In some foodie cultures, like USA and China, the use of honey crystals are quite popular. Americans like to bake with it, as the ratio is the same as cane sugar, so no adjustments need to be made to the recipe. They also add it to their coffee or tea, preferring it above the stickiness of liquid honey. Chinese and other eastern people like honey flavoured tea crystals, often mixed with ginger. They also like honey flavoured sweets, often made with tapioca flour and honey crystals.
Honey crystals by definition, is dehydrated honey. The main benefit is an intensified honey flavour. It is used among other ways as a crunchy topping for muffins, as a spice rub, as a sprinkle over desserts and in commercial cereals, where it is very important to keep the ingredients dry, to insure shelf life. It is also used in dry cake mixes. It is free flowing and easy to use.
Honey is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture. That is why cakes and breads with honey, stays fresher for longer. It stays moist for longer. That is true of liquid and crystal honey.
So why do we not make and use honey crystals at Quercus Honey?
We stand for everything raw and real. Health foods and slow living. Cautious with people’s well being- especially diabetics and auto- immune responses. Sensitive to our footprint and environmental impact.
Honey crystals are primarily made in one of two ways, if it is DIY. The first way is to boil the honey until it is caramelised. It is then spread out on sheets to cool down and form brittle. The brittle is then ground in a grinder to either a coarse texture, or fine to form a powder. A bit of corn starch is added before grinding, to absorb the last of the moisture, otherwise it will form lumps and will be difficult to handle.
The second method is a little less harsh. A food dehydrator is heated to 49 degrees Celsius. Liquid honey spread out on sheets are then dehydrated for two days, or until brittle. It is then ground in the same way.
In a commercial setting, it is in fact honey infused cane sugar. Cane sugar crystals are covered in liquid honey, and then dried again. So it is actually just honey flavoured sugar. Sometimes molasses and corn starch are also added. If you read honey crystal packaging, you will see that cane sugar is the first ingredient, and honey is somewhere in the rest of the list of ingredients.
The take away is this: in neither of the three methods used can any vitamins or health benefits prevail. It is merely a processed food with an intense honey flavour. So if you read a “health cereal” box and it says, ” made with real honey”, you need to know that it was real honey to start off with. What landed in the box is a highly processed food that contains none of the benefits of real honey.
Raw honey is never heated above hive temperature, which is 37 degrees Celsius. The live enzymes and other health properties in Raw Honey are extremely heat sensitive. So any nougat, cereal, or other honey flavoured foods must be seen as just that. A honey flavoured processed food.
Quercus Raw Honey is committed to only provide raw honey and raw honey products. The best available honey.