If you are not used to working with honey, or even if you enjoy its benefits on a daily basis, sometimes you might have questions or doubts about how to get the most out of the delicious treat. You may wonder why honey comes in many different colors, consistencies, and flavors. You might have questions on how to properly store honey, or how to use honey as a substitute for sugar. If any of these questions apply to you, here’s a short and sweet guide to get you started.
Why does honey vary in many colors, consistencies and flavors?
When a bee is searching for nectar, it will visit different blossoms. Depending on the type of flower, this has a strong determination to the honey’s end result. The color range of honey can go from completely colorless to a very dark amber, solely based on the source of nectar. Generally speaking, when honey has a light color, it has a milder taste. If the honey is very dark in color, the taste can be much richer and stronger. The type of flower also has a big impact on flavor. There are many types of honey flavors to be discovered, which is why we offer our popular honey sampler. Not all honey is alike!
The consistency can vary greatly as well. It can range from being a liquid, whipped, or in a comb form. Liquid honey is completely free from crystals or wax, and is extracted from the comb in the hive by straining or similar methods. Whipped honey, which is sometimes referred to as “creamed honey”, contains fine crystals that allow it to remain spreadable. Comb honey is honey that comes straight from the wax comb. Some types of honey may not look as appealing as others, but you might be surprised how well it tastes and find a new favorite.
Is there a preferred way to store honey?
Honey is a rare food product that has an incredibly long shelf life, but you may be wondering how to properly store it. Do you refrigerate it or keep it in the pantry shelf? The best method for storing honey is to simply keep it at room temperature in your pantry. It won’t go bad if you refrigerate it, but refrigerating honey causes it to crystallize at a faster rate.
Is your honey bad if it crystallizes? Not at all, it’s a completely natural process when liquid honey solidifies, but it’s not usually a desirable texture. The crystals can be dissolved simply by placing the jar or bottle in warm water for several minutes and then stirring. When storing honey, it is also highly recommended to keep as much moisture out as possible by sealing the lid tightly when not in use.
How much honey should I use when using it as a substitute for sugar?
Sometimes you may be following a recipe that calls for “one cup of sugar”, but you aren’t sure how much honey to use as a replacement. You generally want to use up to half of the sugar that is called for in the recipe. So that one cup of sugar would translate to a half cup of honey. If you are using honey as a sugar substitute in baked goods, here are guidelines to follow:
- Reduce any liquid in your recipe by 1/4 of a cup for each cup of honey being used.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey being used.
- Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent any chance of over-browning.
If your honey is sticking to your measuring cut or spoon, making things hard to measure, spray your utensils with cooking spray before adding any honey.
If you have any tips you would like to share, or if you have any more questions, please leave a message in the comments or contact us! Also, be sure to visit our shop and try the many honey varieties we offer!