Raisins are simply grapes that have been dried and stripped of their moisture content. Raisins are commonly used in many food items like cereal, oatmeal, yoghurt, salad, baked cookies, cake, muffins, and lots more.
Although they’re not round and juicy like the fresh grape fruit, raisins still retain a significant amount of sweetness in their dry state. In fact, raisins have a high amount of sugar and calories. Despite that, raisins are beneficial to our health.
Although they may have been put through some processing to make them dry, raisins potentially improve digestion, increase iron content, and strengthen the bones. Raisins contain antioxidants that eliminate harmful free radicals from the body. They are rich in calcium, fiber, boron, and more. Because of how nutritional they are, raisins are a good substitute for sweets and candy.
If you snack on raisins often or use them frequently in food recipes, it makes sense to have a large batch of raisins at home. Because they have been dried, raisins can be safely preserved for quite some time at room temperature. However, what if you wish to preserve your raisins through freezing? – An option that is actually safe from pests.
Can you freeze raisins? Yes, you can freeze raisins. Freezing prolongs the shelf life of raisins for over 12 months. The low water content of dry raisins makes them much easier to freeze. When they’re correctly packaged, frozen raisins would hardly lose any of their original taste and texture.
Freezing provides you with a lot of storage time so that you’ll always have access to fresh raisins whenever you’re baking, cooking, or simply want something to snack on.
An unopened box of raisins can actually keep for up to 12 months. It is when the box gets opened that its shelf life reduces by about half its original value. Raisins can also be preserved for a significant amount of time in the refrigerator – they can last up to 6 months in the fridge with their packaging left unopened.
Because raisins keep for so long doesn’t mean they won’t go bad eventually. If you’ve held on to some raisins for a really long time, and their sweet smell is now turning sour, you’ll need to trash those raisins.
How to Freeze Raisins
The process of freezing raisins is pretty simple and straightforward. I have tested some steps for freezing raisins severally and they consistently yield great results. These steps are:
Step 1: Pre-freeze the Raisins on a Baking Sheet
The first step is to pre-freeze your raisins on a baking sheet. The point of doing this is to prevent the raisins from freezing together and forming one large ball. When frozen together, raisins would be harder to thaw.
Grab a baking sheet and line its bottom with some parchment paper to prevent sticking. Spread the raisins flat on the baking sheet and leave some space between each individual raisin and the next. Place the raisins inside the freezer for about an hour to freeze totally. Once the raisins have been completely frozen, you can bring them out of the freezer for final packaging.
If you don’t want to pre-freeze your raisins, you can sugarcoat them to keep them from sticking to each other. Sprinkle some sugar on the raisins in the packaging before freezing.
Step 2: Vacuum Pack the Raisins
After the raisins have been pre-frozen, start packing them for long-term storage. You can either use a plastic container or a sealable freezer-safe bag. Freezer-safe bags are preferred because they don’t take up much space in the freezer. If one freezer-safe bag won’t be enough, you can make use of multiple bags.
Each bag shouldn’t be filled up completely – leave a little space in the bags and squeeze out as much air as you can from inside the bags. You can make use of a vacuum sealing machine to remove air inside the bags. If you don’t have a vacuum sealing machine, you can push a straw through the freezer-safe bag’s opening and suck out as much air as you can.
Once the air is removed, you can seal the bags and proceed to the next stage.
Step 3: Label and Arrange in Freezer to Save Space
Use a marker to write the present date on the freezer-safe bags so that you’ll always know how long the raisins have been frozen for. After that, locate one of the coldest parts of your freezer to keep the raisins. You can stack multiple bags of raisins on top of each other to save space. Once the packaging is done correctly, raisins will keep indefinitely in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Raisins
Your batch of frozen raisins can always be brought out of the freezer to snack on or use in a cooking recipe. However, before eating the frozen raisins, you’ll need to thaw them. To thaw frozen raisins, you’ll need to use the proper method.
Usually, when raisins start to defrost, there’ll be a formation of moisture on the surface of the raisins. Instead of removing the frozen raisins from inside the freezer-safe bags, leave them in the bags. Place the bag of raisins in the refrigerator and leave to thaw overnight.
Thawing in the refrigerator is best done overnight because the process takes many hours; this way you can wake up to nicely thawed raisins early the next morning.