How To Keep Raw Honey From Crystallizing
By: Greg Brian
One of the most misunderstood natural transformations of raw honey is crystallization. Those of you wanting additional information about crystallizing should know it’s a process that occurs naturally to raw honey if exposed to overly cool temperatures.
It means various types of honey often turn dark with a very uneven surface compared to when it’s pasteurized.
Unfortunately, too many people throw out crystallized honey since they think it’s spoiled. It really isn’t, but take a look at how to slow down the crystallization process in the first place.
What is the Crystallization Process?
Raw honey and all organic honeys crystalize when going from having the runny quality it’s known for into a solid state. On a scientific level, this happens when the natural sugar in the honey starts to disappear. The same goes when the honey becomes lower in water content.
What this means is, you’ll see tiny crystals develop on the surface of the honey. The longer it sits in the above state, more crystals build up.
After several years, you might dig out your bucket of raw honey or regular honey and discover it looks much darker, rougher, and thicker than you remembered when first storing it away.
What happened there is entirely natural and doesn’t hurt the honey’s taste. Don’t make the same mistake so many make in throwing it out with the thought it’s no longer edible or the health benefits are gone.
Still, the look of crystallization is not appealing to everyone. Several techniques exist to prevent it from happening too fast.
Can You Prevent Crystallization?
The answer to this is, no, you can’t prevent raw honey from crystalizing at least a little on its own. You can still do some things to not make it progress so quickly. Plus, some types of raw honey don’t crystallize as fast as others do, like Acacia and Sage honeys.
One of the first things to do is not store your honey in overly cool places. So many people store raw honey long-term in frigid basements, thinking it’s the best place to store everything.
Unfortunately, the cooler the temps, the faster crystallization is going to occur. You’re much better off storing your honey in a slightly warmer part of the house, or at least at room temperature.
If you insist on storing honey in your basement, simply add a heating system there if you have one. Sometimes the use of a space heater is enough, yet don’t make it too warm either since that ruins the wide variety of nutritional properties.
Otherwise, consider storing your honey within the middle part of the house where moderate temperatures normally
Things You Can Do to Remove Crystallization From Honey
Most people just place crystalized honey in a pot of warm water for about 15 minutes to get it back to looking smooth.
Others expose the jars of honey to sunlight for a few days to get it to stop crystallizing before use.
You’ll find even more people who just use the crystallized honey as is. As basic medical advice, there isn’t anything wrong with it. You can simply dissolve the crystals by placing the honey into any hot liquid.
While there may be some bias on how people perceive the look of honey, you know now there isn’t anything wrong here in the taste being the same.
A Parting Tip:
A useful way to slow down crystallization even further when in storage is to use glass jars. Glass is more solid and not prone to getting moisture inside as a plastic jar would.
Not many people realize moisture can easily permeate plastic, hence the chance for faster crystallization.
Many honey farms and health food stores offer honey in glass jars for this very reason. At Artie’s Harvest, we also provide airtight multi-gallon buckets when buying in bulk.