Raisins are certainly the most popular type of dried fruit available. These are a healthy snack because they are completely natural. It's actually very easy to make your own raisens at home.
While it's fairly cheap to buy raisins, you can have a lot of fun making your own. You can also be absolutely sure that there is nothing added to the fruit, such as sugar. The raisins that you buy are normally natural, but that's not always the case. You will need to use plenty of heat to dry the grapes which is why it will be easiest to do this during the summer months. Another advantage of making your own raisins at home is that you can control the drying process yourself. If you like very dry raisins then they can be left outside for longer.
Step 1: Collecting the Ingredients
The ingredient list for raisins is probably the shortest one you will ever see. All you actually need are seedless grapes. To make a reasonable quantity of raisins you'll need to use 4 or 5 pounds of grapes. Any type of grape can be used, including red and white.
Although that's the end to the ingredients list you will also need a few other accessories. You need a plate or a cookie sheet, an airtight container and a cheesecloth.
Step 2: Preparing the Grapes
Pick all of the grapes off the stem and put them into a sieve. Then rinse them under the tap to ensure that they are completely clean and free of dirt or debris.
To preserve the flavor you can add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar. Lightly dry the grapes using a kitchen towel.
Step 3: Drying the Grapes
Put all of the grapes out on a plate or cookie sheet. Make sure that they are spread out evenly. Then place a cheesecloth over the top of the grapes to prevent them from attracting insects or dust.
Put the plate with the grapes outside in direct sunlight. Ideally the temperature should be over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature it will take three to four days for them to be made into raisins.
Step 4: Sampling
This is the best step. Take some of the raisins and taste them to make sure that they taste good. You might want to leave them outside longer if they aren't dried out enough. This is all down to personal choice and you might need to do some experimenting to get it right.
Step 5: Storage
Raisins are very easy to store as they can be put inside any airtight container. These should keep for a long time without going bad.
You can then snack on them whenever you want something to eat. Raisins also make a fantastic ingredient which can be added to bread, cookies and muffins.