I don’t drink sodas, I don’t like sweeten tea nor coffee, except for the occasional slightly sweetened iced tea. When I bake I try to use minimal sweeteners because I don’t want my mouth or lips sticking together from the sweetness. On those few occasions I reach for a sweetener honey is my first choice. I love the smell, color, consistency and taste of honey.
Sometimes I also like to incorporate those lovely honey qualities into my savory dishes. When I have a sore throat or cough I like to mix a little honey with lime to soothe my throat. During episodes of hypoglycemia, when my sugar level drops, a teaspoon of honey helps tie me over until I can reach for a proper snack. In the winter time I like to make a soothing face mask of honey, yogurt and oatmeal to help prevent and smooth dry skin. I’ve also read that honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal substance. Good quality honey is just a great natural ingredient to eat and use for cosmetic or medicinal purposes.
Yes, I do love honey. But there is one thing I don’t like about honey, it crystallizes or solidifies. The only benefit of solid honey is that you can then spread some of it onto your morning toast. The texture will be a little grainy but it still tastes great. The negative side of a solid jar of honey is that when you want to spoon some out for a recipe or for a quick drizzle over yogurt, obviously you have a problem. Luckily the solution to that problem is quite simple. But first let’s explore the problem a bit, shall we?
- When honey solidifies or crystallizes it is still edible, do not throw it out. Honey lasts for years.
- Crystallization is a natural process that occurs after three to six months of storage. If your honey does not solidify then it may be synthetic.
Why it happens:
- “Over time, honey inevitably begins to crystallize, as the simple sugars revert back to sucrose.” (quote from NY times)
How to prevent it:
- Do not store in the refrigerator.
- Do not store near heat and moisture of stove or oven.
- Store at a cool temperature between 50-70f or 10-21c.
- Make sure the container is airtight to prevent moisture loss.
And this is how you decrystallize honey:
Place the tightly sealed jar of honey inside a pot or deep bowl. Heat some water*, pour the hot water into the pot or bowl with the sealed honey jar. Allow to sit until honey melts. OR I like to let the honey sit for 5 minutes, remove it from the pot, open it and stir to help it along then tightly seal the jar again and place back inside pot or bowl. I repeat the process until the honey has reached a liquid state or the consistency needed.
After the honey reaches the liquid state, remove from pot or bowl. Remove the jar from pot and allow honey to cool or reach room temperature. Make sure to tightly seal and store at at a cool temperature between 50-70f or 10-21c.
*If you do not want to destroy the health properties of honey, it is important not to heat the water above 38C or 110F. Though of course that happens when honey is used in baking.*
A few Spicie Foodie recipes that use honey:
- Fresh Figs with Prosciutto and Spiced Balsamic Glaze
- Mandarin Miso Salmon Medallions
- Apple Honey Cake for My Honey and Life
- Lemongrass and Pandan Lemonade
- Strawberry Pomegranate Limeade
- Banana Mango Yogurt Popsicles (and Mother Nature is a Tease)