Have you ever reached into your cupboard, ready to enjoy some natural golden sweetness, and discovered your honey has crystallized? Don’t panic. And don’t throw it out. Understand exactly what crystallization – also called granulation – is and follow these three simple steps to decrystallize your beloved sweet and make it liquid again.
How to Decrystallize Honey
Place your bottle of honey with its lid off inside a pot. Pour warm water (to preserve honey’s health properties, water should not exceed 110º F) into the pan and allow to sit until the honey melts.
In five-minute intervals remove your bottle from the pan, stir the honey and return it to the warm water. Continue this process until the honey has returned to its liquid consistency state.
After your honey has returned to its normal consistency, remove the bottle from the pan and allow your honey to cool. Tightly seal the bottle and store at cool to room temperature.
*To prevent loss of honey’s health properties, water should not reach above 110F.
What is crystallized honey?
Crystallization does not mean your honey has gone bad. In fact, it’s honey’s natural process of preserving itself, often occurring after three to six months of storage. Do not throw it out! We repeat, do not throw it out! Crystallized honey is still edible. Some even enjoy its grainy consistency as a spread on toast or as a cooking ingredient.
Many factors contribute to honey crystallization. The main reason is its ingredient composition. Honey is a highly concentrated solution of two sugars: glucose and fructose. Typically, honey contains 70 percent carbohydrates and less than 20 percent water. Since this is unbalanced, the glucose separates from the water forming the crystallized appearance.
Besides its ingredient composition, what are other factors that contribute to crystallization?
The percentage of glucose vs. fructose in the honey. If there’s a higher percentage of glucose in the honey composition, the rate of crystallization may speed up.
The temperature where the honey is stored. If honey is stored in too cold an environment the speed of crystallization can increase, including when it’s in the honeycomb. So if your honey is hiding out in your fridge, you may want to place it in your pantry.
The amount of pollen in the honey. Whether your honey is raw, semi-processed or processed will determine how fast it crystallizes, and how much pollen it contains. Pollen in honey is normal, and verifies what plants the bees were feeding on. Raw honey contains more pollen grains than processed honey and therefore it can crystallize faster.