Here are 7 great ways to deal with crystallised honey rather than throw it out.
There is no need to EVER throw away honey, and you can bring your raw honey back to its original state or enjoy it in new ways.
What is Crystallized Honey and How to Recognise it?
If you haven't seen crystallised honey before, it refers to honey that stops being golden and runny and takes on a paler yellow creamy colour. The honey also becomes semi solid and the texture is grainy. When eaten, the honey feels as though it has sugar granules in it and for me, it spoils the enjoyment of the honey. As you can see below, mine was seriously crystallized!!
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
The more natural the honey is, the more likely it will crystallise so it truly is a good thing! If you've had a jar of honey in your pantry for years and years and it's still runny then it may be because it has been treated or diluted. If you're not eating raw or natural honey then you really are missing out on the beautiful flavours and potentially some of the beneficial properties.
>Where to Get Raw/Natural Honey
Honey is everywhere and if you want the best, opt for locally produced raw honey when you can. Head to your wholefoods store or health food shop (and bring your own container) for the best tasting honey. Always check the ingredients if purchasing a new brand or type of honey to ensure it doesn't contain anything else. My absolute favourite honey is from Kangaroo Island, but there are loads of other options and different flavours based on the pollen the bees collected. If you are ever in Adelaide you absolutely have to go and visit the Honey Shoppe in the central markets and taste as many as you can.
>Is it Safe to Eat Crystallized Honey?
Heck yeah! Honey is one of those foods that never goes off and you should never throw it away. If for some reason your honey became contaminated or had lots of little fingers poked in it, keep it (and label it) for using in DIY beauty recipes.
How To Fix Crystallized Honey
You have a few options once your honey has crystallized (throwing it out is not one!).
Option 1 - Eat it Crystallised
Well, you don't have to fix it and if you like your honey a little less runny and a little more like sugar, then just go ahead and eat it.
Option 2 - Spread it on Toast
If it's only partially crystallized you can spread it on warm bread or toast and it will return to a more runny version of honey. As soon as it is warm, the honey will naturally lose some of its crystallisation.
Personally, I want my honey golden and runny without the grittiness.
Option 3 - Use it as Cooking Honey
When recipes call for honey, which is pretty often in our house I just know I'm going to dribble it somewhere unseen on the kitchen cupboard and find it stuck to my sleeve, handbag or the dog.
Crystallized honey doesn't drip and this can be a huge bonus when adding it into cooking. This goes for baking, stir-fries, hot chocolate and anything that needs a little natural sweetness. The honey is also much easier to measure out, so if you have a small amount of crystallized honey, keep it around just for cooking and get a fresh jar to enjoy.
Option 4- Microwave Your Honey
If you have a small jar, it is perfectly safe to microwave honey in 20 second bursts. This is certainly the fastest way and a great fix for honey that is just starting to crystallize. My grandma was always doing this with plastic packaged honey and I don't recommend it as it can warp the container and there is no way of knowing if the plastic is leeching anything into your food.
Option 5- Heat Honey on the Stovetop
This is the ideal way to correct your honey as you can do bigger quantities and completely control the temperature. All you need is a small pot and a spoon to stir. Take care though as you don't want to boil the honey. The aim is to warm it through and stir to break up the crystallization.
Taste as you go and when it seems almost perfect, take it off the heat and continue stirring. This whole process takes around 5 minutes. Allow it to cool a little before pouring into clean jars or containers.
This is mine below AFTER heating on the stove:
Here's a before shot (I was dealing with an entire tub of crystalized honey!)
Option 6 - Use the Honey in Your Beauty Recipes
As I mentioned, don't ever throw out honey!
It's great on all types of skin and can be used as a face wash, a face mask or mixed with other ingredients to create toners, soaps and more. Crystallized honey will actually act as gentle exfoliant and is perfect for a natural lip scrub.
Option 7 - Turn it into a Honey Cure
Ok, this is the truly lazy option and I'm not proud of myself but I have done this from time to time and I'm sure I can share it with you guys without too much judgement......
You could actually tell your kids it is a special and rare honey that cures sore throats, tummy aches and general ailments (particularly those made up ones!). A Standard dose is around half a teaspoon of this crystallised 'cure-all' honey, with or without any real medicine they are taking. Most kids are oblivious to texture when it comes to sweet stuff - BUT this is really only going to work on kids under 10 years old.... and for your own sake, make sure the honey is not in an obvious container they can recognise. Oh, and remember, it's not advised to give honey to kids under 12 months old.
How to Store your Honey and Prevent it Crystallising in Future
Now you know how to fix it, you probably want to know what's the best way to store your honey to stop it crystallizing in the first place.
-Store in glass instead of plastic
-Keep it out of the sun and the fridge - cold will speed up crystallization
-Always put the lid back on!
-Use a separate knife for spreading on toast. There is nothing worse than a pot of honey filled with crumbs and remnants of butter.
Now you'll never throw honey away again and know exactly how to deal with any crystallized honey you have.
What's your favourite way to eat honey? Do you like it crystallised, or will you try out one of the options above to fix it?