Dried Fruits - A Winter Delicacy

Dried Fruits - A Winter Delicacy

Bev Dunne

When winter arrives, we often scramble to find some of our favourite fruits. Maybe this is the time to look at some dried fruit options. Below is one of my favourite dried fruit compotes which is great to serve on porridge over winter or with yoghurt as a dessert.

FIGS – THE ANCIENT HEALTHY FRUIT. Fig has been cultivated for thousands of years, with remnants of figs having been found in excavations of Neolithic sites going back to around 5,000BC. Dried figs are high in fibre. They are a great standby to prevent constipation. 5 grams of dietary fibre can be found in 3 servings of dried figs which is a great reason to include dried figs in our daily breakfast regime.

DRIED APRICOTS - HIGH IN VITAMIN A. Apricots are also an ancient fruit and are believed to have been grown in India way back in 3000BC – so they have stood the test of time!! One cup of dried apricots is the equivalent of 2 cups of fresh apricots with dried apricots also being a good source of dietary fibre as well as Potassium. They are interestingly also high in Vitamin A – 1 cup provides around 4600 IU of Vitamin A.

DRIED CRANBERRIES – INFUSED IN APPLE JUICE. Cranberries in their raw state are quite sour and tart which is why most dried cranberries have sugar added when drying. There is however another healthier option which is apple juice infused cranberries.  Dried cranberries are also high in dietary fibre. They are also rich in antioxidants and contain a particular polyphenol which contain anti-microbial properties.

DRIED FRUIT COMPOTE

Ingredients: 250g Dried Figs; 250g Dried Apricots; 1 cup Apple Juice Infused Dried Cranberries; zest of 1 orange; juice of 3 oranges; 2 cups water; 1 cinnamon stick; 2 cloves; 3 Tbsp maple syrup.

Method: Simmer all ingredients for 1 hour then remove orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Serve warm or cold.