How to keep apricots for the winter at home for the winter so as not to spoil

How to keep apricots for the winter at home for the winter so as not to spoil


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The fruiting period of apricots is short, and the massive yield of the crop requires immediate action on the processing of the fruits, since their shelf life is limited. Today there are several ways by which it is possible to obtain a valuable source of nutrients for a long time. To choose the best option, it is important to learn how to properly store apricots.

Optimal conditions

The required storage conditions depend on the degree of maturity of the apricots, the chosen preparation method and on how large the quantity is, how many of them and how much preservation is required. Fruits can be used fresh, dried and frozen, included in compotes, preserves and desserts, which directly affects what temperature should be during storage.

At home, you need to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • overripe apricots are stored in the refrigerator, at room temperature they will begin to rot in a couple of days, lose the quality of their pulp, appearance and taste;
  • for storing fresh fruits, they should not be wrapped in polyethylene, it is better to use a paper bag;
  • it is permissible to store the product in plastic containers with a lid.

When stored in an apartment and a temperature of +10 C, apricots will begin to ripen quickly, therefore, in such conditions, it is recommended to store unripe fruits or those that are planned to be consumed in the near future. The optimum moisture content for storing fruits is 90% and a temperature of 0 C, which corresponds to the conditions of the cellar.

Storage of unripe fruits

Eating unripe apricots is fraught with poisoning. For a person in this state, all signs of intoxication are characteristic, including vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever. It is optimal to wait for the harvest time so that the fruits ripen and gain the proper taste.

Some people advise to pick unripe apricots if they cannot ripen under natural conditions, saying that apricots are able to "reach" the desired state at home. Green fruits cannot be refrigerated and there will be no chance of ripening. It is required to put each unripe fruit in a paper bag and place in a warm, well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight. The average time to improve the quality of the fruit is 5 days.

Ripe fruit storage methods

There are several ways to store fresh apricots. In order to ensure a long term and not lose the harvest, it is important to correctly select the harvested fruits. For these purposes, fruits are suitable without external damage and signs of rot.

In paper bags

Once harvested, apricots can be stored in paper bags. This method allows you to provide free air flow to the fruit and does not create condensation, which is often present when using plastic bags.

In wooden boxes

For storage in wooden boxes, each fruit is wrapped in parchment or thin-layer paper. Fruits with signs of defects are removed before laying. Fruits are placed in a container in several layers, not allowing them to fit too tightly. Periodically, control checks should be carried out to identify spoiled fruits, if any, such fruits are removed. The proximity of good and bad apricots in a short time can lead to spoilage of all apricots in the box.

In the fridge

Apricots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. It is recommended to use sealed containers for these purposes, as this blocks the access of oxygen. If the fruit is stored in a bowl, the proper flavor qualities will last for 2 days. At a refrigerator temperature of 0 C, the duration can be extended up to 30 days.

In the freezer, fruits can be stored whole, cut into 2 or more slices, or in pieces. For this, use plastic bags or plastic containers. The nutritional value of the fruit is not significantly reduced with this method.

Drying

Not all varieties of apricots are suitable for drying, so this nuance should be taken into account when choosing fruits. Large, but not very juicy specimens are selected for the process. It should be borne in mind that the initial weight of the fruit during the drying process is reduced by an average of 5-6 times. The product can be dried naturally, using an oven or special household appliances.

The easiest way is to simply hang the pitted fruit on a string, which is placed in a place where there is good air circulation.

Before starting work, washed apricots are kept in water with lemon juice, using proportions of 1 liter and 1 tsp. spin, which will prevent them from darkening. The seeds are removed from the pre-selected and processed fruits, if desired, cut into pieces.

When choosing a natural drying process, apricots are laid out on a flat surface, leaving in a cool, ventilated place for several days. They should be spread out in a thin even layer, they should not touch each other. Then they are taken out in the sun for 7 days and dried for 7 days. The finished product is placed in bags, it must be consumed within 6 months.

When using the oven, the following sequence of actions should be followed:

  • lay a cotton cloth on the lattice, on which lay the apricots in a thin layer;
  • preheat the oven to +50 C, gradually increase the temperature to +70 C;
  • turn the fruit periodically to achieve an even drying effect;
  • after 1 hour, transfer the dried fruits to a baking sheet covered with baker's paper for further drying.

To obtain the finished product, it is required to dry the apricots for 10-12 hours. If the fruit has become elastic and does not release juice when pressed, then the process can be completed.

Bookmark for a long stay

Bookmarking for the winter allows you to get a valuable source of vitamins and minerals in winter. The advantage of such methods is the minimum time for the preparation and processing of the crop, while the product retains its quality of usefulness almost in full.

Freezing

When using the freezing method, it is important to take into account the varietal characteristics of a particular variety. There are species that, due to their breeding qualities, are not suitable for storage at low temperatures. A convenient way of cutting is the formation of small pieces with preliminary removal of the bone, since after defrosting, the raw material can be immediately used for its intended purpose.

Some people practice the method of freezing mashed apricot mass, which is placed in small containers or containers for ice, which makes it possible to use the product in small portions in the future when preparing teas or decoctions.

It is recommended to adhere to the following sequence of actions:

  • wash and select suitable apricots;
  • remove seeds and cut into slices;
  • spread out on a flat surface and send to the freezer;
  • take it out and immediately put it in a container.

In this way, you can achieve uniform freezing of the fruit and avoid the problem of lump formation. The recommended storage time is 6 months.

In the cellar

Cellar conditions are considered ideal for storing apricots. It is required to store the fruits wrapped in thin paper. At a temperature of +5 C, the crop is able to maintain its qualities for a month.

What to do if the fruit starts to deteriorate

At the first signs of loss of their external qualities by apricots, a number of actions should be taken. It is impossible to store good and defective fruits together, therefore fruits without signs of rot are separated from the "spoiled" counterparts.

So that the fruits do not completely deteriorate, you need to freeze them or use them as an ingredient for making a sweet and tasty treat for the winter. For the second option, it is better to use recipes for jams, marshmallows or preserves, since the fruit does not have to be “perfect”.

It is worth paying attention to the "five-minute" recipes, for which the minimum time is required to save the product and get a tasty treat. Overripe fruits are optimal for them, and from this, the preservation acquires an even richer taste. A simple rule is used for cooking - the same amount of sugar by weight is needed as kilograms of apricots are taken. The processed fruits are covered with sweet sand for a couple of hours to extract juice, after which the mixture is brought to a boil and kept in this state for 5 minutes. After the blank has cooled completely, the process is repeated 2 more times.

Shelf life of apricots

For apricots, the maximum shelf life at home is 3 weeks. After this period, the fruits become loose and lose their taste and appearance. Under optimal conditions, the storage time can be extended up to 50 days. In a refrigerator, apricots retain their freshness for no more than 10 days, being in such conditions violates the structure of the fruit, and the fibers lose their appearance.

Frozen apricots can be stored for up to 6 months. Only one defrosting of the product is allowed, with repeated exposure to cold and repeating the procedure, it will acquire the state of a watery porridge and will be unusable.


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