I love to sprinkle a fistful of raisins on almost all possible foods, of which salads and desserts is my favorite platter. These hard coated delights are yet another soft surprise of tender flesh inside. And you cannot help but melt some in your mouth for the sweet and tangy flavor of these dry fruits. We all know of the health benefits of raisins and how they are made: by drying grapes. In simple terms they are nothing but dried grapes. Yes, that is the only step that makes raisins.
Well, it sounds simple but sure needs perfection and there is a proper method to do so. Have we ever tried making raisins at home? Most of us have not. It doesn't really strike us, because they are easily available at a store, all you need to do is buy them and, simply pop them to eat. But for some cooking fans and others too, a little summer cooking project to make raisins at home is a good option.
Moreover raisins are easy to make, and with this you can ensure optimum quality, since you are making them all by yourself. It can also be a fun task for the kids on a summer afternoon. It does not take much time, plus you can store these as well in containers for long. So get ready to pluck some fruit here, below are some of the easy ways to make raisins at home.
Easy Instructions to Make Raisins
Summers are the most preferred, as a warm and dry climate is required to toast these to perfection. But if you happen to make raisins even when the sun is mild, there are other ways to make them. So we have listed two methods to make raisins.
Sun Dried Raisins
- Grapes - Now these have to be seedless, ripe and fresh. You can opt for purple or green grapes.
- Tray - To place and dry the raisins.
- Cloth - Soft and breathable cloth to cover.
- Remove the stems from the grapes, wash them thoroughly. To preserve the bright and fresh color of the grapes after you dry them, add a little lime juice to the water when washing.
- Dry them with cloth, or simply let them sit for sometime until the water runs out. Now spread these grapes on a tray. Make sure you spread them evenly throughout the tray.
- Use a surface that will help absorb more heat, it will help the grapes dry better and faster. If you feel there is a threat of pests or insects spoiling the grapes, you can use a soft and breathable cloth to cover the grapes.
- Place this tray in the area which gets most sunlight. Keep this tray in direct sunlight, if your region gets cold and foggy at night, you can get the tray inside the house for the night and then place it out in the morning again.
- You may turn and scatter the raisins every few days to make sure they are dried evenly. This drying process should be done for at least two weeks or more, till the grapes dry well. Keep checking the texture and taste, to know if your raisins are ready.
- Once dry, place them in an air tight container. Adding some bay leaves in the container will help preserve them better. You can also store raisins in a plastic bag, that can be sealed.
Oven Dried Raisins
The above procedure was a natural way for making raisins. There is another method to dry grapes and make raisins. All you need to do is, follow the same process of washing the grapes, dry them with a cloth. Now place these grapes in an oven tray. Set your oven at a warm setting, like 150 to 200 degrees. Bake the grapes for two to four hours. Now check the raisins if they are dried or not. Continue baking till you get the desired dryness and texture of raisins. Once done, store them in the same way, in air tight containers.
Always store raisins in a cool and dry place. So whenever you want to have a healthy snack, there you have your yummy raisins all made by yourself. Munch on these raw or add them to smoothies, ice creams, salads and more. Enjoy a healthy delight!