Honey is created from flower nectar by bees and used traditionally as a sweetener. Due to the properties of the substance, it crystallizes when exposed to low temperatures.
If stored properly, honey has an indefinite shelf life -- it can't go bad unless it's exposed to moisture or excess heat and allowed to grow mold. When honey crystallizes, this doesn't mean that is has gone bad.
It simply needs to be heated to return to its natural form. There are, however, steps that can be taken to avoid crystallization.
- Place honey in an airtight container that is opaque so it allows less light to reach the honey. Exposure to excess light may heat the honey and cause loss of flavor, along with causing crystallization.
- Store the honey in a dry area such as a kitchen cabinet. Humid environments may cause the honey to develop mold or an unpleasant taste.
- Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. Honey needs to be stored in an area that is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures promote crystallization of honey and higher temperatures promote mold growth.
If your honey does crystallize, place the jar into a pot of boiling water and allow the honey to melt. If the container is plastic, transfer the honey into a glass jar before heating.