Dried fruit is one of the most convenient, healthy snacks to keep on hand for many reasons. Unlike fresh fruit, it has a shelf life of months, not days! It’s also extremely portable for those on-the-go occasions. But even dried fruit enthusiasts might be surprised to know that dried fruit can be reconstituted to replace fresh or frozen fruit when baking and cooking (or simply enjoying in a whole new way!). Traina Foods talks reconstitution with these five simple tips.
1. Be patient.
Reconstituting dried fruit can take time… lots of time. It’s recommended to soak it overnight. But depending on the size and amount of dried fruit, it can take between one and eight hours. However, heating it with liquid can speed up the process. Only add enough water or liquid to cover the fruit in the container, as too much liquid can dilute the flavor. A good measure is equal parts dried fruit and liquid. However, more liquid may need to be added to fully plump up the fruit, so monitor the reconstitution process.
2. Play it safe.
While it’s perfectly fine to store dried fruit in the pantry, once the reconstitution process begins, the fruit/liquid should be placed in the refrigerator. This prevents the fruit and liquid combination from forming any microorganisms during the process. Also, once the reconstitution process is complete, the fruit can spoil quickly so only reconstitute the amount needed for one recipe at a time.
3. Add flavor.
Play with flavors when reconstituting dried fruit. Instead of water, use 100 percent fruit juice to add a stronger flavor of the same fruit, or mixed a complementary juice-dried fruit combination for a bold new flavor! This enhances the flavor for baking recipes and also adds sweetness without adding refined sugar or artificial sweeteners.
4. Save that liquid gold!
Reconstituted dried fruit may not provide the exact texture as fresh fruit would in any given recipe. One way to rectify this is to reserve the liquid after reconstituting the fruit. That way, if more liquid is needed, it’s already naturally flavored. This “liquid gold” can also be used in place of milk, as part of a way to make a baking recipe vegan for example, or other liquid that a recipe calls for.
5. Hold the sugar.
Contact with sugar can make dried fruit tough if it’s not yet entirely reconstituted. When adding reconstituted fruit to a recipe that also calls for sugar, wait until the fruit has completely plumped up before mixing in the sugar. This will ensure the fruit stays soft and chewy.
For more recipe idea and ways to incorporate dried fruit into every day, visit www.trainafoods.com.