Honey as sugar replacement: decrystallizing

While we often use non-carb sugar substitutes (sweeteners such as Splenda, or erythritol for baking), there are times when a real sugar is necessary. We have come to use honey a lot more than we used to prior to diagnosis, to the degree that we now buy it in 5 lb jars! We find that the GI of honey, for my son, is much lower, and will rarely create a sharp glucose absorption peak (although it will, of course, bring his BG up, just more slowly).

But honey crystallizes after a while and becomes a royal pain to handle, particularly in large jars. I tried the usual tip of heating it up slowly then letting it cool, but it never worked out very well for me: it would not look quite transparent after treatment, and recrystallize quickly.

This time I decided to do it The Right Way. I used a very large amount of very cold water to start with, in a very large pot:

The water in the picture does not look like it is very high, but that is an optical illusion due to the refraction index of water: it goes all the way up to the rim of the small jar, and higher than the honey line of the big jar. It occupies 3/4 of the height of the pot.

I let the water run for a while until it was as cold as it could get (which is very cold around here), then started the pot on simmer, which is a very, very low level for my burner. It took about two hours to get the water lukewarm, then another 90 minutes to get it slightly hot.

By that time, all the honey had melted, even from the sides of the big jar wall above the water level. The color of the honey had turned a nice, deep amber, with absolutely no crystals left in the mass of the content, and it flowed almost like water.

I turned the burner off, then let it cool for 24 hours. It still flows beautifully, with no changes in color. This is what it looks like now:

I am not ready to declare victory until I have seen what happens in the next few months, but I am cautiously optimistic.

My conclusion: as with so many other things, when decrystallizing honey, the devil is in the details :slight_smile:


I want a picture of your beehives !!!

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My wife won’t let me have any! I buy mine from a local beekeeper, so I know the honey is local and high quality, totally worth the barely higher price—not counting the immense satisfaction I get from supporting local businesses. The honey in the picture is locust honey, truly delicious.

Although I still miss the French lavender honey we used to get when I was a child. I am not sure if it is memory enhancement or the faint taste of lavender :slight_smile: Probably a bit of both!


Thanks for this! I bought agave this last time I replenished my sugar stock, but I usually buy honey, and the crystallization is definitely an issue - I haven’t been able to decrystallize it with heating up/cooling, either! I’ll have to try this next time.

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