Monday, July 6, 2009

Reversing Crystallized Honey

Had to give my honey bears a hot water bath to get them moving again. My honey had crystallized --- again!

Is it a conspiracy by the bears?

Just when I needed honey for a recipe, it is once again stuck in a clump, coarse and grainy, not moving, not even with a spoon.

As you can see, I end up with a bunch of half full containers. So, I began to wonder why this happens. And what to do when this happens.

After doing some research, granulation or crystallization happens for a variety of reasons, but in my case, it's probably due to being exposed to moisture, after being opened. It can easily be reversed by heating the honey gently.

I also learned that microwaving is a no-no. I am guilty, but I won't do it again, now that I know how bad it is. Most of the honey containers are now plastic, and they can easily melt in the microwave. But also, high temperatures can darken the honey and ruin the flavor.

It is better to give them a bath in hot water as recommended by honey experts. But, not too hot. Heat the water up in a separate pan, then pour it over them, deep enough to cover the honey. But be sure your lids are sealed. They can fall over, take on water, and ruin the honey. Trust me, I know.

Heat the honey gently, until the crystals dissolve again. I consolidated the honey into one container - -- and bought a new bear for good measure. I also needed it for a painting I was doing for my brother's birthday. You can see it on my art blog, if you wish.

Honey is best stored sealed tightly, and at room temperature (not in the fridge), away from light, according to most of the websites I found on-line. There is a honey hot line, if you want to know more, sponsored by the National Honey Board.

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