My honey has crystallized! What do I do?

My honey has crystallized! What do I do?

Some people think that honey is inedible once it becomes gritty and solid, but that is not true! Crystallized honey is safe to consume and can be returned to its syrup state with a nominal effort.

“Oh, look! There’s a jar of honey in the back of the cabinet. Let’s use that for tea! Oh, but what happened to it? It isn’t runny anymore, it is solid and gritty! Weird. Guess we’ll have to throw it out.”


Wait! Don’t do it! While it does look different, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with crystallized honey. Some people prefer the thick-textured honey for smearing on toast and other yummy treats. 


Why does honey crystalize?

Simple science! Honey is just a combination of natural sugars and water. When there are more sugars than water content, the sugars begin to crystallize after a while. 


Natural honey is more likely to crystallize, so it’s a sign of quality! Raw honey crystallizes more quickly than store-bought, mass-produced honey because the pollen, wax, and other tiny particles in filtered, raw honey give something for the crystals to begin to form around. Also, some mass-produced honeys are adulterated with corn syrup which will not crystallize.


How do I keep honey from crystalizing? 

The best way to keep honey from crystallizing is to store it in a sealed container at room temperature, ideally somewhere away from direct sunlight, like a dark cupboard. Cooler temperatures will also hasten the crystallization process. 



Can I fix crystallized honey?

Of course! It’s easy to turn your solid honey back into a pourable syrup texture. All you have to do is warm some water to just around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful, as higher temperatures could heat the honey too much and kill off the beneficial enzymes. Rest the jar or plastic bottle of honey in the warm water until it starts flowing again. Give it a stir every now and then to help it along. Sometimes it needs a second warm bath to fully melt.


While you can technically use the microwave to liquify your honey, you have to be careful. Honey can overheat rapidly in a microwave, which can affect its flavor and remove the healthful raw qualities. Never put a plastic container of honey in the microwave as overheated honey can quickly melt the plastic. 


How do I use crystallized honey? Is it safe to eat?

Embrace the texture! Since crystallized honey is perfectly safe to consume, try spreading it on a warm slice of toast or stirring it into oatmeal. If you prefer to use your honey in tea or coffee, don’t worry! The spoonful of solid honey will melt in the warm tea just like usual. 


Epicurious: “Why Does Honey Crystallize”


Martha Stewart: “Why Honey Crystallizes—and How to Stop It From Happening”



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