When honey transforms from a liquid to a solid condition, a natural process called honey crystallization takes place. Honey crystallizes occur when the honey’s glucose separates from the water content and forms microscopic crystals. Honey is still safe to eat despite this occurrence and has not gone rancid.
Honey is the only edible thing that can never be unfit to eat, but to eat it in its crystallized form can be hard. So, what to do when honey crystallizes?
1. How Raw Honey Crystallizes (Liquid Honey)
Natural sugars, mainly glucose and fructose, are supersaturated in honey. As honey’s sugar content reaches a certain level, the solution becomes unstable and sugar molecules begin to group together to form crystal lattices. The process of crystallization begins with the production of crystals.
Temperature, water content, and the proportion of glucose to fructose are only a few of the variables that affect how quickly substances crystallize. Higher glucose honey has a tendency to crystallize more quickly and produce bigger crystals.
Glucose molecules are first combined during crystallization to produce crystal nuclei. Once the nuclei have formed, additional molecules of glucose and fructose begin to join the lattice, causing the crystal to expand.
The honey that is still there becomes more concentrated and less prone to crystallize as the crystal expands because it begins to absorb more and more of the available sugar.
The exact circumstances under which the honey crystallizes determine the shape and size of the crystals. For instance, the honey may form fine, uniform crystals if the crystallization process is slow and under steady conditions. While crystallizing, honey may produce larger, irregular crystals if it is agitated or exposed to variations in temperature or humidity.
Honey should be kept in a cool, dry location out of direct sunshine in order to either stop or delay crystallization. The crystallization structure of honey can also be disrupted, and the crystallization process is slowed down by heating it over 104°F (40°C). If honey does crystallize, it can still be heated gently in a warm water bath or microwave to restore it to its liquid state and is still safe to eat.
2. What to do When Honey Crystallizes?
Do not throw the jar of crystallized honey. There are a lot of things one can do to fix it. Some of them are listed below:-
2.1. Place Glass Jar in Warm Water
When it’s too chilly, the glucose in honey separates from the water and forms crystals, causing the honey to crystallize. The honey may then turn thick, grainy, and challenging to ladle.
Warming crystallized honey by submerging the jar in warm water is one of the finest fixes. To accomplish this, fill a bowl or saucepan with warm water, taking care not to overheat it. A temperature of 95°F (35°C) is considered optimal.
Then, take the honey container’s lid off and submerge it in warm water, making sure the water level does not exceed the honey level in the jar.
Check to see if the honey has liquefied after letting it warm up for 15-20 minutes. It’s critical to avoid overheating the honey because doing so runs the risk of the container exploding. Additionally, avoid using the microwave to heat the honey because it can result in hot areas and alter the honey’s texture.
After the honey has warmed, you can take it out of the tepid water and give it a gentle stir to make sure all of the crystals have broken down. If you only need a little honey, you can also scoop it out with a heated spoon.
It’s essential to remember that honey can crystallize again after the first time. Keep your honey out of the fridge and in a dry, cool location to avoid this from occurring. If you see that your honey is beginning to crystallize once more, you can resume the process of liquifying it in warm water.
2.2. Stir the Crystallized Honey
One of the simplest and most popular ways to return solidified honey to liquid is by stirring. Small sugar crystals develop when honey crystallizes separately from the liquid. The honey becomes smooth and runny once more after stirring, which aids in dissolving the crystals and distributing the liquid equally.
To begin using this technique, take the honey-crystallized jar’s top off and soften it in a bowl of warm water. After that, stir the honey briskly with a spoon or spatula, being careful to scrape the edges and bottom of the container to incorporate all the crystallized honey.
If the honey is still not completely liquid, you can repeat the procedure by putting the jar back in warm water until the honey has the required consistency.
Hot water should never be used because it could cause the honey to overheat and lose its flavor and nutrients. The honey can be softened with warm water without suffering any harm. To further prevent contaminating the honey, use a clean utensil or spatula when handling it.
2.3. Make Use of a Warm Spoon
It can get thick and challenging to pour or scoop honey out of the container when it crystallizes. Using a heated spoon is another solution to this problem. If you only need a small quantity of honey, this method is especially helpful.
You’ll need a utensil and a cup of hot water to use a warm spoon. Warm up the spoon by briefly submerging it in boiling water. Then, sift the crystallized honey from the container using a spoon. The honey will begin to melt from the spoon’s temperature, making it simpler to scoop out.
It’s crucial to remember that you should only scoop honey with a spotless spoon because any impurities could cause the honey to spoil. Additionally, be careful when scooping the honey to avoid introducing air bubbles.
If you need to utilize more honey than what can be scooped up with a warm spoon, you can use different methods. These methods will help the honey liquefy more, making it easier to pour or scoop out of the container.
2.4. Microwave Crystallized Honey
You can microwave honey to bring it back to its liquid form. Without the cover, place the honey jar in the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds on medium power. Take the container out after 30 seconds, stir the honey, and determine whether it has been liquefied.
