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Whether dried at home or purchased, dried fruits and vegetables should be kept in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not necessary, but some people prefer the taste of cold dried food. Dried fruit may be frozen, but this sometimes affects the texture and taste of the food.
Shelf life varies from product to product, but most items will keep, if stored properly, for a minimum of one month. Some items, such as raisins, have a significantly longer shelf life of approximately a year or more.
Generally, once a fruit or vegetable is dried, there is no additional preparation before using. Many recipes require the fruit or vegetable be sliced or diced, which is often easier when the item has been refrigerated overnight. Dried fruit and vegetables are commonly used in bread, desserts, granola, or as a topping.
These are the most practical and common items to dry:
- Fruit: Ripe apples, berries, cherries, peaches, apricots and pears
- Vegetables: Peas, corn, peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and green beans
|Make Dried Fruit Part of Your 5 A Day Plan|
|* Add dried cranberries to a rice dish to add flavor and color.|
|* Sprinkle raisins and dried berries into your morning cereal.|
|* Sun dried tomatoes add texture and flavor to pasta and rice dishes.|
|* Dried apricots work great in muffins and breads.|
|* Dried cherries add color and nutrients to granola or trail mix.|
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Updated 2005
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