I was noticing a lot of stale crackers, nuts, etc. after our kids went away to College, because Peter and I couldn’t eat as many as a whole family, just the two of us. There were many other sadnesses during this time, but the idea that we were going to have to eat soggy nuts for the rest of our lives just because our kids grew up, seemed like an unnecessary blow.
I tried buying smaller packages, but that’s expensive. I tried repacking the larger packages into smaller plastic bags and sucking the extra air out with a straw. Not satisfactory! There are machines that will suck the air out of plastic bags to the degree that your peanuts exist in a vacuum as dry as outer space. But then someone wants a nut and you’re back on stale earth, unless you’re willing to dig the sucker machine out from under the counter, dust it off, check the orifices for Silver Fish, etc. But now we have solved this problem with Desiccants!Desiccants are the little tevek envelopes (sometimes plastic cylinders) that sometimes come tucked in with your vitamin pills, bulk dog chow, etc.. They’re in there because desiccants aggressively absorb moisture which keep foods like crackers and nuts chrisp and crunchy as outer space.
They even work on chips! Just drop one or two in the bag, twist shut and fasten with a clothes pin.
Voila, Crispy Forever!
You can buy all kinds of Desiccants online. Survivalists have used them for years to keep huge quantities of grains fresh ’til Armageddon. We use smaller ones in plastic and glass jars, or straight into the store packaging. Desiccants seem a little expensive at first, but they’re are actually cheap because you reuse them again and again. When they lose their absorbency you can bake them in a 225 degree oven and they bounce back. And you will save a lot of money in spoiled food. Buy “food grade”.
The only thing to be careful about is, DON’T EAT THEM! Because, yes, they are perfectly safe for food, they can even touch the food all day long. But if you eat the actual desiccant it will do to your inside what it does to your peanuts, which is dry you out, chrispy crunchy! Again, for the record, DO NOT EAT DESICCANTS! You must keep them away from people with mental or cognitive problems who might get confused and eat them. (And little kids, speaking of cognitive problems.) If you can manage that, Desiccants are a safe, easy, economical way to keep certain foods fresh and crisp. We all deserve the joy of the crunch!
Originally posted 2016-04-09 01:00:30.