Have you ever wondered how snacks are dried?
People thrive on a diet of fruit and vegetables. Not only out of preference but mostly out of necessity (see Magellan article).
Luckily, long before refrigeration, our ancestors found ways to eat fruit and nuts all-year-long by drying, roasting, salting, and using other preservation methods.
All fruit contain water. By taking the moisture out of food you not only decrease the growth of bacteria but also extend its shelf life by minimizing spoilage. Moisture is removed by either laying the fruit out to dry in the sun or placing them in dehydrators at certain temperatures and controlled air circulation. Sulfur Dioxide is added to most fruit to preserve their color and freshness and finally spices are added for taste.
Although sugar is not needed for the preservation of whole fruit such as apricot thanks to their thick skin. Cut fruit, or thin-skinned fruit such as strawberries require sugar as a preservative.
Nuts, when removed from their protective shells can be eaten either raw or roasted. Roasting also brings out the natural flavor of nuts. During the roasting process, salt and other seasoning can be added to both enhance flavors and increase shelf-life. Nuts can be dry-roasted or oil-roasted, usually with peanut oil.
Fruits and nuts can also be coated in chocolate for their preservation but mostly for their yummy taste!
Vegetables are baked using a quick baking method at high temperatures and prompt removal from the heat source before. Oils can also be added during the baking process, usually with vegetable oil.
The advantage of choosing snacks that are derived from real fruit, nuts and veggies is that they are minimally processed.
It’s nature’s goodness, all in a bag!
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