spoil. So always put your honey at room temperature.
Choose the Right Honey
If you have a variety to choose from, look for honey that has high fructose than glucose. Honey that is made from acacia, grape, sage, and sunflower is an incredible choice, the same case with honey made from milkweed, Gallberry, and cranberry.
Eat Within a Month
Since you can completely stop the process, the best thing is to slow the process then eat before it finally crystallizes. If possible, eat it within one month. Remember, the state of your honey, storage condition, as well as the type, will determine how fast your honey crystallizes.
Can You Eat Crystallized Honey?
How to Melt Crystallized Honey
Fortunately, if the honey crystallizes, you can melt it down. Here are a few steps you can take-
Put It In The Glass Jar
As indicated earlier, plastic accelerates the process of crystallization. You can’t melt the honey if it’s still in a plastic container. Put the honey in a glass jar. Maybe getting the honey out of the plastic container is difficult because of crystallization. Take a pair of scissors and cut the container to get the honey out.
Heat Some Water
Warm the water up to 95°F. Ensure that the water doesn’t boil. To test if the water is at 95°F, use a thermometer. Note that if you melt the honey at a temperature that exceeds 95°F, it will not only degrade the honey; it will also caramelize the sugars.
Put the Jar In The Water
Take the jar of honey and place it in the bowl with warm water. Ensure that the water covers all the parts with the honey. The water should not be near the lid of the jar to avoid it getting in. Leave your jar in the bowl for 30 minutes. In case after 30 minutes, the honey is crystalized, what should you do? You should repeat the process.
You should not place the honey on your microwave or even in any direct frame. If you do, it will destroy the beneficial enzymes.
The process of crystallization fastens depending on the state of the honey, the type, and also the storage process. Luckily, you can melt it using warm water of up to 95°F. Crystalized honey is edible and easy to apply, so you don’t have to fear if it crystalizes. You can slow the process by putting the honey in a plastic container. You can also put it in room temperature and eat it within a month. When buying, take the one with much fructose than glucose.
John DiBella is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a cooking enthuthiast and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about home kitchenware, he enjoys hiking, camping, sailing and cooking.