How to dry and how to store grapes at home?
Dried fruits have long been a favorite treat among many nations and a way to store these vitamin “bombs” for months. Consider what is interesting for the most common dried fruit from grapes - raisins and methods for its preparation.
What is the use of dried grapes?
The rich sweet taste and elastic jelly-like flesh attract the attention of sweets lovers, but what do nutritionists say about this?
Dried fruit is included in many diets because it contains substances that break down fatty tissue. A high amount of simple carbohydrates, easy to digest, makes the berry popular for snacking with athletes, and antioxidants prolong youth. Did you know? In ancient Rome, raisins were used along with money when buying a slave or as a prize in sports. Potassium has a positive effect on cardiac activity, magnesium and B vitamins support the nervous, muscle and immune systems and reduce the effects of stress.
What grapes are raisins made of?
Raisins almost does not differ in composition from fresh berries, but not all grapes are suitable for drying.
Consider the name of raisins made from different grapes:
- kishmish or sabza - light, seedless, made from white, green or yellow grape varieties;
- cinnamon from the same grape variety or the so-called bidana, shigani - dark in color, with a stone or seedless;
- large meaty raisins from "ladies' fingers" or "Husayn" with 1-2 seeds;
- large seed raisins for widespread use with or without seeds.
How to make raisins from grapes: the main methods of drying
Making dried fruit yourself is quite easy. If grapes grow in a summer cottage, 2 weeks before harvesting, it is necessary to stop watering and thin out the leaves in order to maximize access to sunlight and heat. Then the collected brushes are cleaned of spoiled berries and debris.
You can dry the fruits in several ways, but to speed up the process, it is recommended to pre-treat them with an alkaline solution. To do this, blanch the berries for several seconds in a boiling solution made at the rate of half a teaspoon of baking soda per liter of water, then rinse. Important! To get high-quality raisins, only fully ripened bunches should be selected for drying. If the peel is thick, the amount of soda should be doubled. During this treatment, a wax coating is removed from the surface of the grapes and they are covered with a network of small cracks through which the evaporation of moisture will pass more intensively and the time required will decrease by several times.
In the drying process, 20–25% of the weight of raisins from the initial weight of the feedstock is obtained, while the yield is increased in varieties with a higher sugar content. Next, select the appropriate cooking method from those described below.
In direct sunlight
Prepared raw materials are laid out in a single layer on grids, baking sheets or sheets of plywood and covered with gauze to protect them from dust, insects and gusts of wind. Place pallets in areas well-lit by the sun, turning the berries once every 2-3 days.
At night and when the weather worsens, they are cleaned in dry enclosed spaces. The process takes about a month. With this method, a certain amount of vitamins is lost and the aroma is poorly preserved.
In the shadow
You can also dry the fruits in the shady way in a closed, well-ventilated room, for example, in the attic. This will preserve the color, smell and most of the beneficial substances. Whole clusters are hanged or the berries removed are laid out as in the previous version. Readiness comes in 3-4 months.
Did you know? Many legendary and world-famous varieties of wines, such as Commandaria, Vincanto and others, are prepared not from fresh, but from dried, “curious” grapes.
In the oven
In order to dry the grapes in the oven, it will take up to 2-3 days. Before bookmarking, they should be sorted by size to be the first to remove smaller ones that will dry faster. Baking sheets can be covered with paper or parchment.
The temperature must be maintained at +50 ... + 60⁰С with an ajar door for a free exit of moisture. This drying method requires an additional flow of gas or electricity.
In the electric dryer
The simplest cooking recipe with a minimum of hassle and time is in an electric dryer. The raw materials are evenly placed on trays and include the desired mode of operation.
Thanks to intense convection, everything is ready in 10-12 hours. For uniform drying, the device is turned off 3-4 times and the cooled trays are interchanged.
How to determine readiness
Properly dried grapes have a matte color, moderately elastic, and when dropped, give a slight knock. If it is too hard - overdried and tasteless, and if you press it you hear the movement of the pulp under the skin - the berries need to be dried.
What can be made from raisins?
Find out also
Dried fruit easily tolerates heat treatment and is often used for baking all kinds of rolls, muffins, cookies and bread. It goes well with sweet cottage cheese in various products, is found in ice cream, cakes and is indispensable in muesli and fruit salads. It is added to cereals, pilaf, meat and poultry dishes. Fruit drink, kvass or compote with raisins have a more interesting and rich taste.
How to store dried grapes at home
After evaporation of moisture, grapes can be stored for up to two years without loss of nutritional properties, vitamins and aroma. To do this, you must follow simple rules.
The easiest way is to pour raisins in a bag of dense fabric and keep it on a shelf in the kitchen cabinet or in any other dry and ventilated room. Glass or metal cans are suitable for storing dried grapes, which are covered with plastic lids with ventilation holes or are tied up with a cloth or paper.
With success, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to six months in a plastic container and up to a year in the freezer. Periodically, you need to inspect the raisins and make sure that mold does not appear on it from excess moisture.
Important! Dried grapes must not be washed before storage, this will cause it to spoil quickly.
Cooking raisins at home is not inferior in quality to the factory one. On the contrary, the taste is more saturated, the aroma is intense, and the main advantage is the absence of chemical impurities that are used in the industrial processing of fruits. Being at hand, raisins will always bring an unusual and interesting flavor note to your favorite dish.