Honey is an excellent choice if you like sweets but are worried about the cellular oxidation of normal sugars. Therefore, the preservation of frozen honey is also completely different. Have you ever wondered if honey can freeze like other drinks when put it in the freezer? And how to freeze it properly? Let’s find the answers.
Raw honey vs. regular honey
Raw honey comes directly from the hive. Beekeepers typically filter honey only to remove small debris, including pollen, beeswax and dead bee parts. They do not pasteurize honey. Even though raw honey appears cloudy and contains some elements, it is still safe to eat.
Regular honey or pasteurized honey, is clear and smooth in color. The pasteurization process improves the appearance of honey, increases its shelf life and kills yeast cells that can affect the taste of honey. However, it is said that pasteurization reduces the amount of antioxidants and nutrients in honey.
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Can honey be frozen?
Of course, honey can be frozen to keep for days. Freezing is the best method if you want to store honey without worrying about bacteria attacks or distortion in texture and nutrient content inside honey.
Honey is a miracle product of nature. Hardworking bees produce it by harvesting pollen. However, honey should not be left at room temperature for too long after harvesting. Besides, the amount of harvest is quite large, and you cannot consume it all in a short time. Therefore, it only takes 10 minutes to store honey in the refrigerator, but it can be used for 1-2 years.
Honey remains frozen like some other liquids. However, when solidified, pure honey will be different from adulterated or fake honey. You can monitor the freezing process of your honey to determine its quality.
Further reading: Best Small Freezers for Garage
What happens if honey is frozen?
Technically, honey does not entirely freeze when frozen. When put in freezer, honey is just thicker and less dense than average. At -4 degree F, honey appears to be frozen, but the ingredients inside the honey are still moving and not frozen. Therefore, keeping frozen honey cold with standard freezers in the home is challenging.
The reason honey doesn’t harden is that honey has a shallow moisture content, and most of the water inside the texture has been removed. The liquidness of honey comes from the nectar of plants. For this reason, you can trust that the freezing method will not affect the taste and quality of the honey after thawing. However, you must freeze honey properly in sealed containers, avoiding contact with air to limit possible oxidation.
Frozen honey not only maintains its nutritional content but also preserves the antibacterial properties of natural honey.
In addition, you should be aware of the temperature change in the environment of honey when thawing, as it will break down the texture and spoil the honey.
How to properly freeze honey
Although it is possible to store honey at room temperature, this preservation method does not make the honey last longer.
Sometimes maintaining it at room temperature for a long time will cause the honey to change color and no longer have the same taste as the original. You should know how to freeze honey properly so as not to affect honey’s nutrients and antibacterial ability.
Choosing the honey
You should choose pure, unadulterated honey to avoid affecting the quality of honey during and after the freezing process.
Freezing will help your honey prevent and slow crystallization because freezing helps limit moisture exposure inside the honey. You can store honey in the freezer compartment with the ideal temperature from 0 to 5 degrees Celsius.
If you want the honey to crystallize, the best way to speed up the process is to add a little water because crystallization occurs when the water meets the glucose in the honey.
You should not store honey in plastic containers or metal utensils as these can disrupt the texture and affect the nutrition of the honey. We recommend keeping honey in glass bottles or jars for best honey preservation.
Do not let the outside air penetrate the environment inside the honey preservation jar. Always cover the honey tightly to prevent bacteria from entering and evaporating. When you want frozen honey, use a clean, dry spoon to scoop the honey out of the jar.
Do not forget to thoroughly clean the honey storage jar because a drop of water or dirt can contaminate honey. Although frozen honey will not expand too much, you should still leave some space inside the pot for better storage.
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How to defrost set honey
Using hot water
Defrost by placing honey in the refrigerator is not a good idea because honey does not freeze like other foods. The best way you should choose to defrost frozen honey is to soak it in a basin of hot water for a few hours. Hot water, over time, will melt the honey and return to its original liquid state.
This method is only suitable when you store honey in glass bottles because heating the plastic will cause toxic substances.
If you accidentally freeze honey in a plastic container, simply use a clean spoon to scoop it into a cup or plate in the amount you want and place it inside a larger basin of hot water.
