It’s no secret that we all have to eat to live, and you probably already know that most food items don’t last for extended periods. Whether it’s meat, fruit, vegetables, or bread, it most likely spoiled in your refrigerator or pantry because you didn’t use it fast enough. However, honey is one of the few food sources that never spoils or expires, even if it crystallizes. Follow along for a few helpful tips for storing your raw honey to prevent premature crystallization.
Choose the Right Container
Choosing the right container for your honey is one of the most important factors regarding proper storage. Unfortunately, honey may spoil if it oxidizes—that said, an airtight container is its best defense. Sometimes, you can keep honey in the container it came in. However, glass jars with sealing lids are the best options. If your honey comes in a plastic bottle, consider transferring it to a glass container to prevent air exposure and oxidation.
Avoid Excessive Heat and Sunlight
Honey is best at room temperature, between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, keep your honey jar in a cool, dark cabinet or pantry. Exposing your raw honey to excessive heat or direct sunlight can damage its unique properties and enzymes, which may also change its color and flavor profile. Be sure to keep your honey jar in the dark, room-temperature location for the best possible quality.
Steer Clear of Moisture
Raw honey has an extremely low water content, so it’s almost impossible for bacteria to form and grow. As a result, raw honey has a limitless shelf life when stored properly. However, it might not last as long if you expose it to moisture. Even if you don’t directly add water to your honey, an improperly sealed container may allow moisture to reach and alter your honey.
Use Warm Water to Soften the Crystals
Even if you know a few techniques to prevent crystallization, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Honey has a high sugar content, so it’s likely to crystallize after some time; however, crystalized honey does not equal expired or spoiled honey. Understanding honey crystallization is important, as it’s a common phenomenon. If your raw honey crystallizes, avoid heating to temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, as the heat can destroy its quality and flavor. That said, place the entire glass jar or bottle in warm water to return the honey crystals to their liquid state.
With a few helpful tips for storing your raw honey, you can make the most of your honey supply. Because honey has an incredible shelf life, it’s one of the best food items to keep in your kitchen at all times. Consider stocking up on this delicious and nutritious nectar!