5 Clever Uses for Crystallized Honey—Plus How to Decrystallize It

Don't throw away honey that is still usable.

Glass bowl full of honey with a metal spoon next to crystallized honey
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Most of us love using honey as a healthier-than-sugar sweetener. But what happens when your raw honey is crystallized? Can you still use it? The short answer: Yes, don't throw it away. Find out from a honey expert if it's safe to eat, how to decrystallize it, and what to do with crystallized honey.

Is Crystallized Honey Safe to Eat?

First things first, it's safe to eat crystallized honey. Honey naturally crystallizes over time, but that doesn't mean you need to toss your jar.

Luckily, crystallization doesn't adversely affect the taste or quality of honey. In fact, according to Zeke Freeman, the founder of the honey company Bee Raw, partially or fully crystallized honey can have a richer taste.

How to Decrystallize Honey

If you want to loosen up your honey, follow these steps for decrystallizing it and try the tips provided.

Step 1: Liquefy Only What You Need

Try to decrystallize the amount of honey you need—and no more. Heating and cooling honey multiple times can cause it to lose its unique flavor. So, don't let all of your honey decrystallize, only to crystallize again.

Step 2: Place in Glass—Not Plastic

If the honey container is plastic, scoop the crystallized honey into a sealable glass jar. That way, no plastic melts into the honey during recrystallization.

Step 3: Use Warm Water—Not Boiling

Put the unsealed glass jar of honey (remember, only the amount you need) in a bath of warm—not boiling—water for five to ten minutes to help dissolve the crystals. The water should sit above the honey level, but make sure water doesn't get inside the container.

Water mustn't be boiling or too hot, so the quality of honey isn't affected. If overheated, raw honey can lose its nutritional benefits and, eventually, can caramelize (which is no longer honey). And never microwave your honey, as microwaves provide uneven heat, which could accidentally boil some of it.

Step 4: Avoid Cold Temperatures

Colder temperatures increase the chance of crystallization, explains Freeman. To avoid crystallization in the first place, store your honey jar at room temperature (never in the fridge).

Crystallized Honey Uses

If the inevitable happens and you find yourself with crystallized honey, here are a few simple ways you can put crystallized honey to work.

Substitute for Sugar When Baking

Crystallized honey works as a substitute for sugar in baked goods. Because it has less moisture than traditional honey, you won't have to make as many adjustments to liquids in your recipe while maintaining the classic honey sweetness.

Honey is sweeter than table sugar, though, so use less. Start with ¾ cup of crystallized honey for every cup of sugar and taste along the way.

Spread on Toast

The great thing about crystallized honey is you can spread it without accidentally dripping honey everywhere. Shmear it on sprouted grain toast with a fruit topping (like sliced apples or pears), goat cheese, or fresh tomatoes for a sweet-and-savory, mess-free snack.

Infuse Into Your Beauty Routine

Honey is a humectant, which means it helps lock in moisture. You can use crystallized honey as an exfoliant for your body or hair—the lightly coarse texture of the sugar is an all-natural way to shed away impurities from your scalp or skin.

Use as a Breakfast Topping

Sure, it won't drizzle, but crystallized honey tastes just as good as traditional honey with foods like Greek yogurt or oatmeal. The icing on the cake? It adds a satisfying crunch.

Stir Into Tea

Instead of sugar, try adding crystallized honey to your tea. Once it melts into the hot tea, the crystals disappear—like magic.

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