A very popular snack at the local fair are the honey straws. Wouldn't it be great to have honey straws available year round? And at a price that doesn't seem like extortion? Now you can, by making your own honey straws at home.
Besides a popular snack for the kids, honey straws can be used in a variety of other ways. By keeping a few at the breakfast table, they can be used to flavor your favorite tea or coffee. Snip off the ends of a honey straw with scissors and use it to stir your drink. Hikers can use honey straws as a healthy energy snack that pack easily. Instead of buying over priced gel packs, runners can use honey straws to provide the energy they need on a long run.
Gathering the Materials
You can pick up straws at your local discount store, restaurant supply store, or party store. You should experiment with different straw thicknesses as well as diameters. The commercially packaged honey straws (also known as honey sticks, honey stix and honeystix) usually use a very thin straw. Just about any thickness should be fine with only the thickest of straws being hard to work with. You can also get different diameters of straws to hold different amounts of honey.
Next you need a way of filling the straws with honey. A squeeze bottle with a small hole that will fit inside the straw works perfectly. Many of the honey bear bottles have the right size hole for this. You can also use a large diameter plastic syringe for filling the straws.
A simple way to seal the straw is to use tape. You can also use a sealing machine that is used to seal plastic bags. Optionally you can use a lighter, or other open flame to seal the straw. This is the way I do it.
Finally, you need a supply of honey. Honey straws can be made with unflavored honey, or you can flavor the honey with just about any fruit. The honey needs to be heated to make it more runny, being careful not to heat it too much if you are looking for the health benefits of honey.
Prepare the Straws
Cut your straws to the length you want. You can keep the straws at full length, or experiment to see how much honey you need for your coffee or tea if you want to use 1 straw per cup. If you are using tape to seal your straws, be sure to leave enough extra to double the straw over to seal the ends.
Warm the Honey
You don't need to heat your honey too much, just enough to make it runny. You can heat the honey by zapping it in the microwave, but you won't have much control over the amount it is heated. A better option is to place the honey container into a pot of hot water. The water from your faucet is probably warm enough to make the honey runny. The honey needs to flow freely from your syringe, or through the squeeze bottle, into the straw.
Filling the Straws
Using tape to seal the straw: Hold the bottom of the straw allowing air to flow through as the honey is put into the straw. When you get the straw almost filled, pinch off the bottom and fold it over so you can tape it. Leave room at the top to fold it over and tape. You can actually start at either end folding and taping.
Using heat or flame to seal the straw: Hold the bottom of the straw allowing air to flow through as the honey is put into the straw. When you get the straw almost filled, pinch the straw and seal the top of the straw. Then seal the bottom. Follow the instructions on your electrical sealing machine if you are using one of those to seal the straws.
To seal the straw with a flame you need to heat the straw briefly and then pinch it closed with your fingers. This won't burn you. But if you have delicate fingers or are concerned, you can dip your fingers in water before pinching the straw. It is easiest to seal the top first and then the bottom.
Wash the straws and eat one to celebrate. You can store the straws in a cup on the table, or, if they disappear too quickly, you can hide them in the cupboard. Don't store them in the refrigerator or they will crystallize. There is nothing harmful about crystallization, but the honey won't flow as easily when you get ready to eat them. You can re-liquefy them by dropping the straws in hot water.
Unwrap, or bite off the end of the straw and enjoy a good healthy snack.
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