Another delicious way to eat (and prepare) fruit
DRIED FRUIT CAN BE A TASTY APERITIF, A HEALTHY SNACK OR A SPECIAL TOUCH TO ADD TO YOUR DISHES. YOU CAN ALSO PREPARE THEM EASILY AT HOME.
The use of dehydrated or dried fruit goes back thousands of years, probably because they can be preserved in perfect condition for much longer than fresh fruit. The traditional method to obtain dried fruit comes from a natural drying process under the sun. This is how the famous Malaga raisins are produced for example, drying the fresh grapes from the Moscatel de Málaga and Moscatel de Alejandría varieties. The bunches are placed on slanted structures that face the sun, these are called paseros. The process usually takes about ten days.
Raisins are the most consumed dried fruit, along with dates, figs, apricots, peaches, plums, apples, melons, tomatoes, etc. However, the reality is that nearly all fruits can be prepared using this process that fundamentally consists in removing all the fruit’s water content, which slightly reduces their size and preserves all the nutrients. This makes them an ideal, healthy and tasty snack that can be eaten between meals and that also add a nice touch to other ingredients for breakfast, for an afternoon snack or for different recipes, most of all in salads.
These healthy “treats”, that can also be eaten by diabetics, provide vital energy for the body. These include a range of micronutrients (calcium, magnesium, potassium, varied vitamins…) that help to control appetite, generating a feeling of being full. They are also natural laxatives and excellent antioxidants that help prevent cellular ageing. Furthermore, it is known that the consumption of fruit and vegetables (a minimum of 400g on a daily basis) is a preventative factor against cancer and heart related diseases.
In addition to the natural drying process, electric dehydrators are also used and can also be easily prepared at home using a conventional oven. To do this, you should cut the fruit or vegetables that you want into slices and place them on the oven tray. Place them in a pre-heated oven (always below 60 degrees) and leave the oven door a little open to allow the moisture to escape. If you have a fan assisted oven, use this feature to facilitate the process, and in 15-20 minutes the fruit will be prepared. If you would like to experiment a little, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon, pepper or sweet pepper on the slices of fruit/vegetables before dehydrating them. You can also use sugar, however then they won’t be as healthy and should be eaten in moderation.
Let them cool down and they are ready to eat! You can store the different fruits in closed glass jars and use them when you want to…. a healthy and tasty delicacy.