How to keep prunes at home?
Prune, or dried plum, is a product rich in vitamins and minerals, which beneficially affects the immune system, gastrointestinal tract, is useful for the heart, blood vessels, and in many other cases, which is doubly relevant for spring vitamin deficiency. In addition, this is just a tasty treat that can give a unique touch to many dishes, especially if it is properly stored.
Preparing prunes for storage
To maximize the useful and tasteful qualities of prunes, it is necessary to prepare it accordingly. To begin with, you should decide what you will store dried fruits in.
Did you know? The drier the plum, the more beneficial it is, as the concentration of vitamins and minerals in it increases. Properly dried prunes have the same amount of nutrients as the feedstock from which it was prepared, and the mass loss is due to the moisture that has left it.
Best suited for this purpose:
- various containers made of glass or food stainless steel (you can take enameled metal utensils);
- thick paper bags;
- bags made of natural fabric;
- wooden containers;
- zip package;
- plastic food containers.
Regardless of whether the container was previously used or whether it is new, it should be washed well. It is advisable to do this without the use of synthetic detergents that contain strong flavors. Prunes very well absorb extraneous odors, and to prevent this, it is better to use baking soda to process containers. After washing, rinse the container well with hot water, then rinse with boiling water.
It's okay: leave the best ones for long-term storage, use the rest first. For long-term storage, dried prunes are more suitable; dried prunes are stored worse. Although, if you use the oven and remove excess moisture, the shelf life of dried plums can be significantly extended. The bulk of the product, which can be found on sale today, is prepared by drying.
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Such a plum, which is first poured with boiling water, and then dried at a low temperature in the oven, has a higher moisture content (for this reason, the dried plum is stored longer). Of course, it is more profitable for outlets to sell that product, which contains more water. This does not mean at all that the dried product is worse than the dried one - it is only a question of which processing method allows prunes to be stored longer.
Features of storing prunes at home
There are some features that are mainly due to the following factors:
- product processing method (dried or dried);
- temperature and humidity;
- packaging and storage containers.
Important! It is not recommended to store dried or dried plums in plastic bags for a more or less long period, since this makes the product sticky, and its quality decreases.
At room temperature
The most simple and effective way of storage, in which the product retains all its useful and taste. If the apartment has normal humidity (45-60%), it is more advisable to store dried fruits in this way. As for a particular place, there are few requirements for it: it should be dark, dry, not hot, and it is desirable that there aren’t much smelling products nearby. Suitable closet or pantry.
Did you know? Once, a certain American businessman involved in the production of prunes decided to optimize costs by replacing the workers picking the fruits with monkeys. To this end, the businessman acquired several hundred monkeys in Panama that ate almost the entire crop, and instead of enriching the enterprising planter, drove him into debt.
For storage at room temperature as containers suitable:
- glass jars, the neck of which can be covered with paper, securing it with an elastic band (nylon or twisting lids should not be used);
- glass containers for bulk food products;
- metal tea cans without flavoring;
- metal containers for bulk products;
- wooden barrels and drawers;
- enameled dishes with lids (cans, pans)
In the fridge
A refrigerator is the most suitable option for storing a dried product. The same glass or metal containers are suitable as containers. But the best solution would be zip packages, since such packaging takes up less space. Whatever container (s) you take, it should not be tightly closed; you need constant air access.
Close the packaging tightly only if (and then, for a short time) if there are products with a strong odor nearby. In addition, every 10-15 days, the contents should be checked for fruits beginning to deteriorate, and condensation. If such fruits are found, they must be removed from the total mass. In the presence of condensate, the contents are laid out on a kitchen towel and allowed to dry, after which they are placed in new bags or clean containers.
In the freezer
There is no need to put prunes in the freezer. It is not recommended to store food products longer than 1 year, including in the freezer. In addition, in the freezer, the product loses most of its useful qualities, and the taste after defrosting leaves much to be desired.
Important! If you have a lot of free space in the freezer, and the use of dried fruit involves its further heat treatment, then you can also freeze it. Just remember that you should not defrost the product after that, you need to cook it immediately.
In paper bags and sacks
This method of storage can be attributed to storage at room temperature, but since it has some features, it is worth telling about it separately. If suitable containers are not available, bags made of linen or cotton fabric or paper bags will do. The advantage of storing in this way is the free access of air.
As for the negative aspects, here, perhaps, it should only be said that dried fruits should be kept in linen and paper bags only in those places where there are no pests (moths, ants, bugs). Linen bags, before use, need to be soaked in a salt solution, and then dried.
Shelf life of prunes
Subject to all conditions, the dried product can be kept at home, at room temperature and without loss of quality, for 7-12 months. As already mentioned, to extend the shelf life of dried plums, it should be dried in the oven, at a temperature of +120 ... + 140 ° C for 20 minutes. After the oven is turned off, dried fruit should not be taken out immediately, let it cool in the chamber.
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Spread the cooled plum in a thin layer, let it rest for another 12-15 hours. Now the product will be stored longer. Dried plums, without additional drying, can be kept in the refrigerator for the same six months or a year.
Useful tips and tricks for storing prunes
So that you always have the freshest and highest-quality product at hand, try to follow some simple recommendations:
- It is better to purchase prunes, especially dried, in small portions . Currently, you can buy it almost everywhere, while you can always find a fresh product and take the required quantity with a small margin.
- From the entire mass of dried fruits purchased, select the largest, the wettest, and those that have damage, deformation. Use these fruits first.
- High-quality prunes can be recognized by rubbing them on the back of the brush . If there are dark traces, the quality of the product leaves much to be desired. Dried or dried plums of high quality will not leave such traces.
- Dried plums should not be stored next to strong-smelling products (coffee, vinegar, condiments and spices, etc.).
- If the room where the dried fruits are stored has high humidity, it is best to keep it sealed. It goes without saying that fabric or paper bags will not work in this situation.