Dried Fruits

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Dried fruit has been around for as long as fruits have been cultivated. Whether by accident or by design, dried fruit is here to stay. In ancient times, drying fruit was a necessity to prevent spoilage and for storage purposes. Nowadays, with the advent of storage and commercial production, dried fruit has become another way of enjoying your favorite fruits.

Fruits that are commonly dried in Texas

·         Pears

·         Plums (Prunes)

·         Jujube

·         Apples

·         Grapes (Raisins)

·         Figs

·         Blueberries

·         Blackberries

Dried Fruit Trivia

  • When Egyptian Pharaohs were buried, they also buried dried fruit along with him so he can bring it to the next life with him
  • Raisins are dried grapes
  • By weight, dried fruit can contain up to 3.5 times the amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals of their fresh counterparts

Dried Fruit Buying Guide

Whenever you purchase dried fruit, the first thing you should look at is the packaging. Look for packaging that blocks out light.

The next thing you’re looking for when purchasing dried fruit is the ingredients panel, try to avoid products that have added sugar, sulfates, coloring, or any other preservatives.

Dried Fruit Production & Farming in Texas

Dried fruit production depends on the farm and the fruit being produced by that farm. There are no official numbers on dried fruit production in Texas, but there are several growers out there that do produce and sell dried fruit in the local markets.

Pesticides:

The same principles apple when selecting fresh fruits and vegetables. Refer to EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list to see which dried fruits are susceptible to pesticide residue contamination.

Packaging:

Drying fruits essentially follow the same process no matter what the fruit is dried, with maybe minor differences.

Fruits need to be washed in a solution of 50 parts water to 1 part bleach. This is to make sure that any dirt and pesticide residue is cleaned off.

After being washed, the fruits are dried and then, if needed, peeled.

After the peeling stage, the fruits are quickly blanched to inhibit enzyme activity that may cause the fruit to discolor.

An optional step is sugaring. Depending on the fruit’s innate sweetness, they may be immersed in a concentrated sugar solution for up to 18 hours to increase the sweetness of the product.

Depending on the operation, there might be a sulfuring step. This is where Sulphur is burned in a cabinet to infuse the fruit as a preservative.

The fruits are then dried using a drying oven until the desired moisture content is reached.

After drying, they are packed immediately to reduce the risk of contamination.

Eating Dried Fruits

There’s no particular requirement or method to eat dried fruit. Just open the package and enjoy it.

Storage:

Dried fruit should be stored in an air-tight container and away from sunlight. Depending on the fruit, it can be stored anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years.

If you spot any mold growing on your dried fruits, dispose of them right away.

Cooking:

Almost any fruit can be rehydrated to be used in cooking. You can even rehydrate them with different liquids, be it milk, water, or even alcohol.

Nutrition:

Think of dried fruit as concentrated flavor and nutrients!

  • Carbs: Dried fruit contains 3.5x the number of carbs vs. their fresh counterparts by weight
  • Fiber: Dried fruit contains 3.5x the amount of fiber vs their fresh counterparts by weight
  • Vitamins and minerals: Drying fruit diminishes the vitamin and mineral contents of the fruit, but it is still higher than fresh fruit on a per weight basis.

Buy Local Farmfresh Dried Fruits in Texas Directly from the Producer

mapMarkerGreyBrenham

Brenham Kitchens

mapMarkerGreyDallas

Cheese and Chutney

mapMarkerGreyFredericksburg

Engel Orchards

mapMarkerGreySan Saba

Oliver Pecan Co

mapMarkerGreyMission

South Tex Organics

mapMarkerGreyDallas

Thompson Produce

mapMarkerGreyDallas

Yims Foods