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By: Jung-Rim
There are several methods of making dried fruit with the intention of preserving it for a long time without spoiling. The end result of each method varies in the texture, taste and nutritive levels of the fruit. Drying fruits - and most other things -under the Sun must be the oldest drying method. Gadgets that achieve the same effect in a smaller span of time are called dehydrators or dryers. These have been used widely at homes, but did not catch on commercially. Freeze drying is a relatively little known process that dries the fruit in the temperature range of -50? C to -80? C. This method has been proven by research to leave the fruit with the highest nutritional content, of all the fruit drying methods. It also maintains the smell, taste, and texture apart from allowing long-term preservation of the fruit. It is immensely popular for travels. Freeze-dried food is a favourite of dieters. There are others too who enjoy them on a regular basis, re-hydrated or as they are.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are a popular snack item. In recent times, there has been a lot of talk about dried fruit not being nearly as nutritious as fresh. Yes, some of the nutrients get lost during the drying process. To be precise, there is a reduction in thiamine and vitamins B, B1 & C. But most of the other nutrients are preserved. The case against eating dried food stuff isn’t strong enough to argue too much about. This is more so, since the alternative is to snack on potato chips or biscuits. Many, all over the world, enjoy a bowl of breakfast cereal loaded with seasonal fruits like strawberries and bananas. Weight-watchers are fond of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, because they provide a nutritious and convenient, figure-friendly snack option to curb appetites throughout the day. Adults as well as children appreciate these dried fruits as a healthy alternative to processed, sugar-laden snack foods.
Once dried, foods are extremely light weight and can be preserved for years. Thanks to these qualities, hiking and camping enthusiasts enjoy freeze-dried snack items. They may be enjoyed dry or cooked with water to re-hydrate them. Having a supply of these dried fruits and vegetables in your pantry will ensure a quick and healthy snack is always on hand. Convenient storage and preparation makes it a reliable source of nutrition for all times when availability, carrying or storage of food is a concern. After all this kind of food was originally promoted as ‘Astronaut food’ for these very reasons. This fact comes in handy when you have a fussy young eater on your hands. It is easy to entice them into enjoying this healthy snack with the story of the origin of dried food stuff having been for people who were headed out to explore space! If this doesn’t work, nothing will.
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