Microwave the honey for an additional 30 seconds if it is still crystallized, then repeat the procedure until the honey is completely liquefied.
Use a microwave-safe container, and be careful not to overheat the honey, which can spill and ruin your microwave. Additionally, honey can lose its flavor and beneficial qualities if it is heated to a high temperature. As a result, always heat the honey on medium-low voltage, stirring it occasionally.
2.5. Use a Food Processor
Another method to return crystallized honey to its liquid form is to use a food processor. Honey can more easily revert to a liquid state by breaking up the sugar crystals with the aid of the food processor’s blades.
To prepare a jar of crystallized honey for use in a food processor, take off the cover and microwave it for 30 seconds on medium power. When the honey is smooth and runny, ladle it into the food processor and process it for a few minutes.
After processing the honey in the food processor, if it is still not completely liquid, you can reheat it in the microwave for an additional 10 to 15 seconds before processing it once more to achieve the desired viscosity.
Honey must not be heated to a high temperature or overly processed in a food processor as this may cause it to lose taste and nutrients. Use a food processor that is clean and clear of any traces of food or flavors that might contaminate the honey.
2.6. Add Hot Water
A common technique for re-liquefying frozen honey is to add hot water to it.
The granules are easier to dissolve in hot water. Honey that has been solidified can be made liquid again by adding hot water to help dissolve the crystals. This is because hot water can dissolve more of the honey’s sugar because it has a greater solubility than cold water.
One should follow the steps of adding hot water to crystallized honey and this includes:
2.6.1. Step 1:
First, put warm water in a basin. Touching the water should feel warm but not scalding. It’s crucial to only use tepid water because using hot water can harm honey.
2.6.2. Step 2:
After that, put the honey container in the bowl. Make sure the container is tight-sealed and free of leaks and cracks. Allow the honey to soak in tepid water for 5 to 10 minutes now. The water’s warmth will aid in dissolving the crystals and returning the honey to its liquid state. To help the warming spread throughout the honey, stir it every so often.
2.6.3. Step 3:
Check to see if the honey has turned back into liquid after 5 to 10 minutes. If it hasn’t, you can attempt it again or find another way to re-liquefy crystallized honey.
To prevent harming the honey, it’s crucial to use warm water rather than boiling water.
2.7. Use of a Hot Towel
Another well-liked technique for re-liquefying crystallized honey is to use a hot cloth or a hot towel. The honey can be warmed and the crystals can be broken up with the aid of the towel’s heat. When using this method, there are some measures that must be taken.
First, pour hot water into a basin. While heated to the touch, the water shouldn’t be boiling. In the boiling water, then, dunk a clean towel. Make sure the cloth is spotless and debris- and residue-free.
Now squeeze the extra water out. Remove any extra water from the cloth by squeezing it, ensuring that it is damp but not dripping. After that, put the honey container in a bowl: Make sure the container is tightly closed and has no chips or cracks.
Now encircle the honey container with the damp towel. Make sure the honey container is completely covered by the towel. Allow the honey to rest for 30 to 60 minutes. The towel’s warmth will aid in dissolving the crystals and returning the honey to its flowing state.
Long last check honey. If the honey hasn’t become liquid again after 30 to 60 minutes, inspect it. If it hasn’t, you can attempt it again or find another way to re-liquefy crystallized honey.
2.8. Placing the jar in Sunlight
A jar of crystallized honey may be re-liquefied by exposure to sunshine. The cause of this is that heat from the sunshine can help to dissolve the honey’s crystals, resulting in more liquid honey.
Honey can crystallize over time if it is kept at cooler temps. This is a normal process that takes place as the honey’s sugars begin to crystallize. Honey is not harmed by crystallization, but it can be challenging to use because it thickens and becomes challenging to distribute.
When exposed to sunshine, a jar of crystallized honey can start to lose some of its crystal structure, becoming more liquid and convenient to use. It is important to note that prolonged exposure to high temps can degrade the quality of honey, so it is best to avoid doing so.
In conclusion, exposing a jar of crystallized honey to sunshine can aid in its re-liquefaction by causing the crystals to dissolve. The quality of honey can be harmed by excessive heat, so it’s essential to exercise caution.
3. Safe to Use
The Crystals form is safe to eat. The crystallized honey do not have any impact on its potency or purity. The formation of crystals by the honey’s glucose is a normal process. Honey that has crystallized is still ok to consume and can be used in the same way as honey that is liquid.
The only difference between crystallized honey and liquid honey is that liquid honey is smooth and pourable whereas crystallized honey has a thicker and gainer texture. Additionally, some individuals use crystallized honey as a spread or garnish because they like the way it feels.
Honey that has crystallized can also be used in cookery. Honey that has crystallized can still be used in baking and cookery because the crystals will melt while the food is being prepared. In reality, some recipes, like those for granola bars or energy balls, call for crystallized honey.
Ultimately, honey crystallization is an organic process that has no impact on the product’s safety or quality. It is important for customers to understand that crystallization is a normal phenomenon and does not indicate that the honey is tainted.
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