5 Reasons to Use Sundried Fruits and Vegetables
Sun-drying food is an age-old method, dating back to 12,000 BC. We have evidence that shows that this method of preservation was used by the Orientals and Middle Eastern people and eventually became a common practice in other cultures.
Romans, for example, loved drying fruits and vegetables. In the Middle Ages, they created special “still houses” to dry vegetables, herbs, and fruits in areas with less sunlight.
Today, this technique is experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to all the benefits it comes with. In the day of modern refrigerators and preservatives used to increase the shelf-life of products, sun-drying is proving to be a more beneficial method.
Here are just a few of the top reasons why you should consider incorporating more sun-dried fruits and vegetables into your diet:
Increased Nutrient Density
Sun-drying food removes the excess moisture from fruits and vegetables. This results in concentrated nutrients being more easily digestible. For example, sun-dried jujubes by McCabe Farm have higher levels of Vitamin D, potassium, antioxidants, and dietary fiber than their fresh counterparts.
Longer Shelf Life
Need to preserve foods naturally for long periods of time? Sun-drying is the way to go! Since sun-drying removes excess moisture content, it gets difficult for bacteria and other microorganisms to spoil the food. This is why sun-dried foods can last for months or even years. So, if you’re thinking about stocking up your pantry with tasty sun-dried radish, zucchini, and jujube, choose sun-dried organic products available at SF Mart.
Another benefit of sun-drying is that it retains and enhances the flavor of many fruits and vegetables, giving them a deeper, more complex taste. This is why sun-dried figs or apricots have such an aromatic, caramelized flavor that’s just not found in other drying alternatives.
Convenient and Versatile
Plus, they come with great convenience since there’s no need to refrigerate sun-dried fruits and vegetables. You can simply store them at room temperature, carry them around, and make a great snack on the go. Sun-dried vegetables and foods are also a great choice for a variety of dishes. For example, sun-dried tomatoes can be used to add some depth of flavor to pasta sauces, salads, and sandwiches. Similarly, sun-dried jujubes by McCabe can be used to brew healthy and refreshing tea, and sun-dried zucchini by McCabe can be rehydrated and cooked.
Finally, sun-drying is a sustainable and eco-friendly way to preserve foods. It requires no electricity or other forms of energy. This makes it a much more environmentally friendly option compared to other methods of food preservation, such as canning or freezing.
Sun-Dried and Dehydrated Foods are Different
It is common to mistake sun-dried foods for dehydrated foods. The truth is, sun-drying and food dehydration are two totally different preservation processes that aim to remove excess moisture to let food last longer without going bad.
Drying food is the process of taking away moisture from fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs using natural methods, such as air or sunlight. This is an old method that has been used for centuries to preserve a wide variety of foods. Drying food preserves nutrients and flavor and gives the foods a longer shelf life.
There are different methods of drying food. These include:
Many areas of food production use this process. There are various ways you can dry food:
- Sun Drying; this is the most dependable, healthiest way to preserve food. Tried and tested by cultures dating back centuries, sun drying uses daylight and low humidity conditions to dry out raw materials. For this process, the fruits, vegetables, herbs, or meat are exposed to sunlight for a few days until the moisture is reduced. McCabe Farmuses this method, along with a few modern techniques, to dry a variety of foods in an organic environment to ensure the nutrients remain intact.
- Industrial Air Drying; unlike sun drying, this method of preserving food uses machinery for a more controlled drying process. It’s an automated process where heat is used to remove moisture from the raw material without the use of preservatives.
- Freeze Drying; this is another air drying process where food is preserved without using additional preservatives. Free drying ensures that the flavor, color, and even the cell structure of the product remain preserved.
Unlike Air Drying, drum drying uses a rotating drum that is heated from the inside to evaporate the water from the raw material. Once the moisture is gone, the dried fruit or vegetable is taken out from the drum.
Dehydrating is a food preservation process that uses artificial heat and temperature conditions to wick moisture away from food. This process is typically done using a food dehydrator, but vacuum driers, kiln driers, and tunnel dries can also be used. Dehydrated foods have a shorter shelf life than dried foods and have to be carefully packaged and stored to prevent moisture from being reabsorbed.
This method of preserving food is used by the dairy industry when producing bulk quantities of milk, eggs, buttermilk, and more.
Shop Organic Products at SF Mart Today
Eat healthier and heartier using the organic products available at SF Mart, an organic food store online. We sell a range of CCOF and OCIA-certified organic foods, including organic black beans, organic red lentils, the best organic brown rice, organic sweets, oats, barley, flour, seeds, sun-dried jujubes, teas, radishes, and more.
If you’re looking to add nutrient-rich, pure foods to your diet, our McCabe products are a must-have. Grown in fertile soil without the use of pesticides, they’re high in vitamin D, minerals, and water content.