Dried Fruit - Keep Your Fruit Fresher Longer

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Dried Fruit can actually help you stretch your Food Budget. Fresh fruits are rising in costs and actually don't seem to last as long (spoil). If you and your family loves to eat fresh fruits, one way to be sure they don't spoil as fast is to dry them.

Dried fruits can serve as a healthy alternative to candy, cakes, and other sugary delights. Instead of reaching for chocolate bar or a piece of hard candy, the kids more than likely reach for a dried pineapple or apple slices especially if they had their hand in preparting them. The sweetness of the fruit is concentrated when it is dried and satisfies your taste buds with every bite.

Learning to dry fruit is a fairly easy process. You don’t need to buy any fancy equipment or kitchen gadgets. Investing in a few sealing jars would be suffice so that storing the fruit will be easier and convienient, but it isn’t a necessity. Sealing jars can be found fairly inexpensive at home good stores and some supermarkets.

To start, gather all of the fruits you want to dry. Most fruits make good choices. Some of the more common ones are: pineapples, apples, plums, grapes, apricots, and tomatoes (yes they are a fruit!).

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All fruit and equipment need to be clean and thoroughly dried before drying the fruit. Drying racks are needed if you plan on air drying outside or using an oven. Some pieces may be done before others so rotating the trays in the oven gives you a chance to remove any fruit that is already dried and replacing it with some more.

Slice the fruit into small portions. Apples should be cored and peeled before slicing. Tomatoes can be cut into slices or quarters and salted before drying. Grapes and plums are fine as is because the skin won't affect their taste.

If you prefer to use the microwave to dry your fruit, place small batches in the microwave on the turntable tray. Fruit pieces should be evenly spaced as with all foods to allow for air circulation while drying. Set the microwave to the defrost setting in order to dry the fruit. It will take about thirty to forty-five minutes. Check after thirty minutes and gradually add time as needed. It is not recommended that tomatoes be dried via the microwave because they should be dried at approximately 120 degrees for about twenty-four hours.

You can eat some of these tasty treats as soon as they are dried or you can save some for later. If storing for later, let the fruit cool before placing in sealing jars or plastic bags. Dried fruits will stay fresh for up to two weeks in a cool dark place. However, if your family enjoys these scrumptious fruit treats they may not even last for that long.

Dried fruits can be used a number of ways. It can be eaten as is or as a flavorful addition to ice cream, salads, pizzas, and more. Drying your fruits will save you money because it makes the fruit last longer than normal, avoiding spoilage and is a great convienient option for the family on the go.