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Honey is delicious and contains a number of benefits, so it makes sense that you might buy large quantities or stock up on it.
If you have more honey than you need, how can you store it for the long term?
Can honey freeze?
Honey is very low in moisture (less than 20%), and this low lack of water content means that it will not freeze. Honey can become more viscous or thicker in consistency when placed in the freezer, rather than freezing completely solid.
If honey cannot freeze, why put it in a freezer?
In this article, we’ll take a look at whether it is a practical or safe idea to keep honey in your freezer, whether this helps to retain nutrients, and how to properly thaw or bring honey back to room temperature.
Even though honey will not completely freeze solid for storage, many people still choose to keep thoney in their freezer.
Why Do People Freeze Honey?
Here are the two main reasons people choose to freeze honey:
Freezing honey is a great method to store it. Freezing honey prevents honey from crystalizing.
When honey is stored at a temperature that is a bit cooler than room temperature, it starts to crystalize.
Crystallization in honey refers to the binding of some sugar molecules. When honey is crystalized, it is unevenly viscous and looks unappealing.
If you store honey in a freezer, you can prevent it from crystalizing and keep it for a very long time.
Freezing honey does not change its taste.
There are some recipes to try out with frozen honey. Examples of such recipes are:
- Frozen Honey Cream: This treat is usually served with shortbread or butter cookies. Ingredients used in this dessert are heavy cold cream, 2-minute boiled wildflower honey, and 4 egg yolks. After all these ingredients are mixed, they are frozen for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Frozen Honey Yogurt: Ingredients used to make this recipe are honey (with a mild flavor), thickened cream, whole milk yogurt, crushed almonds or peanuts, and any fresh fruit of your choice.
- Honey Ice Cubes: This dessert is very easy to make. All you need is clover honey, fruit juice (preferably lemon), and hot water. Simply mix all the ingredients, pour into ice trays, and freeze.
- Frozen Honey Mousse: This dessert is served with fruits such as strawberries. Needed ingredients are egg whites, egg yolks, honey, heavy cream, and kosher salt.
- Honey Chamomile Popsicles: You need water, raw honey, and chamomile tea bags. Simple boil water, and then mix it with honey. After mixing for a while, add the tea bags, steep, and fill popsicle molds with the mixture. You should freeze them for a few hours.
How Do You Freeze Honey?
You can store honey in a freezer for years when done properly.
Here are the basic steps for storing honey in your freezer:
- Remove Honey from the Original Container: If the container is filled with honey, it can burst or crack because honey expands as it freezes. To prevent any damage to the container, remove spoonful or two of honey before freezing or transfer the honey to a larger container.
- Tightly Seal the Container: You should tightly seal the container to prevent moisture from building up in the honey. Also, it is best to freeze honey in a glass jar, the container it came with, or a food-safe plastic container .
- Freeze at a Consistent Temperature: For uniform texture and temperature, you should freeze the honey at a consistent temperature (0-4° F). Do not freeze, defrost, and refreeze honey repeatedly. A freezer temperature warmer than 0° F could crystalize your honey.
How Do You Thaw Honey?
Remember that freezing honey increases its viscosity. To return honey to its normal texture, you will need to thaw it.
You can thaw honey in two easy methods.
- Leave It in Room Temperature: This will take time, but leaving honey at room temperature allow it to gradually return to its normal texture. If some parts of the honey remain solid or crystalized, you may not have frozen it properly. In this case, use the next method.
- Warm It Up: You can boil water and place the container of honey in it or just directly insert it on a warm pan. Continue mixing the honey with a clean spoon. As the temperature increases, the crystalized parts will melt and return to a normal texture. When complete, remove the honey from the heat source and tightly seal it in a container.
Other Ways to Store Honey
Here are two easy ways to store honey besides freezing:
- Tightly Sealing the Jar: Since honey has a very low moisture content, is acidic, and has some anti-microbial properties, honey will naturally prevent the growth of most microbes. But when the jar is not tightly sealed, moisture can build up. This can allow for microbial growth and make the honey unsafe for consumption.
- Store at Room Temperature: Temperature directly impacts the texture of honey. Since cooler temperatures can cause it to crystalize, store your honey at room temperature. A kitchen cabinet away from heat-emitting appliances) can be a great storage option.
Can You Refrigerate Honey?
You should not refrigerate honey since this can cause honey to crystalize. If you do not want to freeze your honey, leave it at room temperature.
Even though you can use a freezer to store honey (at 0-40° F), honey does not freeze solid.
Honey simply becomes more viscous, but it still moves slowly. Remember to tightly seal the jar and never refrigerate honey.