Food and Nutrition


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Drying Foods Is Fun For Family

By Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Chances are you may have some dried foods in your kitchen cupboards. Raisins, of course, were once grapes, and prunes were plums. In fact, prunes are now known as “dried plums” commercially, because plums are viewed as more appealing.

Besides raisins, various dried fruits are common in many popular cereals. They add flavor, sweetness and sometimes, color.

For avid campers and hikers, dried foods are light and portable compared to their high-moisture, perishable counterparts. Banana chips, apple rings and fruit leathers are easy-to-make nutritious snacks that kids can help prepare at home. If kids help dry vegetables, which are later used in vegetable soups, they might be more tempted to eat the vegetable soup, too.

Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. When water is removed from food, bacteria, yeasts and molds are not able to grow as readily. Foods become more compact and safe for an extended length of time at room temperature.

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