How Honey Can Be Used As A Preservative

There is only one food in the world that bees, bears, and humans can't get enough of, and that's honey. A sweet and rich treat, people drizzle honey on their pancakes, add it to tea, and even mix honey with their whipped cream. However, this sweet nectar has a lot more going for it than its great taste.

According to Healthline, not only is honey useful as a cough suppressant and wound/burn salve, but a serving of honey has many nutritional benefits. By mixing honey into your oatmeal, you're ingesting a good dose of antioxidants. The outlet also reports that honey may help the heart by improving cholesterol and blood pressure. And that's not all honey can do.

If you love to preserve food at home as much as you love adding honey to your breakfast, we have some good news for you: Nature's favorite sweetener can also be used as a food preservative. 

Preserving for the short and long term

So how is it possible for honey to preserve food in the first place? According to McGill's Office of Science and Society, honey is a good preservative because of its sugars, which expel water from foods through osmosis, dehydrating and eliminating any microbes that are present.

Honey is most commonly used to preserve fruits (per Homestead Crowd). Although it isn't suitable for preserving a wide array of foods, keeping your fruit fresh with honey will give them an extra sweet taste. 

Homestead Crowd notes that you have a few options for preserving fruit with honey. For a shorter preservation time, you can refrigerate your fruit of choice in a jar filled with honey. This will keep your fruit fresh for a couple of weeks. If you require a longer-term solution, you will need to transform the honey into a syrup mixture for hot water bath canning. Homestead Crowd shares to get your honey canning ready, most recipes will want you to boil it with a specified amount of sugar and water. They also note that different kinds of honey can have different pH levels, so you'll want to match your fruit to the desired level of acidity in the syrup. After that, you'll be able to can as normal, and look forward to baking tarts and pies with preserved fruits that have a perfect honeyed flavor.