Dried products are also popular in summer
Sandra Kire, category manager of Rimi retail chain, noted that dried fruits, berries and vegetables remain the most popular during the cold season, but demand for these products increases in the summer and supply in this category increases throughout the year. year. According to the expert, it is better not only to dry the collected harvest due to the sharp rise in prices, but also to think about drying the berries and fruits that are sold cheaply during the season in the winter.
According to S. Chirye, most of the range of dried products consists of fruits and berries. The most popular are plums, cranberries, dates and raisins, but mangoes, figs and bananas are also popular, and tomatoes are the most popular dried vegetable. “Dried products from all over the world come to our store shelves. We select them based on quality requirements and compliance with high standards, necessary certificates and sustainability criteria,” the specialist noted.
Photo by RIMI/Rimi Retail Chain Culinary Technologist Lina Barchaitte
How to prepare garden and vegetable products for drying?
Lina Barchaite, culinary technologist of the Rimi trade chain, warns that not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for drying, for example, it is not recommended to dry fruits that contain a lot of water or fat, and also fruits and vegetables should not be dried. Choose well-ripened, intact, good quality and prepare them properly before drying.
“Before drying fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms or berries, they should first be thoroughly washed, peeled and dried if necessary. Later, cut them as you want to use them, but the pieces should be the same size, this will help them dry evenly. Summer products can be dried in the sun, in the oven or by purchasing a special device. Remember to use baking paper when drying in the oven. Another important detail is the correct drying temperature to ensure the fastest possible removal of moisture from the product. The temperature should be such that it does not affect the taste, texture or color of the product,” advises L. That’s it.
According to the culinary technologist, it is important not only to properly dry forest, garden or garden products, but also to store them properly: “Put cooled fruits and vegetables in plastic or glass containers. Do not fill them completely, leave space inside the container for air circulation. After a week, it is recommended to shake the dishes to separate the pieces from each other. Check that there is no moisture in the container. If this happens, the fruits and vegetables will need to be returned to the dryer and further dried.”
Photo by RIMI/Dietist Dr. Edita Havelien
Drying is the oldest preservation method in history
According to Dr. Edita Havelien, physician and nutritionist, Rimi’s health nutrition consultant, drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Thus, it was possible to prepare for a period of food shortages, and dates and grapes became the first dried fruits in history. Of course, it is better to eat fresh fruits and vegetables for health, but the doctor emphasizes that there is no need to fear that the products of the garden, garden or forest lose their nutritional value when they are dried.
“During drying, food products lose certain nutrients, first of all, of course, water, and water-soluble vitamins also decrease. On the other hand, calories are concentrated in dried foods such as dried fruits and berries, compared to fresh ones – more calories. Protein composition is almost unchanged. The amount of minerals in 100 grams of dried fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs is higher than fresh. For example, one gram of dried herbs contains more potassium than the raw product, and most dried fruits are rich in antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, as well as fiber, which is necessary for intestinal health, says Dr. E. Gavelene.
Photo by RIMI/Dried Vegetables
True, nutritionists warn that dried fruits should be eaten in small quantities, because they contain more calories than fresh ones. It can be a great choice for those looking for an alternative to sweets: “If you want something sweet, instead of reaching for muffins or sweets, it’s better to have dried fruit, which can provide energy and nutrients. It is important to note that dried fruits cannot be flavored with additional syrups or covered with chocolate – such dried fruits already fall into the category of desserts, because they have artificially increased the amount of quickly absorbed carbohydrates.