Dried fruit is a must-have ingredient especially during the long, Michigan winter
DISCOVER | Michigan has nearly the perfect environment for growing fruit. Tart cherries, blueberries, cranberries and apples all grow abundantly and provide a significant boost to Michigan’s economy. Because of our fairly short growing season, food preservation by drying is a great way to consume local fruit year round. Find Michigan dried fruits, like the popular dried cherries, in stores and products nationwide.
TASTE | Dried fruits are naturally sweet with a concentrated fruit flavor. Often plump, soft and chewy, dried fruit is a perfect addition to many recipes. Cooking with dried fruit typically requires little to no preparation—just add to muffins, granola, oatmeal or a salad. Convenient and portable, dried fruit also makes a great snack.
FORTIFY | Dried fruits are an excellent source of fiber and low in fat. Be wary of portion size because a typical serving size of dried fruit is often half of its fresh fruit counterpart. Some prepackaged dried fruits may use preservatives like sulfur dioxide to maintain color. Choose organic dried fruit to avoid preservatives if you are sulfite sensitive.
PRESERVE | Preserving food by drying creates a longer shelf life and a way to enjoy our favorite fruits out of season. Drying ripe fruits at home can be done with a low-temperature oven or an electric dehydrator. Dried fruit, homemade or prepackaged, needs to be stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Michigan State University Extension is a great resource for food preservation. Visit them online.