Monday, May 30, 2011

52 Week Food Storage - Week #22

Week # 22: 2 - (5 lb) tubs of Honey & 6 lbs Corn Syrup


This wonderfully rich golden liquid is the miraculous product of honey bees and a naturally delicious alternative to white sugar. In addition to its reputation as Nature’s nutritive sweetener, research also indicates that honey’s unique composition makes it useful as an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant.
Raw honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered - provided it is of the highest organic quality - is your best choice. Look for honey that states “100% pure.” While regular honey is translucent, creamy honey is usually opaque and is made by adding finely crystallized honey back into liquid honey. Specialty honeys, made from the nectar of different flowers, such as thyme and lavender, are also available. Remember that the darker the color, the deeper the flavor.

Remember that the quality of “raw” honey is a function of the plants and environment from which pollen, saps, nectar's and resins were gathered. Other substances found in the environment - including traces of heavy metals, pesticides, and antibiotics - have been shown to appear in honey. The amount varies greatly.
Do not feed honey-containing products or use honey as a flavoring for infants under one year of age. Honey is safe for children older than 12 months and adults.
By The Way: Rice’s Lucky Clover Honey (The Bear which we buy at Walmart) is packing only 100% pure raw unfiltered honey.

  • Kosher approved
  • Helps control allergies
  • Good for replacing sugar
  • A good sweetener that can be used in coffee, tea, and smoothies
  • Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water, and also contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals
  • Carbohydrate ingestion prior to, during, and after exercise enhances athletic performance and speeds recovery
It is important to keep honey stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t absorb moisture from the air. Honey stored this way in a cool dry place will keep almost indefinitely. One reason for this is that its high sugar content and acidic pH help to inhibit microorganism growth. Honey that is kept at colder temperatures tends to thicken, while honey that is kept at higher temperatures has a tendency to darken and have an altered flavor.

Cooking with Honey:
If your honey has crystallized, placing the container in hot water for 15 minutes will help return it to its liquid state. Do not heat honey in the microwave as this alters its taste by increasing its hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content. To prevent honey from sticking to measuring cups and spoons, use honey that is in its liquid form.

Honey makes a good replacement for sugar in most recipes. Since honey is sweeter than sugar, you need to use less, one-half to three-quarters of a cup for each cup of sugar. For each cup of sugar replaced, you should also reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by one-quarter of a cup. In addition, reduce the cooking temperature by 25ºF since honey causes foods to brown more easily.
1 teaspoon regular sugar = 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon honey or molasses
1 cup Corn Syrup = 1 cup Honey
1 cup honey (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1/4 cup. In baked goods, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey substituted and lower baking temperature 25 degrees. In cookie recipes using eggs and no additional liquid, increase the flour by about 2 tablespoons per cup of honey. Chill before shaping and baking. Half of the sugar in cakes, can be replaced with honey. Two-thirds of the sugar can be replaced in fruit bars, but replace no more than a third of the sugar in ginger snaps with honey. When making cakes or cookies, first mix honey with the fat or the liquid, then mix with other ingredients. If this is not done, a soggy layer may form on top of the baked product.)

Quick Cooking Ideas:
  • Use honey in place of table sugar as a sweetener in your tea.
  • Drizzle apple slices with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • To enjoy sweetened yogurt without excess sugar, mix a little honey into plain yogurt.
  • A delicious sandwich that is enjoyed by kids of all ages is a combination of peanut (or almond) butter, with bananas and honey.
  • In a saucepan over low heat, combine soymilk, honey and unsweetened dark chocolate to make a deliciously nutritious chocolate “milk” drink.
Here’s a detailed PDF document full of info about crystallization.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a liquid sweetener. Corn syrup is a mildly sweet, concentrated solution of dextrose and other sugars derived from corn starch. It is naturally sweet. Corn syrup contains between 15% to 20% dextrose (glucose) and a mixture of various other types of sugar. Available in both a light and a dark form, the darker variety has a flavor similar to molasses and contains refiners syrup (a byproduct of sugar refining). Both types often contain flavorings and preservatives. They are commonly used in baking and candy making because they do not crystallize when heated. Corn syrup is very common in the U.S., but less so in the rest of the world.

Before or after opening, corn syrup may be stored at room temperature. Storage conditions affect product quality. Light corn syrup may turn slightly yellow with age, but this is normal and not harmful. It should be stored in its original bottle, tightly capped, in a cool, dry place. New unopened bottles keep about six months from the date on the label. After opening, keep the corn syrup four to six months. These syrups are very prone to mold and to fermentation so be on the lookout for bubbling or a mold haze. If these present themselves, throw the syrup out. You should always be certain to wipe off any drips from the bottle after every use.
However…Karo syrup is safe to eat for an indefinite period of time whether it has been opened or not opened. Bottles may be refrigerated after opening, however, the syrup will be thicker and slower to pour.

Cooking & Preparation
Corn syrup serves different functions in different types of recipes and in products you purchase. It controls sugar crystallization in candy, prevents the formation of ice crystals in frozen desserts, enhances fresh fruit flavor in jams and preserves, sweetens and thickens relishes. Corn syrup balances sweet and sour flavor profiles, and is therefore a key ingredient in many Asian dishes.
When brushed onto baked ham, barbecued meats, baked vegetables or fresh fruit, it is an ideal glaze. In baked goods, corn syrup holds moisture and maintains freshness longer. Karo light and dark corn syrups can also be poured over waffles, hot cereal and pancakes. It may be used in any recipes that calls for light or dark corn syrups. Pancake syrup will give the finished recipe a delicate maple flavor. Some recipes include Pecan Pie, Baked Beans, and Frosting.

Dark vs. Light (Can they be interchanged? Yes)
Both types have the same number of calories. Karo light and dark corn syrups perform similarly in recipes and can usually be used interchangeably. Recipes usually specify which type to use but the choice may be guided by personal preference. Typically, light corn syrup is used when a delicately sweet flavor is desired, such as in fruit sauces and jams. Karo light corn syrup is made with real vanilla.
Dark corn syrup is made with refiners’ syrup, a type of molasses. With its more robust flavor and color, it is ideal for many baked goods.
Both Karo light and dark corn syrups, along with Karo pancake syrup, are ideal toppings for pancakes, waffles, French toast, and biscuits.

Not a Substitute for Sugar or Brown Sugar
Because corn syrup is a liquid, it cannot be substituted for granulated sugar without adjusting other ingredients, particularly in baked goods. For best results, follow recipes developed especially for corn syrup. In sugar-sweetened beverages, however, it’s easy to experiment with corn syrup as a ready-blending substitute.

Great Substitute for Honey or Molasses
An equal amount of Karo corn syrup can be substituted for honey or molasses in most recipes, and when used as a topping. Recipes using corn syrup will be less sweet, and the finished products will have different flavor characteristics.

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