Raisins are one of the most popular dried fruits in the world. They’re nutritious and tasty at the same time and can be eaten all on their own or in recipes! The genetic makeup of a raisin makes it one of the best food items to keep around when you’re trying to build your emergency preparedness pantry. These can be easy to grab a handful of and eat even in dire circumstances, and since they’re already dried fruit, they tend to last a lot longer than something that’s “fresh.” You can’t store grapes long term, but you can store raisins, however, things aren’t that simple here.
Because of the condition that raisins are already in, you can’t exactly store them the way you would store most other food items. Improper storage can lead to the raisins not lasting as long, which is why it’s important that you know exactly the steps you need to take to make sure that you store your raisins the right way. In this post, we’re going to be walking you through everything you need to know about storing raisins long term, so your raisins have the best chance possible of staying fresher for as long as possible!
Why Dried Fruit (Like Raisins) is a Good Food Storage Prep.
When it comes to survival preparedness, it’s important that you’re not only storing items the right way, but also choosing the right ones to go forward with. Dried fruits like raisins are often on the top of the list of “must haves,” and here’s why:
When you’re prepping for the long term and for emergencies, you need to make sure you’re storing items that will be good to meet your daily caloric requirements in a pinch. Raisins are a great choice here because they’re a calorie dense food that you can just eat a couple of handfuls of and get the energy boost that you may need in an emergency.
We also recommend checking our guide to store spices for emergencies.
As important as it is to have foods that are higher in calories, empty calories are never a good thing, not even in dire circumstances. That’s why it’s important that you choose the right calorie dense foods, those that have balanced nutritional value too. Raisins win here again. They’re high in antioxidants, fat-free and cholesterol-free, and packed with healthy vitamins and minerals and fiber, so with each bite, you get a little bit of all the good stuff you need to keep going forward no matter how crazy the circumstances may be!
What Can Affect the Duration of Your Stored Raisins
Now that we’ve been over exactly what makes raisins a great food item to have on hand, let’s go over some of the main factors that can affect the duration that your stored raisins can be kept for:
The first thing you need to be mindful of here is the temperature. Room temperature may be good for certain foods, but raisins tend to do a lot better if you store them at the lowest temperature possible. If you can store them in a fridge/freezer, they will last a lot longer than if they were being stored at regular room temperature.
This is a factor a lot of people don’t really think about. Just because raisins are “dry” doesn’t mean that humidity doesn’t affect them. Dried items attract humidity more than regular items do, and excess humidity can lead to mold, that’s why you need to keep your raisins safe from humidity while they’re stored.
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When you first think about storing raisins, the light might not be something that you pay that much heed to, but you should. It’s important that your raisins are kept away from direct sunlight so they aren’t subjected to a random surge in temperature or humidity and can actually last a long time.
How Long Can I Expect My Stored Raisins to Last?
Generally, store bought raisins can easily last in storage for six months to a year. However, if you don’t open the packaging and actually store the raisins the right way, they may even last longer than that. If you really go all out and use the tips that come later in this article, you may even be able to keep them fresh for 1-1.5 decades.
Is It Necessary to Dehydrate My Raisins Before Storing Them for the Long-Term?
Since raisins are already a “dried” fruit, people often think that just throwing them in a bag would be fine, but that’s not the case. If you’re really trying to store the raisins long term, use a dehydrator to get rid of any excess moisture that might’ve got left behind, and they’ll last for several years. This is also to be done if you wish to use oxygen absorbers while storing them. However, if you’re only looking to store the raisins for a few months, you can forgo the dehydrator and be okay without it.
Best Long-Term Storage Methods for Raisins
Below are some of the best long term storage methods for raisins:
Mylar bags with Oxygen Absorbers
Generally, it’s not recommended to put oxygen absorbers in the packaging that you’re storing raisins in because they’re high in moisture, however, you can prepare them for this by putting them in a dehydrator before storing them. To make them last even longer, don’t stuff the mylar bag too much and add an additional heat seal to keep things nicely locked inside as there is a chance that the ziplock deteriorates overtime and lets extra moisture in that you wouldn’t normally want when you’re storing anything long term.
Vacuum Sealed Mason Jars with Desiccants
Mason jars are usually great for storing food for the long term because they’re easy to keep locked airtight, especially the ones that are vacuum sealed. However, it’s always good to go the extra mile and add desiccants on top too. For this, you should leave a bit of space on top and then add the desiccant, it’ll soak up any lingering moisture that might lead to mold growth and keep the raisins safe and stored away for longer!
Raisins last the longest when they’re stored in extremely low temperatures. That means that freezers are your absolute best friends when you’re storing raisins for the long term. However, it’s not as simple as just popping the raisins in the freezer in their original packaging. Although that will get you through a couple of months, eventually, the packaging itself will go bad, and soon after, the raisins inside too, and you’ll be left with a pretty massive mess. A great thing to use here is a freezer bag! With one of these, you can make your raisins last a long time while keeping them and your freezer safe from any damage at all!
Is Botulism a Concern for Stored Raisins and Dried Fruit? What You Need to Know
Botulism is one of the few bacterias that can easily grow in oxygen-free environments. If there’s moisture in the bag, the bacteria will still be able to grow and thrive and make your raisins go bad a lot faster. This means that you cannot store them using oxygen absorbers under any circumstances to keep them safe.
How to Soften Raisins that Have Been Stored a Long Time
There are three main ways that you can soften raisins that have been stored for a long time. Microwave, boil, or soak.
Take the raisins out of the stored packaging and place them in the microwave. Give them a heat blast for two to three minutes, and then take them out. You might have to soak them in some water or a liquid afterward to keep them from turning too soft. Do not microwave for too long.
You can also boil the raisins to soften them up. To do this, first, pour extremely hot water into a bowl with the raisins in it, shake things around with a spoon, and then let them sit in the water for about fifteen minutes before straining the water out, and your raisins should be back to being soft in no time!
Another great way of softening raisins is to soak them. You can either soak them in water or a flavored liquid (juice or liquor) and leave it be for at least 30 minutes. Check a few raisins after the time has elapsed to make sure they’re ready. If they’re not, recheck every ten minutes and strain the liquid out when it’s all done.
How to Know if Raisins are Not Good for Consumption
When raisins have gone bad, their texture and flavor change, and you won’t be able to eat them. However, you don’t have to put them in your mouth to know if they’re still good to use. If there is any white powder growth on the raisins and you’re noticing a rotten smell, know that the raisins have gone bad and aren’t fit for consumption.
Storing raisins long term seems like one of those things that you don’t have to think a lot about, but in practice, that’s not really the case. You need to take extra measures and really think about everything you’re doing to ensure that the raisins you store are actually good for whenever you take them out later on.
Throughout this post, we went over all of the little things you need to keep in mind when trying to store raisins long term, so now, you have all of the knowledge you will ever need to store raisins the right way, and have them be fresh and ready for use for years to come!