The Scoop on Honey

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Raw honey will typically contain 38% fructose, 31% glucose and 7% maltose and other substances.  Honey in its liquid form will granulate (become crystalized) more quickly when the percentage of glucose crystals in it is higher (as in alfalfa, buckwheat and clover honey), when it is kept for a long time, or it is stirred or whipped.  Honey that contains a lot of protein (such as heather honey) will granulate at a slower pace.  However, once honey does granulate, it can be turned back to a liquid state by gently warming it (not cooking or boiling) for about 30 minutes at 140°- 150°F to dissolve the glucose crystals and prevent them from easily re-granulating thereafter.

Fine honeys should always be kept and eaten raw and added to recipes that require no cooking or call for adding the honey after the recipe is cooked.  Cooking will destroy the delicate aromatic properties of the honey and make it smell more like caramel because of the cooked sugars.  Therefore, if you want delightful floral aromas and healthy aspects such as natural enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants in your honey, be sure to buy it raw, minimally processed and unfiltered, and only use it in recipes that are not cooked or very minimally heated like my “Fiery, Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad” recipe.

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