Dry foods such as breads, malt, crackers and cereals are examples of dried foods. Dried fruits are also one type of dried foods. Dried foods are highly perishable and thus require to be processed immediately after being exposed to the air. Food drying is also a technique of food preservation where food is dried rapidly. Drying slows down the growth of fungi, yeasts, molds and bacteria by the complete removal of water present in the food. The drying techniques are used to preserve dry food so that they can be stored for long periods.
Dried fruits, like dried meats and vegetables, are high in dietary fiber and contain less calories and fat than fresh vegetables. For example, dried carrot has more vitamin C than fresh carrot; dried raisins have more beta carotene than fresh raisins; dried pineapple has more vitamin C than dried banana; etc. Thus dried foods contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts. Dried vegetables are low in water content and therefore ideal for preserving and storing as long as they are kept away from direct sunlight and air. Likewise, herbs like basil, garlic, parsley, cilantro, etc, also contain less water content and are good options for preserving dried foods to retain the flavor and aroma for many years.
Dried foods like whole grains, dried fruits, vegetables and fruits, are low in moisture content and hence ideal for food preservation. Dried vegetables retain almost all the nutritional value of the original plant material. For example, dried peas retain almost ninety percent of the original moisture of peas while other fruits retain only about ten percent of the original moisture. Thus, dried fruits are better alternatives for replacing dried meats and pulses. Similarly, herbs like Rosemary, thyme, ginger, etc, are suitable for replacing dried meats and pulses with ease soft dried passionfruit.
Dried fruits, including dried food dehydrators, are ideal for home preservation and storage for long term. The best part about dried foods is that they can be kept for years at a stretch, unlike fresh vegetables and meat which have to be replaced on a very short term basis. Dried food dehydration techniques include air-flow drying, room drying, dehydrating through evaporation, vacuum drying and sun drying. Depending on your specific needs you can opt for one of the methods. All these methods are easy to follow and yield excellent results.
Dried foods such as raisins, mangoes, dates, pears, dates, persimmons and mangoes can be preserved with the help of dehumidifiers or by freezing them in shallow containers using plastic bags. Room drying and dehydrating methods are suitable for preserving coconut, olive leaves and coconut oil. Freeze-drying of herbs and spices also preserves them for long periods in wooden barrels, ceramic jars or plastic bags.
It is best to store dried foods in their original containers so as to retain as much of their nutritional value as possible. Dried food preservation techniques ensure maximum shelf-life of all dried fruits and vegetables as well as dried fruit concentrates. Some of these can be eaten immediately. Dried fish and meat can be used as a main source of protein in a vegetarian diet for several months. Dried fruit is available in any supermarket and is available in many specialty stores. You can purchase the dried fruits online, in health food stores, supermarkets and natural food stores.