Crystallization – a very unique property of honey
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The Plants from which honey bees collect nectar have an effect on colour, taste, texture, and consistency of the honey. Depending upon the plant origin the honey may either crystallize or remain liquid for a long period of time. Honey that remains liquid or let’s put it this way- the honey remains fluid and doesn’t crystallizes e.g. the Finnish willow herb honey and acacia honey (which is gathered from abroad) or grape honey remains liquid for years. Whereas, mustard or mixed flower honey crystallizes over a period of time.
Honey that contains more fructose remains liquid at room temperature, Mustard honey crystallizes over a period of time, this happens because of high glucose content in the honey which is called crystallization and this is a natural process in honey. The speed with which honey crystallizes varies a lot; part of honey may crystallize soon after extraction whereas part of it may remain liquid for even a relatively longer time.
By using a churning method at the stage of crystallization, the honey can be kept at fine grained or soft so it’s easy to use. So this explains why crystallized honey is of also good quality and organic whilst many believe in myths that liquid one is only pure and organic, interesting isn’t it?
Other ways to De-crystallize Honey
You can also heat your honey in the microwave. Just heat it for 30 seconds, stir it, and heat it again until the sugar dissolves back into the honey. Just know that this method is likely to kill all of the beneficial enzymes and special properties found in raw honey. Because of this, you may only want to use the microwave method to de-crystallize pasteurized honey. All of those special qualities will already be missing from the honey.
Storing Honey in the Refrigerator
To keep honey from crystallizing prematurely, store it at room temperature. Storing honey in the refrigerator will cause it to crystallize rapidly, and isn’t necessary since it doesn’t go bad.
Of course, if you prefer crystallized honey, which can be a chewy sweet snack, refrigeration is the way to go. Just be advised that if it’s in a bear-shaped bottle or another container that it will be hard to remove crystallized honey. Spread it out on a plate or other flat surface so you have a long strip of crystallized honey that can be cut into bit-sized pieces.
Other Methods for Using Honey
To ensure that no honey goes to waste, spray your measuring cup or spoon with cooking oil or run it under hot water before you measure out your honey. This will cause the honey to drop right out of the cup or spoon when you add it to a recipe, so nothing gets left behind. As expensive as honey is these days, you sure don’t want to wash any of it down the drain!
If you have a stuck lid, run the jar under hot water for a minute to soften up the honey that’s hardened around the rim. The lid should loosen right up when you go to turn it again.