Blackthorn is a wild-growing shrub, the fruits of which have a sour-tart taste. Berries, like all parts of the plant, have medicinal properties. But due to their specific taste, they are practically not consumed when fresh. However, on the basis of the fruits of the wild plum, they make jam, jam and juice for the winter. And you can also dry the thorn for future use. This method of harvesting allows you to preserve the harvest for a long time and always have healthy berries on hand. But in order for dried thorns to retain most of the vitamins and minerals, the procedure must be carried out correctly.
Medicinal properties and contraindications of dried sloe
Dried blackthorn has a rich chemical composition, which explains its medicinal properties. It contains a complex of vitamins, minerals, tannins, organic acids, dietary fiber and starch. Also, such a preparation contains a lot of monosaccharides, amino acids and essential oils.
Healing properties of the product:
- restores microflora;
- eliminates increased flatulence;
- helps with nausea;
- has a sedative effect;
- increases the elasticity of blood vessels;
- strengthens the immune system;
- normalizes the functioning of the liver, kidneys;
- prevents the development of prostate adenoma;
- reduces soreness during menstruation;
- accelerates metabolic processes;
- promotes the discharge of sputum;
- helps with inflammation of the oral cavity;
- reduces the level of bad cholesterol.
Despite the benefits of dried blackthorn berries, in some cases, they can be harmful to health.
The main contraindications:
- increased acidity of the stomach;
- individual intolerance.
Choosing and preparing thorns for drying
For harvesting, you need to use ripe sloe berries. They are distinguished by a rich purple hue and have a bluish bloom. The berries ripen on the bush in September, but at the same time they stick well to the branches and do not crumble. Harvesting should be carried out after the first frost, since tannins are partially destroyed at low temperatures. This leads to the fact that the berries become sweeter, and their astringency decreases.
For drying, you need to choose whole elastic fruits without signs of damage and mechanical damage. The berries must be sorted out initially and all the stalks must be removed. Then they should be thoroughly washed, put in a colander and left for half an hour to drain the remaining water.
Sloe can be dried with or without seeds. In the second option, the shelf life of the finished product is significantly increased. Before drying, the fruits must be additionally prepared. To do this, pour boiling water over them for 3 minutes, and then take them out and dry them slightly.
Blanching helps to soften the sloe. If they are dried as a whole, then in this case small cracks appear on the peel, which significantly accelerates the evaporation of moisture from them. And if you need to get the bones, then blanching greatly simplifies this procedure.
How to dry thorns at home
You can dry blackthorn fruits at home in the open air, in the oven and in an electric dryer. Each of these methods has its own characteristics that you need to pay attention to.
Drying thorns outdoors
For this type of drying, prepare a large deep baking sheet and pour the fruits on it in one layer. Pull the gauze on top and fix it so that flies and wasps do not sit down. Place the baking sheet so that it is exposed to sunlight throughout the day. At night, it is recommended to bring the workpiece into the room so that the fruits do not become damp.
You need to dry the berries in the sun for 4-5 days, depending on their size. During this time, they must be periodically turned over so that moisture evaporates evenly from them. Then transfer the workpiece to the shade and dry it for another 3-4 days.
Dried berries should be firm and firm to the touch. To obtain dried thorns, the duration of the workpiece being in the fresh air must be halved.
How to dry thorns in the oven
Using an oven, you can significantly speed up the process of moisture evaporation. But in this case, the procedure is carried out in several stages, observing a certain temperature regime.
- Prepare a baking sheet.
- Cover it with parchment paper.
- Arrange the raw materials in one layer.
- Heat the oven to 50 degrees.
- Place a baking sheet with thorns in it for 4 hours.
- Then turn off the oven.
- Leave the berries in a dry place for 5 hours.
- In the second step, preheat the oven to 70 degrees.
- Mix the berries well.
- Place in the oven for another 4 hours.
- Take out and keep for 4 hours in a dry place.
- At the third stage, increase the drying mode to 75 degrees.
- Keep the thorns in the oven until tender, this is about 2-3 hours.
Drying thorns in an electric dryer
An electric dryer also helps to simplify the cooking process. In this case, the procedure must also be carried out in several stages, which is necessary for uniform evaporation of moisture from the raw material.
- Arrange the berries on trays in one layer.
- Put in an electric dryer, set the mode to 45-50 degrees.
- Withstand 3-4 hours.
- Get out pallets with raw materials.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- At the next stage of drying, raise the temperature to 60 degrees.
- Mix the berries and rearrange the trays.
- Dry for 3-4 hours.
- Take out the workpiece and take a break for 4 hours.
- In the future, increase the mode to 75 degrees.
- Mix again and swap the pallets.
- Keep at this temperature until cooked for about 4 hours.
How to store dried thorns
You can store the workpiece in fabric bags, paper bags and cardboard boxes. Keep dried thorns in a dark, dry place. Necessary conditions: temperature not higher than +20 degrees and humidity within 65-70%.
The shelf life of whole dried fruits is 1 year, and pitted berries - 24 months. During storage, sharp temperature changes should not be allowed, and exposure to direct sunlight should be excluded.
Applying dried thorns
The finished product can be used for cooking and medicinal purposes. Indeed, most of the useful components are preserved in the dried workpiece.
Tern is used for cooking:
- fortified tincture.
Dried pitted thorns can be used as a pie filling, as well as in muesli and quick breakfasts.
Thorns can be dried in different ways, but regardless of this, the final product retains most of the vitamins and minerals. Therefore, such a preparation, in contrast to freezing and preservation, is more useful. And the finished product can be used in cooking and traditional medicine. However, it is important to ensure proper storage.