Did you know January is National Dried Fruit Month?
There are so many ways to eat dried fruit whether you are adding it is a topping or just snacking out of a bag of dried apricots. Either way, we totally approve of this consumption.
So, what exactly are Dried Fruits?
Drying food is done so that yeast and mold cannot grow within the food due to the lack of moisture. Because the moisture is removed, it causes the fruits to shrivel, or become lighter and smaller. Fruits are often dried in the sun due to their high sugar and acid content so they are not likely to spoil. Fruits are often sliced or diced prior to drying but can also be left whole. The thinner the fruit, the quicker it dries.
Some of our favorite ways to eat dried fruit include:
- Yogurt, Granola, Oatmeal
- Energy Bars
- Trail Mixes
- Breads, Scones, Cookies and Cakes
- Salads, Meats
- And of course, by the handful!
10 Fun Facts about Dried Fruits:
- Dried fruits usually contain up to 3.5 times the vitamins, fiber and minerals as of fresh fruit.
- Raisins are known to help lower blood pressure and improve blood sugar control. They are also high in fiber and potassium.
- Prunes also have a ton of fiber, which helps them act as almost a natural laxative. They are filling
- Dates are rich in antioxidants, iron, fiber and potassium.
- Because dates are so low in water and so high in sugar, they have a particularly long shelf-life.
- The darkness of cranberries means they are rich of phytonutrients.
- The earliest method of food preservation is the drying of fruits.
- In the United States, 95% of dates come from Southern California.
- Tropical dried fruit helps to replenish energy.
- Dried fruits are naturally both fat-free and cholesterol-free.