If raisins are the first thing to come to mind when you think of dried fruit, think again. There are so many options for using this pantry staple, and there is no shortage of options for which fruits you can use to create a main dish, dessert, or snack. Our guide offers foodie-approved, easy dried fruit recipes as well as the answers to everything you ever wanted to know about dried fruit.
What are examples of dried fruits?
There are a lot of dried fruits to choose from. Whether you want to buy dried fruit for cooking or to eat plain, these are some of the most popular choices:
|Raisins (dried grapes)
|Prunes (dried plums)
Is dried fruit bad for you?
Some dried fruit has added sugar and other preservatives to keep it fresh. These ingredients make it long-lasting (and delicious), but can detract from its nutritional content. If you're looking for dried fruit that won't hurt your weight-loss or weight-maintenance efforts, keep an eye out for options with minimal added sugar.
Which dried fruit has the least amount of sugar, and which dried fruit is best for health?
All fruit has natural sugar, and many dried fruits have added sugar to keep it fresh for as long as possible. If you're diabetic, trying to lose or maintain weight, or simply want a low-sugar option, opt for these varieties. However, be sure to look at food labels, since each brand prepares their products differently:
Dried Fruit Recipes
Whether you're in the mood for a sweet after-dinner treat or a unique way to prepare your favorite savory dish, there are all kinds of recipes to choose from. Here are some easy dried fruit recipes that you'll want to include in your family's weekly menu.
|Basmati Rice Pilaf with Chickpeas and Dried Fruit: This surprisingly-simple recipe offers a taste of the exotic. It's a perfect side dish for your favorite chicken or pork recipes.
|Plum, Date, Banana, and Maple-Bacon Salad: If you have a craving for something equal parts fresh, sweet, and savory, this salad will please your palate.
|Granola Cluster Cookies: Perfectly sweet and crunchy, these cookies are a delicious pre- or post-workout treat as well as a healthy midday snack.
|Caramelized Onion and Date Couscous: If you're not a believer in the combination of sweet, dried fruit and hearty, tangy onions, you will be after one bite of this couscous.
|Apricot and Currant Chicken: For a modern take on your favorite orange chicken takeout dish, give this simple dinner a spin.
|Coconut Snowballs: Did someone say coconut? For a tropical twist on dessert, set aside an hour to make these craveable treats.
|Homemade Larabars: The best thing about this homemade take on a grocery-store favorite is how many different ways there are to make it -- but they're all equally delicious!
|Mandarins Dipped in Chocolate: For a low-sugar treat that tempts even your most calorie-conscious compadres, whip up a batch of these fool-proof treats.
|Brie Appetizers with Bacon-Plum Jam: If you're searching for an amuse bouche that's equal parts classy and easy-to-make, look no further than this recipe.
|Dried Fig Souvlaki: A fancy take on bacon-wrapped figs, this dish will have your whole party cheering, "Opa!" without knowing how little time you spent in the kitchen.