Have you every opened your pantry to find your delicious, liquid gold honey suddenly completely crystallized? Its a bummer, but the good news is there is no need to toss it out. It hasn't gone bad at all, thanks to the antibacterial properties of honey it can actually last for several years.
Why Does Honey Crystalize?
Crystallization of honey is a natural process and, though not convenient, is nothing to worry about. Simply put, the glucose in the honey is precipitating out of the liquid honey.
There are a few factors that can affect how quickly your honey crystallizes. That will depend on factors like the conditions under which your honey has been stored and the variety of honey that you have.
Higher fructose honeys will last longer without crystallizing. Honey stored at colder temperatures will crystallize faster than honey stored above 70 degrees F. Which explains why we have more of a problem with this during the fall and winter months than we do in the summertime.
You can actually still use honey it crystallized form, so long as you can get it out of the container. It will soften and dissolve when added to a cup of hot tea just fine.
How to Decrystallize Honey
There are a couple of ways to rid your honey of its crystallization, all of which are really pretty easy.
1. Soak in Hot Water
My favorite way is to boil water in my tea kettle, then place the jar or container of honey in a large mixing bowl or pot and pour the hot water around it. Let it soak for several minutes until the honey has softened and liquefied itself again.
How long it needs to soak will depend on how crystallized it is, how cold it has been stored at, and the quantity of honey. Naturally, a larger container will take longer than a small amount.
If needed, replenish with additional hot water if it is taking a long time.
Another way to decrystallize honey is to place the honey in a microwave-safe container, with the lid removed, and microwave the honey over medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between microwaving sessions. Continue until it has been decrystallized, careful not to scorch or boil the honey.
What I don't prefer about this method, is that you can't really do this with honey that comes in a plastic bottle. The microwave can warp the plastic (I tried this before and my bottle definitely came out shrunken and misshapen), so you really need to remove the honey and put it in a glass or ceramic container. But, that can be kind of difficult when the honey is stuck in its solid state!
5 Favorite Uses for Honey
Honey isn't just for adding to a cup of hot tea. Here are a few of our favorite uses for this delicious, sweet liquid gold.
Natural Cough and Sore Throat Remedy: Honey is the perfect addition to Homemade Cough Syrup. It helps coat the throat and will draw pus from wounds and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Plus, it makes the whole concoction taste a lot better.
Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes: One of our absolute favorite easy chicken dinner recipes - in terms of taste and the fact that it takes literally 10 minutes max to whip up - is this Honey Mustard Baked Chicken. Chicken is baked up to sweet, tender perfection in a sauce of honey, fresh rosemary, and dijion mustard. This One Pan Honey Roasted Turkey and Vegetables also looks amazing!
Baking: Honey is a great sugar substitute in baking, especially in recipes like this Gluten Free Cornbread. When substituting in recipes that originally call for sugar, you won't need to use as much honey as sugar to achieve your desired sweetness due to honey's high fructose content
Drink Sweeteners: Honey is great for sweetening drinks because it dissolves a lot easier than granulated sugar does, which means you can eliminate making a simple syrup. Try: Boozy Pumpkin Chai Latte and Fig Bees Knees.
Condiment: Honey is great drizzled or used as a dip for many things. Kids can dip homemade chicken tenders in honey. Drizzle it on top of pancakes or waffles in place of syrup. Personally, I can't wait to try these Paleo Baked Pears.