What happened to my honey?
You go to the cupboard to grab some runny honey to slather on that perfectly toasted bread. The butter has melted and has seeped into the warm toast and now for that drizzle of runny honey. You grab the jar, unscrew the lid…and that once beautiful golden runny honey has crystallized. It’s solid ish…and it's granular and has changed colour ….Eeeek! What happened? Is it safe to eat? Here’s everything you need to know about what causes honey to crystallize, uses for the honey once it’s hardened, and how to safely transform it back to runny honey without losing any nutritional value.
What causes honey to crystallize ?
The good news here is…Only the good stuff crystallizes. So if your honey crystallizes, Congratulations! It means you’ve got yourself the real deal…raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered honey - not some product labeled real honey when it’s really mostly high fructose corn syrup.
Your unaltered honey doesn’t expire, so it’s safe to eat and the crystallization is completely natural. There are two natural sugars in honey; glucose and fructose. It’s the glucose that crystallizes. So, if the bees are foraging flowers and crops high in glucose, this honey will crystallize faster. Unfiltered honey also contains pollen and propolis. Those little bits provide the base for the crystals to form and attach to (think back to grade 5 science when you made crystals on a string). All of those crystals together change the consistency of the honey. What the bees forage also impacts the rate of crystallization. Some honey takes years to crystallize and others crystallize quickly.
Keeping it Crunchy - how to use crystallized honey
Crystallized honey is still honey! It’s perfectly safe to eat. It doesn’t mean that your honey has gone bad. The only thing that’s changed is the texture. Same sweet taste but with no dripping mess. You can still eat and cook with crystallized honey exactly as you normally would. Go ahead, slather it on your toast, use it by the spoonful in your hot drink, or a dollop on a bowl of hot oatmeal and it’ll melt right in.
How to make crystallized honey runny again
If you’re all about the runny honey, here’s how to transform your crystallized honey back to runny honey. Honey is a superfood! It contains many beneficial antiviral and antibacterial components. It should not be heated rapidly, over direct heat and NEVER microwaved. Excessive heat will have detrimental effects on the nutritional value of your honey. Use hot tap water or boiled water that has cooled for a bit. Immerse the glass jar of crystallized honey into a bowl of hot water. The temperature of the water shouldn’t exceed 90 degrees celsius. Slowly the hot water will dissolve the crystals and the honey will be liquid again.
So next time you find a jar of crystallized honey, you can feel confident you’ve got raw, unpasteurized honey. It’s safe to eat and crystallization is a natural process. Enjoy it crystallized or transform it back to runny honey. Either way, a little crunchy or not, raw, unpasteurized honey is a super food that is super good for you!
Our honey is in low supply but we do still have some runny honey available.