Chopping Dried Fruit
Cooking tips for the caring cook.
Dried fruit makes a fantastic, low fat, low calorie and healthful snack! Cooks and bakers use dried fruits in everything from muffins to stews.
Drying fruit allows us to enjoy our favorite fruits even when they're not in season. Dried fruit can last up to a year without any refrigeration!
To keep dried fruit, marshmallows and other sticky foods from sticking to your knife blade: Dip the blade in cold water or spray it with nonstick spray.
What Fruits Are Good to Dry and Use?
Dried fruits are graded: Extra Fancy, Fancy, Extra Choice, Choice or Standard. These gradings are based solely on size, color, condition and water content, not nutrient content.
Apples, apricots, bananas, cantaloupe, cherries, dates, cranberries, currants, figs, raisins, kokum, litchi nuts, mango, mulberries, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmon, pinapple, prunes, strawberries and tomatoes are among the most commonly dried fruits.
For the best flavor cook dried fruit in the same water it was thawed in.
Plumping Dried Fruit: In a 2-cup measure microwave 1-cup water, uncovered on 100-percent power for two to three minutes or until boiling. Stir in 1/2-cup desired dried fruit. Let stand five to ten minutes.
Finally: Chopping Dried Fruits
- Invest in a good food processor. This must have machine is ideal for quickly chopping and mincing dried fruits, where a blender doesn’t work very well due to the lack of liquid. Many come with attachments for slicing and shredding, too.
- Carefully wipe your knife blade with vegetable oil or cooking spray before chopping raisins, dates, or other sticky dried fruit to prevent sticking.
- To cut dried fruits, marshmallows, or gumdrops, dip kitchen scissors frequently into hot water so they don't get too sticky.
- If you prefer to use a food chopper, rinse the dried fruit in refridgerated water before chopping it chopping.
- Raisins won't stick to a food chopper if they are soaked in cold water for a short period of time.
Bonus: Dried Fruit for Sweetening
To use less sugar: Soak and then puree several pieces of dried fruit such as plums or apricots. This puree can then be used in place of or in addition to other sweeteners.
Celebrating Dried Fruits