10 Easy Ways to Incorporate Dried Fruit in Your Diet
What are dried fruits?
Most dried fruits are rich in minerals, proteins, fiber and vitamins add to that they are tasty and delicious too. Dried fruits are excellent and healthy substitutes for daily snacks, they’re rich in vitamins and proteins; they also boost immunity and prevent lifestyle diseases such as cholesterol and diabetes.
A good dried fruit has a long shelf life and therefore it can be used as a good alternative to fresh fruit, which allows out of the season fruits to be available.
Drying is a very well-known way to preserve fruit when there is no refrigerator. Dried fruit is mostly used in baking mixes, breakfast cereals and making cake.
But if you are watching your weight, dried fruits should be eaten in moderation as they are nutrient dense in sugars too, and thus calories. Limit the intake to about 20 grams total of mixed nuts and dry fruits and avoid snacking straight from a bag. It leads to overeating.
Dried fruit is a fruit that has been dried, either naturally or artificially by a machine, such as a dehydrator.
Some examples of dried fruits are:
Why are Dried Fruits Good For you?
Dried fruits are high in fiber, and most supply good amounts of iron and calcium. Some are rich in potassium and magnesium. Vitamin A is the standout vitamin, and many have significant amounts of vitamin C, depending on the fruit. They’re also a great source of antioxidants.
Things to consider when eating dried fruit
Despite the benefits of dried fruit, there are still some things to consider before eating them.
- Don’t eat candied fruit. Syrup and sugar are often added to dried fruit to make them more appealing. They may taste better, but they’re not healthy. They may result in adverse effects instead.
- Consider making dried fruit at home. Nothing beats homemade food. Dying fruit at home is best since it won’t have any harmful additives.
- Too much is bad. Fruits, whether dried or not, still contain calories and natural sugars. When eaten in excess, it may do more harm than good. It’s best to eat them moderately.
- Don’t use them as the main source of nutrition. Aside from eating them in small amounts, dried fruit mustn’t be the only source of nutrition. They’re best eaten with other healthy foods.
10 Easy ways to incorporate dried fruits in your diet
01. As a snack
Dried fruits are excellent as a naturally sweet snack eaten out of hand, for kids and adults alike, on their own or mixed with nuts. Everyone loves dried fruit snacks.
02. In baked goods
Raisins, dates, and currants are commonly used in muffins and quick breads; for a change of pace, try using chopped apricots, peaches, pears, or prunes.
03. In trail mixes and cereals
Combine whole or chopped dried fruits with nuts and seeds to make high-energy dried fruit snacks. Go beyond raisins and use other dried fruits, chopped into small bits, to dress up both hot and cold cereals. Making this a great dried fruit recipe idea.
04. Granola Mix
Talking about dried fruit recipes; try this pecan pie granola recipe with one of our favorite dried fruits, coconut. Consider recreating this granola recipe and replacing the nut and dried fruit with other combinations of flavors and textures.
05. Liquid Sweetener
Cover pitted dates with hot water, let stand for a half hour or so, then blend to make a naturally sweet substitute for agave nectar, maple syrup, and the like. That’s what we call date syrup!
06. Embellished fruit and veggie salads
Add any kind of dried fruit (chopped or sliced if large) to fresh fruit salads for variety and texture. Dried cranberries and raisins are delicious in carrot salads and slaws.
07. Cheese Platters
I am one to love a good cheese platter and none is complete without dried fruit. It’s like a dried fruit recipe made in heaven. Try this party size cheese platter filled with all of our favorite items. Perfect for everyone you’ll have over, or just for you. Party of one!
08. Sweet side dishes
Combine dried fruits with sweet vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato. Chopped pitted prunes, mission figs, cranberries, and raisins are especially good for this purpose.
09. In savory dishes and salads
Dried fruits are a lovely addition to grain pilafs and fresh salads. I love them in kale salads and slaws.
10. Stewed Fruit
To plump dried fruits, cover them with hot or cold water or fruit juice and let stand overnight.
Try combining several types to make a nice winter fruit compote. Serve with a dollop of vegan yogurt and top with granola for a good breakfast or dessert.
Here is a strawberry compote pavlova parfaits recipe you can easily make after reviving some dried fruit with the method mentioned above.
What is the best way to store dried fruit?
Store dried fruits in tightly lidded jars or plastic storage containers away from heat and light. In many cases, they’ll keep for several months in a cool kitchen. However, dried fruits will be moister and retain more nutrients the fresher they are.
Long storage time causes deterioration of vitamin C. In addition, if dried fruits are stored in a place that’s too warm, they may ferment and become unpalatable, or even become moldy.
If you’ll be away for a while, or don’t plan to use your dried fruits in a reasonable amount of time, it never hurts to refrigerate them.
Dried fruit is a healthy snack and since the public is ready to pay more for the snacks than staples, the quality and variety are improving all the time.
Dried fruits enhance hot and cold cereals, trail mixes, baked goods, savory dishes, and much more. And of course, they’re the perfect food to eat out of hand.
Next time you walk down the aisle in a supermarket or visit your local Farmer’s market pay extra attention to the vast variety of dried fruit available and consider introducing a few into your daily diet.
We hope you enjoy yourself today and keep checking back for ongoing tips, guides and great shopping!