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For years I assumed that creamed honey was somehow whipped until it became creamy and spreadable. I imagined it was a process like turning egg whites into meringue. Earlier this year, I learned that is totally not how you make creamed honey.
I also discovered that, with a little bit of patience, creamed honey is super easy to make at home!
How awesome is that – with a couple minutes of active time and a couple weeks of patience, you can transform your favorite honey into something spreadable to enjoy on toast, bagels, pancakes, and more. That’s why today I’m sharing how to make your own creamed honey. =)
Have you ever seen a jar of older honey get all crystalized and grainy? Well, creamed honey is just crystalized honey that has crystalized into finer particles. Sort of like with kombucha or sourdough bread, you need a starter, or “seed honey.”
You take a small amount of creamed honey with the nice, small crystals you’re looking for, combine it with regular honey, and then let it sit somewhere cool and dark until the honey is fully “creamed.” Well, there is slightly more to it than that, but those are the basics!
You can look at your honey and see how much of it has crystalized because it changes color from dark/amber to a lighter, golden color.
In this container of partially-creamed honey, you can see the layers. The lighter honey on bottom has crystalized, or “creamed,” but the darker honey on top has not.
It’s recommended to have no less than 1/10 your final volume be seed honey.
Living in Hawaii means I don’t really have anywhere cool and dark (okay, so my cabinets are dark, but sort of lacking in the cool area!), so I usually use a bit more seed honey to help the process along.
When you’re working with smaller quantities, adding a little more makes the math easier, too! Let’s say you have a cute little glass jar that holds 1 cup, or 8 fluid ounces. That means you need less than 1 oz of seed honey. Since a tablespoon is half an ounce, you’d probably just want to use two scant tablespoons of seed honey and call it a day. There’s no need to get super crazy with the math!
Creamed honey ingredients
- A very clean glass container with a fitting lid. Mason jars work wonderfully!
- “Regular” honey (I highly recommend buying local honey! It’s usually more delicious and better for you, too, because it contains local pollen)
- A bit of raw creamed honey to use as your starter.
- For flavored honey, pick one of your favorite, food-grade essential oils. I love lavender honey! Cinnamon could be pretty good, too. If you don’t have a safe to eat lavender oil, you can always add culinary dried lavender, instead.
How to make creamed honey
1. Determine the overall volume of your container, either by looking for a mark on it or filling it with water and then using measuring cups to determine how much water was used. If you use the water method, make sure to throughly dry your container afterwards!
2. Do some light math to figure out about how much seed honey you’ll need based on the overall volume of the container.
3. Add your seed honey to the container, then pour finish filling with “normal” honey.
4. Stir very carefully with a spoon or spatula. You want to combine the two types of honey, but avoid introducing air as much as possible. Add a drop or two of essential oil, if using.
5. Cover your container and allow it to sit in a cool, dark place until the honey has fully creamed. You’ll be able to tell just by looking at it because the crystalized honey is much lighter.
To speed the process along, you can scoop off any bubbles that rise to the surface and occasionally re-stir the honey. The creaming process should take a week or two, depending on the temperature in your home. Don’t put it in the fridge – it is too cold in there to crystalize properly!
If you know me, you may be wondering why I am sharing a recipe/tutorial for how to make your own creamed honey when I’m always talking about how few sweets I eat! Well, there are a couple of reasons. One is that it’s an ingredient in a recipe I’m planning to share soon (it’s super yummy – trust me!). Another is that I know a lot of people aren’t as relatively sweet-free as me and creamed honey would be a nice, moderately healthy-ish topping for the cottage cheese protein pancakes I shared recently. Can’t you just image them with honey on top?
Honey is very cool stuff! It is a sweetener so I don’t eat that much of it, but honey is pretty remarkable and has numerous medical applications.
Do you ever use creamed honey? What’s your favorite thing to put honey on? (You can say “a spoon” – that’s totally okay!)
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