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Food How to store dried fruit?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,884

    How to store dried fruit?

    sometimes I get dried fruit in commodities, last month four bags. We don't eat them all that fast, so I'd like to know how to store them.

    TIA

    Judy

  2. #2
    It stores very well in glass jars or mylar... in the dark if using glass. Exposure to light speeds up the natural darkening process, which is unavoidable over time. But darkening doesn't hurt the quality or taste at all.

    I've stored commercial dehydrated prunes snd apricots in the original heavy plastic bags for over 15 years, and found them to be indistinguishable from fresh. Home dried apples, however, tend to reabsorb moisture unless carefully sealed... I've found that either at least 4 mil mylar or sealed canning jars works best for them.

    My thinking on dried fruit in storage was influenced years ago by reading about when, after World War II, Americans had food drives to send food to starving allies in Europe. In one small town, the town cheapskate donated about a 10# bag of very old (and obviously carelessly stored) dry fruit... it was apparently black and so unappetizing that the organizer of the drive was very reluctant to even include it in the shipment. But they did... and when they recieved a thak you letter from the people who had recieved the food, that fruit was the only thing mentioned specifically... they were SO grateful for that fruit, as apparently it was the first "sweet" they'd had in years...

    Summerthyme

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,884
    Thanks ST. What about raisins, I got them still in boxes and they tend to harden.

    Judy

  4. #4
    That's from them drying out. If you seal them in jars (I always use widemouth jars in case they do harden or get clumpy) whike they are still fresh, they'll stay moist.

    You can "freshen" up overly dry raisins easily... several methods here. https://www.wikihow.com/Plump-Raisins

    For eating fresh, I use the microwave method. 1 tablespoon water to 1 cup of raisins. For baking, I just pour boiling water over them to cover, soak 30 minutes, then drain.

    Summerthyme

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,884
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    That's from them drying out. If you seal them in jars (I always use widemouth jars in case they do harden or get clumpy) whike they are still fresh, they'll stay moist.

    You can "freshen" up overly dry raisins easily... several methods here. https://www.wikihow.com/Plump-Raisins

    For eating fresh, I use the microwave method. 1 tablespoon water to 1 cup of raisins. For baking, I just pour boiling water over them to cover, soak 30 minutes, then drain.

    Summerthyme
    You are such a wealth of information, thanks a bunch.

    Judy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    SE Georgia
    Posts
    4,517
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    That's from them drying out. If you seal them in jars (I always use widemouth jars in case they do harden or get clumpy) whike they are still fresh, they'll stay moist.

    You can "freshen" up overly dry raisins easily... several methods here. https://www.wikihow.com/Plump-Raisins

    For eating fresh, I use the microwave method. 1 tablespoon water to 1 cup of raisins. For baking, I just pour boiling water over them to cover, soak 30 minutes, then drain.

    Summerthyme
    I am learning the wide mouth versus small mouth jar challenge. I am beginning to get all wide mouth as they are much easier to use.

  7. #7
    I put into air right containers, and freeze them. no chance of bugs or mold if not dried enough.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 20Gauge View Post
    I am learning the wide mouth versus small mouth jar challenge. I am beginning to get all wide mouth as they are much easier to use.
    Yes, wide mouth jars are *much* better for canning meats, and are vital for freezing. However, the cost of lids for wide mouth is a good 35% more than the regular mouth size, and when you can several hundred jars yearly, it adds up.

    I ran out of my case of regular mouth jars, and don't have the cash (at least, that I'm willing to let go of right now with the damned property taxes coming up next month) to buy another case, so I've been canning using the Tattler reusable lids I bought about 10 years ago. They can be frustrating... i get about 8-10% seal failures, no matter how careful I am about headspace, etc. It's been improving... part of the issue is the necessity to *not* tighten the rings as firmly as you do for the regular metal lids.

    But they do work, and once you get a good seal, they seem to hold as well as the older metal lids ever did (years and years) and much better than the newest lids, which are advertising (on boxes of new jars) that they "stay sealed for up to 18 months", which pisses me off every time i see it! And once the investment is made (and I git a great deal on them back then) there is no ongoing cost. I experimented when I first got them, and reused one of the rubber rings over and over... I think I used it 11 times before getting tired of it, snd it was still holding shape and sealing. I bought extra rings, knowing they'd eventually get tired and wear out, but I'm not sure I'll live long enough to need them.

    Summerthyme

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,884
    Do i need to vacuum seal the dried fruit?

    Judy

  10. #10
    No, you don't need to. But I suspect it would help preserve color, especially to either vacuum seal or use an O2 absorber.

    Summerthyme

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,884
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    No, you don't need to. But I suspect it would help preserve color, especially to either vacuum seal or use an O2 absorber.

    Summerthyme
    I've got some plums that are especially moist. One package filled a pint jar to the brim, I'll need to scoop some out to vacuum seal, I'll stick an o2 in it and see how it does.

    By the way my pantry is staying around 80-82 with about 50 degrees of humidity. I've got a humidity absorber in there, its worse if I don't run the ac in the room where the pantry is. The temp in my she shed is way in the 90's even with the a/c which has a dehumidifier in it, the humidity is about 50 in there. For the winter I've got the radiator style heaters for both areas, seems to work fairly well. Although neither a/c helps my electric bill, but I consider it an investment in my food prep. The Louisiana summers are very hot and humid. Although the humidity is very good for my aging face.

    Judy

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