Awhile back I came across an interesting article in the New York Times, Food Storage as Grandma Knew It, detailing a ‘return to the earth” concept of a root cellar in, of all places, New York City.
As a New England native, one only needs to take a leisurely drive along back country roads in order to see root or cold storage cellars built into the hills besides homes that are partially hidden behind stone fences. Such a sight often made me want to travel back in time and wonder what it was like growing up in that era.
Part of the food pyramid says that we need to eat fruit on a daily basis. Much of our vitamin C comes from fruits and fruit juices. Learn how dried varieties of fruits are both good and marginal for our bodies.
Certain fruits can be dried for prolonged storage. We buy fresh fruits from the grocery store and the farmer’s market as a part of a healthy diet. But, fresh doesn’t stay fresh for as long as we like. One way to save that fruit is to dry it.
The drying process can be as easy for you as sticking some fruit directly on the oven rack and letting it shrivel up. Once all of the water has been removed, the dried fruits can be stored in a cool place for a long time. Dried fruit also tastes much sweeter than regular fruit.
A piece of fruit is mostly water. The drying process concentrates the natural sugars and can feed our sweet tooth better than candy and other sweet foods. Also the vitamins and nutrients contained in the fruit are still present. Depending on the fruit, it contains folate, antioxidants, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
Dried fruit takes up less space than regular fruit. A cup of pineapple slices may contain four slices while a cup of dried pineapple slices may have twice as many. Since there is no water less it takes up less space. A handful of raisins give the same daily benefit as two cups of grapes.
Dried fruit benefits our bodies with natural sugar instead of added sugar. Eating some fruit is much better than eating artificially flavored sweets. But, there is one drawback to dried varieties of fruit.
Like everything else, dried fruit is eaten in moderation to avoid eating too much. While it’s okay to eat a lot of real fruit, dried fruit contains more calories than regular fruit. Why is that, you may ask? Because more fruit fits in a serving, the calorie adds up. Be careful to eat the serving size of dried fruit to avoid ingesting too much sugar or calories.
It only takes a couple of handfuls of raisins to get most of the daily allowance for vitamin C and A. As long as you don’t eat too much dried fruit on a daily basis they are good for your health. It is just like anything else. Eating all things in moderation keeps them as healthy additions to your diet. Besides, dried fruits are easy to transport anywhere for a simple snack.
St. Patrick’s Day will soon be here on March 17th, and is traditionally celebrated with grogg and Irish Soda Bread. I like to make Traditional Irish Soda Bread all year long! Plus, the house smells so wonderful when it’s baking!With the addition of raisins and/or currents, it’s a terrific way to add dried fruit to your diet!
© 2009 C. Matthews