There has been a
in dried foods, yet it is one of the oldest methods of food
preservation. Part of its popularity is that dried foods can be eaten
alone or used in cooking.
Drying takes the moisture out of food and microorganisms that lead to
spoilage can no longer grow. Consequently,
foods that have been dried
correctly have a long shelf life.
Solar drying is a variation of sun drying that requires three to five
of at least 95 degrees and low humidity.
Oven drying is the most user-friendly method. However, it is not
recommended for repeated use because it requires a lot of energy, which
This method also produces darker, more brittle, and less
flavorful fruit compared to other methods.
Electric dehydrators vary in levels of sophistication and can be
purchased or made at home. This method creates the highest quality
Dried fruits are high in fiber and carbohydrates and low in fat. Dried
fruits are also more calorie dense than fresh fruits so the serving
size for dried fruits is half that of fresh.
Vitamins A and C are destroyed during dehydration. Sulfites may help to
prevent these losses, but that leads to the destruction of thiamin.
|Selection, Prep and Storage
When drying fruits, select ripe fruits but do not use citrus
fruits (they contain too much water).
After the fruits have been washed, remove any bruises, stems, cores,
pits, and sometimes skins, depending on the type of fruit.
Dried fruit at the supermarket is typically found prepackaged in the
fresh produce or canned food aisles. Make sure no mold or abnormal
smell is present
require fruit to be rehydrated, or refreshed, and cooked
until tender. Dried fruits can also be used as a topping or in breads,
desserts, and granola.
Dried fruit should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark,
dry place. Refrigeration is not necessary but the cooler the
temperature, the longer the food lasts.
Christeena Haynes, nutrition and health education specialist, (417)