Is dried fruit healthy – We can all agree that a healthy amount of fruit is a worthy consideration in a healthy diet.
Fruits are nature’s candies, presenting a delicious taste that comes together with a vast array of nutrients.
Fruits are therefore a good way to balance the health requirements of your diet while also tending to your natural desire to satisfy your tastebuds is dried fruit healthy.
Evolutionary science suggests that this is the designed intention of fruit in the first place.
The only drawback with fruit is dues to their nutrient and water content, it’s not just you and me who want to get our hands and mouths on it.
Numerous organisms, especially microbes such as bacteria and fungi have an affinity towards fruit.
As such, the lifespan of a plucked fruit tends to be very low from the point of ripening and harvesting.
However, being as ingenious as we are, humans have found several ways to preserve the quality and integrity of fruit beyond what nature would normally allow.
Things such as pickling and freezing are great examples of preservational methods.
But in this article, we’re going to look at one in particular, and that is drying.
Basically put, the fruit is dried by allowing all the water content to evaporate from the physical mass.
Traditionally, this is achieved by sun drying, essentially leaving the fruit out in the sun in order for nature to do its thing and suck up all the moisture from the fruit.
This method is very delicate and requires many controls since exposing fresh fruit to the sun means exposing it to all sorts of outside elements that may lead to decomposition early on.
Another more mechanical method involves the use of a machine called a dehydration machine.
This machine uses the power of an atmospheric vacuum to rapidly reduce water content in fruit and other foods.
Dehydration or drying machines are typically industrial-grade technology, but nowadays you can get consumer models that can be used as a regular kitchen appliance.
Dehydrated fruits, whether you bought them in a store, or made them yourself have their benefits, but also some disadvantages.
And that’s what we’ll take a look at in this article.
As we already touched on, drying fruit can greatly maximize their shelf life and ease of storage.
That’s because, with the removal of water, bacteria and fungi can no longer thrive.
Water is the medium by which microorganisms live and metabolize. Without an adequate aquatic environment, the metabolic activity of microbes screeches to a halt.
With this, fruits are able to be stored for much longer as the risk of decomposition or mold formation decreases tremendously.
That doesn’t mean dried fruit is now spoil-proof. Over time and with the right sort of exposure, dried fruit will succumb to rot or spoiling just like all organic matter on the planet.
This one applies to mainly store-bought dried fruit, but nothing is stopping you from dousing your home made creations with unnecessary amounts of sucrose.
But why? Arent fruits already sweet? And doesn’t the drying process amplify the sweetness per unit of volume?
Well, yes, for most fruit, but for some, the ones which aren’t that sweet, dehydration simply amplifies the sour or bitter taste.
Take cranberries for example. If you’ve ever tried these, you’ll be familiar with their distinct tart flavor. The same is true for the dried variant, only this time it is scales of magnitude sourer.
So the solution from a commercial food perspective is to candy them and sell them as sweetened versions of their former selves.
This excess sugar gives them a jump on the GI scale, turning cranberries and other candied fruits from healthy snacks to junk food.
Another good attribute of dried fruit, aside from their storage and preservation benefits is their portability and convenience as a fast and healthy snack.
Put them in a pouch, box or ziplock bag and you’re good to go.
Whether on the trail or in the office, dried fruits are an easy access nutritious snack.
Evidence shows that the drying process and storage of dried fruits in the long term can impact nutrient integrity negatively.
One example of this decline in nutrient quality is the loss of vitamin C, an essential nutrient.
Other vitamins and minerals tend to decline in availability due to the drying effect.
This is a minor problem, however, as many healthy nutrients are still usually present, is dried fruit healthy.
One great thing about dried fruit is how versatile they are, not just as food on their own, but as a combination with other foods and as an ingredient to many different recipes.
When combined with nuts and seeds, a healthy trail mix is a result. Trailmix is a healthy, balanced snack containing natural whole foods that are easy to carry and munch on.
As ingredients, the dry profile of dehydrated fruits allows them to be easily mixed into many dishes, baked goods, and pastries, offering a delicious and nutritious flavor and texture enhancement.
Is dried fruit healthy ?, dried fruit is awesome. They are convenient while still holding onto many of the benefits you’ll appreciate from fresh fruit.
However, they can be tricky to navigate nutritionally, so be mindful when including them in your diet, and try to rely more on fresh fruit that dired ones.