Tag Archives: dried fruits

How To Reap The Benefits Of Dried Foods

Drying foods is a technique that has been used over the millennia to preserve food especially for the winter months. Removing original water from food greatly delays development of bacterial growth and mold enabling dried foods to last much longer than fresh foods would.

Initially, food was dried in the open air where they could be taken out into the sun every morning until they were dry enough. Although some foods are sometimes still spread in the sun to dry, technology has changed things a bit with high-tech dehydrators taking over from the once adored open-air techniques. With the renewed interest in natural foods, mainly because of their high nutritional value, commercially dried foods have become quite expensive so it’s not out of normal to find a farmer drying his or her own berries at home.

Dried fruits are a great source of energy because they have a high concentration of fruit sugars. These fruits also contain a large amount of minerals and vitamins. Drying however destroys a few vitamins especially vitamins A and C. This can be reversed by treating the fruits with sulfur before drying. However Sulfur also destroys thiamine, a constituent of vitamin B. Since fruits are not considered a big source of vitamin B, this setback can usually be ignored. Vegetables which are a good source of thiamine, niacin and riboflavin can also be dried.

The water obtained from drying should always be stored for soaking or cooking the dried foods or can be used in making nutrient-rich soups, gravy and sauces.
So, which foods can be dried?

You can dry just about any food, as long as it contains some natural occurring moisture, which most foods actually do. Fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and herbs can all be dried.

Fruits are the easiest to dry because the moisture evaporates more easily and actually not much moisture has to be lost for the fruit to be counted as dry. Typical fruits that are often dried include cherries, peaches, berries, pears and ripe apples.

Vegetables often dried include corn, pepper, peas, okra, zucchini, green beans and onions. Carrots can be dried as well but why dry them when they can be stored for a long time without going bad?

Fresh herbs of any type can be successfully dried irrespective of which part of the plant it was obtained. However, leaves, blossoms and seeds give best results.

Most types of meat can also be comfortably dried. Beef, venison and lamb are usually dried for jerky. Fish is also popularly dried.

Some foods are however not suitable for drying because they contain very high amounts of moisture. These foods include melons, cucumber and lettuce.
Using dried foods

Dried vegetables can be soaked before cooking, though this is not mandatory. You can reconstitute by soaking 1 cup of dried vegetables in 2 cups of water and leaving for 2 hours.

To release the full flavor in herbs, cut or chop the dried pieces into bits before adding to food. Leaves can be rubbed between the palms or ground in a mortar using a pestle. If possible, add herb powder into a liquid in your recipe.

Jerky can be used as a snack or a backpacking staple. Dried fruits can also be used as snacks or eaten at breakfast with cookies, granola and cereals.

Easy To Prepare Dried Food Recipe

Some people are switching to eating dried fruits and vegetables due to the fact that when the water is removed the fruits and vegetables are able to retain more nutrients.

The antioxidants that were originally in fruits like cranberries, grapes and plums are better preserved when compared to fresh fruits that are eaten directly.

Because of this the dried fruit and vegetable diet has emerged, and people are exploring new ways to enjoy this newly found eating habit.

Here is some dried food recipe to explore:

1. Beef stew

The ingredients for this dish will include:

 cup of dehydrated sliced tomatoes
 dehydrated carrots
 cup of dehydrated onion
2 slices of dried garlic that is crumbled
3 tablespoons of dehydrated celery
1 lb. of fresh stewing beef

Add:

3 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoons of plain flour and then mix it with cold water (1/4).

Seasonings:

Dried Italian herbs for additional taste (at least 1.2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
Additional tomato paste could also be added as well as tomato ketchup
Add pepper and salt for added taste

Instructions:

Make use of a Slow Cooker:

1. Place all the dehydrated ingredients and seasonings in the crock-pot.
2. Make 3 cups of beef stock in a large container; add the Worcestershire Sauce, the tomato paste, the ketchup and then stir to dissolve.
3. Using another jug, put ¼ cup of cold water, then add the flour. Stir the ingredients well and the place the beef stock with the ketchup mix. Combine all of the ingredients by stirring them.
4. Add the stock mix in the slow cooker, but make sure to wait for a few seconds before doing so to avoid shocking the crock pot.
5. Include the stewing beef, then then mix them all, after that cover the crock pot lid.
6. After than turn the slow cooker and heat the ingredient for 4-6 hours.

Make sure to prepare enough stock, so that the crock pot will not dry out during the cooking process.

2. Carrot Soup:

Ingredients:

2 cups of dehydrated carrots
2 tablespoons of olive oil
¼ cup of dehydrated onion
2 slices of garlic
1 teaspoon or dried oregano
Add 2 cups of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper for added taste
 cup of fresh orange juice

Instructions:

1. The first step is to rehydrate the dehydrated carrots, onions, as well as the garlic using cold or freshly boiled water.
2. Using a heavy pan add olive oil and put medium heat.
3. After that add the onions, make sure to cook it until it gets soft for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the oregano and cook for a few minutes more.
4. Place the vegetable stock and then bring it to a boil.
5. Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes until onions and carrots are fully cooked.
6. Put the orange juice and continue to stir.
7. With the help of a blender, mixed the ingredients in small batches. Make sure to allow air to escape during the process using a little hole in the lid to avoid any explosion problems.

These dried food recipes are guaranteed to be a hit with anyone even those who are not fond of eating dried food diet. For more information on dried food recipes, you can visit this page.

Posted By Ronald K. Darnell