Dried fruits are often relished by us post lunch or dinner or at any other time we feel like eating them. The purpose of drying fruits is usually to preserve seasonal fruits for a long time, due to their limited availability in some seasons. It involves the process of removing all the moisture, thereby making the fruits last for a longer period of time. You can learn some easy methods of drying fruits for your own consumption or even start a small business of dried fruits.
The 10 easy steps of drying fruits
1. Choose which fruits you want to dry like berries, figs, mangoes, and prunes. Wash them properly and cut them in equal sizes.
2. Place the fruits in a strainer above boiling water for some time, say, a few minutes. Transfer them to ice cold water.
3. Dry the fruits with the help of tissue paper.
4. Prepare a mixture by adding powdered Vitamin C tablets in two cups of water. Also note that depending on the type of fruits, you can choose to make separate syrup mixtures using sugar, honey and others.
5. Dip the fruits in the prepared mixture for a few minutes.
6. Remove the fruits from the mixture and keep them for drying in bright sunlight. Repeat this for about four to five days.
7. Do not keep the fruits outside overnight; chances are that dew and moisture will get through the fruits.
8. Preheat a cooking oven to about 145 degrees, turn it off and then keep the fruits for drying in it for about four to 12 hours.
9. Remove the fruits from the oven and place them in a big mouthed vessel for about two to three weeks covered with a cloth, keep stirring the contents daily or after two days. This is the last process of drying fruits.
10. After this the fruits will have all their moisture eliminated, appear to be wrinkled and feel very dry.
11. Finally pack the contents in a paper bag and place it in an air tight container, in a cool, humidity free area.
Advantages of dried fruits
Dried fruits have numerous advantages, some of which are enumerated below:
- Dried fruit last for a long time, even when the season is gone or can be taken to any other place where that fruit does not grow naturally.
- As all the moisture is gone, the fruit tastes much sweeter than its usual taste.
- Fruits such as dried mango are a natural resource of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins like C, K, E, B and many more. A small amount of mixed dried fruits like dried figs, raisins, dried mango can give you a lot of nutrition which would otherwise require one to eat a lot of fruits for the same nutrition.
- They occupy less storage space when dried. They are easy to transport, can be exported to another country. Dried fruits have a long list of health benefits, from preventing anemia to weight reduction. Dried fruits rich in fiber can help avoid constipation, like for example dried mango and dried prunes improve blood pressure.
- The prices of dried fruits are increasing. It can be a profitable business if quality is maintained. Drying fruits is a simple process that uses a small capital.
Drying fruits have a lot of potential as a good business or for home use. Gather the required materials for processing dried fruits and give it a try.