Saturday, March 14, 2015

How To Properly Store Sugar(s): Tips, Tricks & DIY Brown Sugar

I vividly remember when I started preparing, trying to find specifics on all the various items I was storing. Specifically, how to store and what measures to employ to insure the best storage method. 
Although refined sugar is prone to absorbing moisture, it is one of those items that you are able to store indefinitely.

Elena Clark recently shared with the community on our Facebook page: "To say sugar stores well is an understatement! My mama gave me 3 buckets of sugar she had stored almost 40 years ago! It's sooo sweet and I've used some canning blueberry syrup."


This picture is sugar I stored 3 1/2 years ago. One of the simplest items to store, if you do it properly.


The keys to remember for sugar storage is cool, dark, DRY. Moisture is the one element that will impact stored sugar the most, causing it to clump up or turn into a brick. Also, you need to store your containers away from concrete/brick walls and don't store on a concrete floor where moisture can accumulate.
Do NOT use oxygen absorbers. They tend to make the sugar clump more. But, instead you could use a moisture absorbing element such as rice, which is what you see in the photo above. I wrapped some rice in a coffee filter and placed it on top of the sugar I stored.

I found these helpful tips on the C & H Sugar website:
Sugar, properly stored, has an indefinite shelf life because it does not support microbial growth.
Storage
Moisture makes granulated sugar hard and lumpy. Once this happens, there is no way to adequately restore it. Always store granulated sugar in a covered container in a cool, dry area.
Store powdered sugar in a cool, dry location (not the refrigerator). When it gets moist, it develops lumps. And because of its physical properties, it tends to absorb strong odors – it can even absorb odors through the package.”
So be mindful of the storage containers.

If you have sugar that has become hard & lumpy don't be dismayed. It is still edible. You could use those lumps when making any recipe where the sugar will be dissolved, such as candy, syrups or jam/jelly.

Bigger isn't always better. Do your price comparisons. I recently found that a 10 lb. Bag of sugar was more economical to purchase than the 50 lb. Bag.

I can attest to the fact that brown sugar doesn't store well since it has a natural moisture content, it hardens into a solid brick. Instead store molasses and add it to sugar to make your own brown sugar.


Brown sugar is simple to make. Add 1 T. molasses to 1 C.of refined sugar to make light brown sugar. 2 T. of molasses added to 1 C. of refined sugar will make dark brown sugar. I actually write the "recipe" on the lid of the canning jar that i store my brown sugar in for easy reference.

Raw sugar has a shorter shelf life.

Might as well talk about honey while we are at it. I store lots of raw, organic honey. Honey also stores for a very long time. Remember pure honey crystallizes and is much easier to melt in smaller containers. If honey is purchased in bulk, simply transfer it to pint canning jars or empty jam jars. Crystallized honey should be melted at lower temperatures. If overheated it could become too thick when cooled.
Hoping to get a beehive this coming year.




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