Using Dried Food

You can eat dried foods straight or "rehydrate" ("refresh") them by soaking or cooking in water, broth, or fruit juice. The warmer the water, the quicker the food will soak it up. Don't add sugar or salt to the rehydrating fluid; they both hold back water absorption.

Eat dried fruits out of hand for snacks at home, on the trail, or in lunch boxes. Or use pieces of dried fruit in cookies, cakes, puddings, breads, etc. Reconstituted dried fruit makes nice stewed fruit or sauce served plain. Or add it to bread, gelatin, stuffing, homemade ice cream, milkshakes, or cooked cereal. Soak before cooking—6 hours or more.

Unlike fresh fruit, dried fruit needs little or no sugar. That's because the drying process changes the starch in the fruit to sugar. The dryness and the sugar content were the forces that combined to preserve it. A little lemon juice, though, usually improves the flavor.

Add dried vegetables to stews, soups, or sauces. Or make a basic soup mix by powdering them in a blender. Add herbs or spices and package for quick soup. Combine with dried milk for an instant cream soup mix. Use in meat pies and other main dishes or add to gelatin or vegetable salads.

BASIC STEWED DRIED FRUIT Pour I c. boiling water over I c. dried fruit Add !4 t cinnamon, 'A t nutmeg, and a pinch of ginger. Let set until it softens to your taste. Tastes good sweetened with honey or mixed with yogurt.

<i> FRUIT GRANOLA Chop dried fruit into small chunks; half raisins and half other fruit such as apples, apricots, or peaches is good. For every 2 c. chopped dried fruit add 7 c.

rolled grain (all one kind or a combo such as half oats and half wheat). Optional: peanuts, sunflower seeds, or other nuts and seeds. Stir together until well mixed.

<i> DRIED FRUIT AND RICE Pre-soak I A c. brown rice. Then cook Add lots of dried fruits, pumpkin pie-type spices to taste, perhaps nuts, and a pinch of salt Serve with your choice of milk, butter, or honey. This is great warmed up with hot milk for a quick, good breakfast.

<i> DRIED FRUIT JAM Use dried fruit in any combination that suits you. Add extra sweetener if you like; 'A c. dried apricots with 14 c. dates, for example, is good. Make this in a blender and moisten with a fruit juice to enhance spreadabil-ity. One cup pineapple juice is about right in that apricot-date combo. It helps to soak the dried fruit overnight in the juice before blending. This dried fruit jam makes a nice syrup on pancakes and waffles too.

<i> DRIED VEGETABLE SUCES AND DIP Slices of dried carrot cucumber, eggplant and tomato are good with a dip.

<i> INSTANT SPAGHETTI SAUCE To a basic tomato puree, add dried onion, dried green pepper, dried basil, and oregano.

VEGETABLE POWDER You can grind any thoroughly dried vegetables in a blender or in Gen's special powdering machine. Store in tightly sealed, small packages. To use, just add to boiling water. You can create your own formulas for instant soups or extra nutrition and flavoring for casseroles or stews.

Continue reading here: Freezing

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