Dried fruits are produced by extracting the majority of the water content from the fruit while preserving as much as possible its nutritional value and delicious taste so that the fruit shrinks after this process and becomes more energy-rich, and raisins are one of the most common types of dried fruits, followed by dates, peaches, figs, and apricots. Dried fruits can be preserved much longer than fresh fruits; So that a snack is always on hand.
Methods of drying fruits
Drying is considered one of the oldest methods used to preserve fruits for a long time, and it was relying on sunlight to extend the life of the fruit, but it depends on the weather and climate changes, and therefore it became difficult to completely rely on this method of drying, which led to the development of drying methods with the passage of Time, and the following is a list of the most common methods nowadays.
Drying fruits using solar energy requires three to five consecutive days at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius or more, and they also need low humidity, and these conditions are only available in specific regions of the United States. Drying using this method can be done by following the following steps:
Fruit slices are placed on clean shelves after washing, peeling, and cutting, then covered with gauze.
If possible, place a small fan near the drying racks; To enhance air circulation.
The fruits are turned daily until they lose most of their moisture.
Fruits are covered at night or taken indoors; This is so that moisture does not penetrate into it again during the night.
Fruits can be dried using a regular kitchen oven, but this method may be expensive; So that drying using the oven requires a long time extending for several hours, and the dried fruits resulting from this method are darker in color and more fragile than those resulting from other methods, but it is considered a good method for those who practice drying for the first time; This is because it does not need much equipment and is easy to apply. Drying can be done using this method by following the following steps:
Put the fruit slices on the oven rack or on the sheets for making cookies at 60 ° C.
The oven is left 5-8 cm open, and a small fan is placed in front of it to move the air inside.
Fruits turn over every few hours; To dry evenly.
Note: It is not recommended to use this method if the person is not at home all the time, and it is also not recommended to use it in the presence of children.
Drying by electric dryer
This type of drying can be used to produce dried fruits of the highest quality possible, by purchasing the special electric dryer for that, which is available in different sizes and quality levels,  and can be dried using this method by following the following steps:
A food dehydrator is placed in an indoor, well-ventilated room.
Fruits are arranged to form a single layer; So that the pieces do not overlap and the pieces do not come into contact with each other.
Set the dryer to 60 ° C, and stir it every few hours to dry evenly.
The benefits of dried fruits
It is a good idea to add dried fruits to the diet to boost the nutritional content of the food. And that is because it has many important nutritional properties, and here are some of these benefits:
It is a rich source of fiber, so that dried fruits are concentrated in dietary fiber beneficial to the health of the body.
Promote gut health.
Helps control blood sugar levels.
Helps reduce cholesterol levels.
Help lose weight.
It contains antioxidants, as studies have shown that the percentage of antioxidants found in dried fruits is equal to the percentage of antioxidants found in fresh fruits, which work to protect the body from free radicals that can cause many diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
It contains a lot of nutrients, as dried fruits contain many important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A and vitamin K, in addition to containing iron, magnesium, and potassium.
It is easy to store and carry, as dried fruits have a long shelf life, as they can be stored in different places and methods, and they are easy to carry anywhere; They are light in weight and do not take up much space.
The benefits of dates
Dates are rich in important nutrients such as antioxidants, and are a good source of iron, potassium, and fiber. In addition, eating dates regularly in the last weeks of pregnancy helps facilitate childbirth. This will facilitate the expansion of the cervix and reduce the need for an artificial divorce.
The benefits of dried plums
Dried peaches are very rich in nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin K, in addition to containing large amounts of fiber; Therefore, dried plums are considered a natural laxative for the intestine. It is used to treat constipation. Plus, as it is a rich source of antioxidants; Dried peaches prevent the oxidation of harmful cholesterol (in English: LDL), and help prevent heart disease and cancer, as it is a rich source of boron (in English: Boron), which may help fight osteoporosis.