Don’t throw out your crystallized honey! Honey crystallization is normal and doesn’t affect the honey’s quality or flavor. In fact, it means your honey is pure and natural. Keep reading to learn why honey crystallizes and what you can do to bring it back to a silky texture.
The long shelf life of honey
Crystallized honey doesn’t mean your honey has gone bad. Honey can last virtually forever in your pantry. Amazingly, archaeologists have uncovered pots of edible honey millennia old!
Honey never spoils because of its naturally high acidity. Regulations require commercial honey producers to mark expiration dates on their honey; however, it doesn’t go bad or become harmful to eat.
The only effect time may have on your honey is regarding its taste. Honey will taste its best and most robust in its first few years. Honey Acres honey is so delicious that it doesn’t last that long. Many of our customers use it up within a few months!
Try it for yourself! Our Basswood Honey is light and mild. Like all our honey, it’s never overheated or pasteurized.
Why is my honey crystallized?
To understand why honey crystallizes, you must understand its sugar molecules. Glucose and fructose are the two naturally occurring sugar molecules in honey. Different honey varieties contain different ratios of glucose to fructose. Those with higher concentrations of fructose are less likely to crystallize.
Honey with higher concentrations of glucose tends to form a crystalline structure. Over time and at lower temperatures, the water separates from the glucose, causing it to solidify in a crystal form. If your honey crystallizes easily, you know you’ve got one with a higher ratio of glucose to fructose.
How to revive crystallized honey
The first thing you should know about crystallized honey is that you don’t have to do anything about it at all. You can use it as is. Some even prefer the crystallized texture of honey.
I easy to return the honey to its original translucent and luxurious texture if you prefer. Warming the honey between 95 and 100°F (40°C) helps break down the crystalline structure of the glucose, emulsifying it with the water molecules, and making it fluid again. Here are three simple ways to re-liquify your crystallized honey:
- Warm bath (RECOMMENDED): Heat water in a large bowl or pot to at least 100°F (40°C). Place your honey jar in the warm water bath for at least 15 minutes or until the honey returns to its fluid state. You can optionally mix the honey every few minutes to evenly distribute the heat.
- Warm shower: Run your honey jar under a stream of warm tap water, occasionally stirring, until the honey re-liquifies.
- Microwave: Microwave your honey in a microwave-safe container in 30-second intervals. Stir between each interval until the crystallization disappears. This method is good in a pinch, but the warm water techniques are gentler and better preserve the honey’s pure qualities.
All you have to do to prevent your honey from crystallizing again is keep it at room temperature. It’s least likely to crystallize at that temperature.
The bottom line
If you see your honey start to crystallize, you now know there’s nothing to worry about. Naturally occurring glucose is responsible for your honey’s crystallization. Crystallization is the sign of natural, unprocessed honey. At Honey Acres, we only supply the best-tasting, most authentic honey. We believe honey is the most perfect and timeless food, literally.