Defrosting honey in the microwave is also possible. Put your honey jar in the microwave and let it do its thing for 30 seconds. You can then use the frozen honey right away.
Or you can add honey directly to the glass without defrosting if you want to use honey with hot drinks.
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Tips for freezing honey
Here are some tips you must keep in mind.
- Close the jar tightly before starting to freeze the honey. This helps to avoid air penetration into the interior, limiting the oxidation and fermentation of preserved honey.
- Leave a little space inside the honey jar to prevent expansion and breakage of the honey jar.
- Limit opening the freezer compartment to maintain a stable honey temperature and avoid melting frozen honey.
- Use glass bottles and jars to store honey.
Further reading: Should You Buy an Upright Freezer or a Chest Freezer?
How healthy is honey?
Honey is considered the world’s best natural sweetener because of its health benefits. Raw honey contains about 22 amino acids, 31 different minerals, a variety of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants.
As part of a balanced diet, honey can be an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants. Here are some of the health benefits of raw honey:
- Being a good source of antioxidants and nutrition
- Bringing benefits to brain
- Having the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
- Helping for digestive problems
- Soothing sore throats and coughs
- Acting as a topical medication, it can heal wounds or irritating skin conditions
Unfortunately, these days, it seems few people eat a balanced diet. Too much sugar in your diet has been shown to be extremely harmful to your health and the same is true if you are eating too much honey.
Especially with diabetics, they need to closely monitor their sugar and carbohydrate intake and honey is about 80% carbohydrates. Honey has more nutritional value than refined sugar, but that doesn’t make it any less impact on their blood sugar.
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How to check if your honey is pure or fake
Do you need to refrigerate honey?
No. You don’t have to refrigerate or freeze your honey. However, it is a good idea to store honey in the fridge or freezer to keep your honey for longer periods without the worry of moisture seeping into it.
If you freeze your honey properly, it will maintain the flavor, color, nutrients, and antimicrobial properties.
How long does honey last at room temperature?
The answer largely depends on storage conditions. If you keep it away from light, heat, or moisture and tightly covered it at all times, raw honey will remain fresh and edible indefinitely.
How to store honey, the simplest way
- Put it in an airtight container. Both plastic containers and mason jars can be used as long as they have a tight seal.
- Storing honey at room temperature is a good way to preserve its flavor. It is best stored between 64 to 75 F degree, at room temperature. You can keep your container of honey on a shelf or in your pantry.
- Avoid heat and moisture. If you expose honey to heat source or moisture gets inside the container, this might spoil your honey.
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Does honey go bad?
No, not really. Honey contains about 80% sugar and 18% water. Bacteria and mold cannot live in environment with small amount of water. Honey is also very dense, preventing oxygen from easily getting into it (bacteria need oxygen to grow). Finally, the presence of gluconic acid causes honey to have a slightly acidic pH – another barrier to microbial growth.
In general, honey does not spoil. However, it can go bad if it is contaminated or stored improperly.
How to tell if honey goes bad
As the honey goes bad, the honey turns an opaque yellow instead of a clear yellow, the texture then becomes thicker until it’s grainy. When it is finally deemed “bad”, the color becomes white, and the texture becomes hard. This whole process is due to the crystallization of honey for a long time.
If your honey has mold, or smells fermenting, it’s time to throw it out.
Can old honey be used?
Yes, old honey can be used. It is safe for you to eat. However, the water released during crystallization will increase the risk of fermentation. In addition, honey stored for a long time can darken and begin to lose its aroma and flavor. While this poses no health risks, it may not be as tasty or appealing.
What can you do with the old hard honey?
Place your opened jar of crystallized honey in a bowl of warm water. Stir in the honey as the surrounding water warms the jar. After a few minutes, you will be back with a thick honey paste.
Honey is a natural product that is very good for health. You can use the method of freezing honey for maximum preservation. However, do not forget some precautions when storing to avoid unwanted harm.
Can you freeze honey?, beekeepingabc.com, Retrieved on July 12, 2022