Raisins can make or break an oatmeal cookie and they’re a fantastic alternative to candies if you’re trying to cut back on your sweets. You can put them in just about anything, from cereal to baked goods, trail mix to salads, and they even taste great with your risotto for dinner.
With so many uses, no kitchen should ever be without them, especially considering how much nutrition is packed inside every sweet morsel. But if you’re buying in bulk, you have to be sure you know where you’re going to store them.
As a dried fruit, raisins will keep well in your cupboards and fridge, but you may be wondering if you can freeze them.
Can you freeze raisins? Yes, you absolutely can freeze raisins and they’ll stay fresh in your freezer for more than a year, so it’s a great option. Since they’re dried fruit, raisins have very little water in them, making them ideal to freeze. They will come out of the freezer almost identical to how they went in and you don’t have to worry about them going bad.
To learn how to freeze your raisins or otherwise store them, and get answers to many of your other raisin-related questions, keep reading.
Best Practices for Freezing Raisins
If you don’t want them to freeze into one large ball, the best way to freeze your raisins is to first spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure there’s a little space between each one to keep them all separate.
Freeze for 30 minutes or until they’re each thoroughly frozen. From this point, you can collect them all into a single freezer-safe Ziploc bag or Tupperware container.
If your raisins are sugar-coated you can skip the pre-freezing step and just transfer them to a bag or container. The sugar will keep them from sticking to each other.
Make sure they are well sealed in an airtight package. You don’t want any air or moisture coming anywhere close to your raisins.
If you’re a good planner, you can even package your raisins in individual serving sizes so that when you need some, you don’t have to take out the entire container.
When packaged carefully, raisins will last almost indefinitely in the freezer. Even so, it’s best to use your raisins within 2 years of being frozen for best results.
How To Thaw Frozen Raisins
When you’re defrosting your raisins, the one thing you want to be careful about is the moisture that might form from the condensation.
It’s best to leave your raisins in their sealed container and let them thaw in your fridge overnight before you want to use them. As soon as you open the package, you will expose them to air and if they’re not yet defrosted, the warm air might condense on the cold raisins creating moisture.
Once they’re defrosted, you can treat them as if they were just bought from the store.
If you’re planning on baking with your raisins, you don’t need to thaw them at all, but you can simply toss them into your recipe in the appropriate quantity, mix and bake. They won’t add any extra moisture to your baking.
The Best Way to Store Raisins
Raisins and other dried fruits will last quite a long time without being frozen, but they do have a nasty habit of either clumping together or drying out more than you want them to.
The key is proper storage.
Immediately after opening a bag of raisins you’ll want to transfer them to an airtight container. You don’t want your berries exposed to any moisture whatsoever and as little air as possible.
Keeping them in a cool, dry and dark place will help them last longer as well. Keeping them away from moisture prevents mold from growing and staying out of the light will help them from drying out too much and becoming rock hard.
If they’re stored right, they’ll last for at least 6 months, though most packages will have a best before date to give you a more exact estimate.
Do Raisins Need To Be Refrigerated After Opening?
If you live in a really hot and/or humid location, keeping them in the fridge is a good way to extend their life. Again, make sure they’re in a well-sealed airtight bag or container because being in the fridge does put them at higher risk for drying out and going hard, which is no fun.
If your raisins get too hard, you can try soaking them in water for 10 – 15 minutes to rehydrate them a bit.
How to Tell if Raisins Have Gone Bad
Raisins store really well, being dried fruit, but it is possible for them to go bad as nearly all food will eventually. The most obvious clue is visible mold. This usually means that your raisins were improperly stored and they were exposed to moisture and air.
If you see mold, get rid of the entire supply because it’s likely lurking on more raisins than its visible on and it can make you sick, though probably not violently so.
If you open up your container of raisins and you smell something tangy or fermented, that’s also a bad sign. Finally, if you notice that your raisins have changed color, you may not want to eat them.
Again, they’re not likely to cause significant damage so if you’re not sure, go ahead and eat one or two. You’ll notice right away if they don’t taste right!
Are raisins healthy?
Raisins are packed with nutrition, especially if you dry the grapes yourself and can account for the freshness and quality of the fruit.
They’re high in iron, help keep your digestive system on track, and are full of immunity-boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
If you’re buying packaged grapes, be aware of added sugars as the fruit itself is naturally high in sugar, so adding more can derail your diet or eating plan quickly.
Are raisins bad for dogs?
Raisins are known to be very toxic to dogs and should never be fed to your pet in any quantity. The same is true for grapes.
They can cause acute and sudden kidney failure so if you think your dog has eaten raisins, treatment is absolutely essential.
If you’ve got a cat, he or she is highly unlikely to deign to eat a raisin or a grape. That being said, there are no known cases of cats having a reaction to raisins, but it’s best not to force-feed the pet regardless, just to be safe.
How are raisins made?
Raisins are dehydrated grapes, though the best raisins are sun-dried rather than made in a dehydrator.
The drying process intensifies the natural sweetness of the berry and also lengthens the life-span of your fruit, so you can store it for a long time without worrying about it degrading.
Are raisins low FODMAP?
Yes, raisins fit within a low FODMAP diet.
If you’re choosing to eat low FODMAP for digestive reasons such as coping with IBS, you may want to avoid eating too many raisins in one sitting, however, because they are a natural laxative and may cause unrelated issues.
Are raisins Keto?
Raisins are not very Keto-friendly, no. In a single, very small serving of only 1 ounce you’re going to get 22 grams of carbohydrates and only one of those grams are fiber.
You’d be better served with some fresh berries instead.
Are raisins gluten-free?
Raisins are naturally gluten-free, yes.
If you have a celiac disorder or are extremely sensitive to gluten products, be sure to check the packaging to see if the raisins were prepared in an entirely gluten-free facility, to protect yourself against possible cross-contamination.
Can raisins cause diarrhea?
Some dried fruits have been known to cause diarrhea if eaten in large quantities, and raisins are among them, along with prunes, figs, and dates. If you’ve got a few raisins in your favorite trail mix or cookies, you should be fine, however, if you’re eating them like candies, you may want to use a little caution.
For some, raisins can actually help with digestive issues such as constipation. They’re high in fiber and a natural laxative, but you’ll have to choose whether this is helpful or uncomfortable for your unique situation.
Raisins vs Currents – what’s the difference?
Raisins and currents are both dried forms of grapes, but the difference is in the type of grape. You may have noticed that currents are significantly smaller than raisins.
This is because they’re made from a specific kind of seedless grape: the Zante grape, originating in Greece. Currents are very small and, as such, are rarely eaten on their own. They’re commonly used in baking or cooking.
Raisins, on the other hand, can be made from many different types of grapes, creating different flavors, colors, sizes and textures of raisin.
Dark raisins are typically much drier and more shriveled and chewy, whereas golden raisins are plump and still slightly juicy.
Raisins, as I’m sure you’re aware, are just as commonly eaten on their own as dried fruit as they are used in cooking and baking.