How to store dried apricots: shelf life, conditions
It is believed that a product such as dried apricots cannot go bad. But this is fundamentally wrong. Even the most well-dried apricot retains water, which is enough for bacteria to multiply. If stored improperly, it will simply disappear. For this reason, it is worth knowing how to store dried apricots at home for a long time.
How to choose
There are two types of dried apricots: dried, which is most often found in stores, and completely dried (it is usually prepared independently). When choosing, you should pay attention to the quality of the product:
- Type and color. Correct dried apricots should be opaque, uniform matte yellow or brown shade. These signs indicate a lack of chemicals in drying. Transparency and vibrant color suggest otherwise.
- The size. The larger the dried fruit, the more pronounced its taste and the higher the content of useful microelements.
- If the juice is released when pressing on a dried apricot, then this indicates that the quality of the product is not very good. It shouldn’t be sticky.
- Good dried apricots are characterized by a sweetish apricot smell, and notes of soot are not felt in it.
- Taste qualities. Dried apricots should taste sweet with a slight sourness, without any impurities.
Preparing for storage
Each product must be properly prepared for long-term storage, also with dried fruits. To begin with, select soft and moist dried apricots, put them on paper or napkins to dry them to the end in a dark place. This method will protect against the appearance of mold and various pests. After the fruits have undergone additional drying, you need to heat them in the oven at a temperature of 70-80 ° C for about 1-1.5 hours.
Very bright dried fruits are a sign of the presence of dyes, which it is better to get rid of. To do this, you need to soak them for 2 hours in cold water. Then dry in a dark, well-ventilated place and warm up in the oven. This method increases the shelf life.
We create the right conditions
At home, the key to the successful storage of dried apricots is the right place, an airtight container, compliance with a comfortable temperature and the desired level of humidity. For large quantities of food, it is recommended to divide it into small portions. This will help avoid major spoilage in the event of mold or insect infestation.
- Place and light. In an apartment, dried apricots can be stored in a closet or in a kitchen cabinet, that is, in a dark, dry place, into which the rays of the sun and heat from heating devices will not penetrate. With proper preparation and packaging of the product, it can be kept even in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
- Temperature and humidity. Dried apricots cannot stand the heat. The comfortable temperature for its storage is about + 10 … + 20 ° С. If the threshold is exceeded, dried fruits will begin to stick to each other and rot. Also, great attention should be paid to humidity, which should not exceed 70%. With increased rates, mold begins to appear on the product.
- The best container for storing dried fruit is considered to be a glass jar or a tightly closed container. Good tightness is important so that excess air does not get inside. For freezing, use special bags with a fastener.
In no case should dried apricots be stored in plastic bags, souring and the appearance of mold are guaranteed. It is not recommended to place it in fabric bags for a long time, as this will lead to the rapid appearance of plaque and drying, damage by insects.
It is not allowed to store dried apricots with other dried fruits, for example, with prunes, figs, dried apples. Each requires a different temperature and humidity reading.
Another reason why you can’t keep several types of dried fruits together at once is a mixture of smells and tastes. Such consequences will not benefit anyone.
How much and where to store
At room temperature
The shelf life of dried apricots at room temperature, for example, on a table or on a shelf, will not exceed 30 days. It can be kept in a conspicuous and convenient place for comfortable use. The main thing is to put the dried product in an airtight container (preferably a glass one) and remove it away from the stove, microwave oven, sink. It is important that the place is not hot or humid.
If the dried fruit lies in an open container for a long time, insect pests can start in it. And dried apricots from the store (not dried at home) in an airtight container can become moldy. In order to avoid such negative consequences, you need to periodically check the fruits and throw away those that have begun to disappear.
In the pantry
Conditions of darkness, dryness, and coolness will ensure the long-term preservation of dried fruits. The method is convenient in that you can fit many more dried apricots in the pantry. But the fruit should be stored in the correct container and periodically inspected for spoilage. In general, the shelf life in such conditions reaches no more than 6 months.
In a refrigerator
This method extends the storage of well-dried dried apricots up to 10 months. In the refrigerator, the fruits must be kept in plastic, or even better glass containers. The main thing is to check containers for condensation 1-2 times a week, inspect dried fruits and remove spoiled ones.
In the freezer
The method is more suitable for dried apricots, it is better not to use it for dried apricots. But there is a disadvantage to such storage: with a long freeze, the product loses useful trace elements. To freeze-dried apricots, you need an airtight container or bag. Dried fruits are placed close to them, after the container they are placed in the freezer. Before use, the product is taken out in advance and allowed to thaw at room temperature.
It is necessary to pack dried apricots immediately in portions because they cannot be re-frozen. The same rule applies to storing ginger in the freezer or quince slices.
Dried apricots are well kept at home and therefore can delight households all year round. You just need to adhere to the rules and recommendations if you need to save a large amount of a valuable and useful product.