Briefs: Choosing the best freeze-dried fruit
We're currently enjoying a freeze-dried fruit explosion with big-box discounters, local markets, even Amazon.com , all stocking pouches of strawberries, apples, pineapple, mango and bananas for prices ranging from $2.99 (Archer Farms strawberry slices, 1-ounce bag, at Target) to $6.25 (Organic Just Strawberries, 1.2-ounce bag, on justtomatoes.com ).
Which is wonderful for dried fruit lovers — but is it a healthy trend?
"There's a time and a place for freeze-dried fruit," says Cricket Azima, founder of The Creative Kitchen, a company aimed at promoting healthy eating skills in children. "I don't think there's any substitute for fresh fruit."
A few things to watch for, to ensure your freeze-dried experience is the healthiest possible:
• Check the ingredients for "fruit." There's no reason for sugars or anything else to be added.
• Check the vitamin content. Some of the water-soluble vitamins may be lost during the freeze-drying process, so you want to see if it's been fortified to add them back in.
• Be mindful of portions. Because the water has been stripped from the fruit, your child won't fill up as quickly as she would eating a whole apple or a handful of fresh strawberries, so she may be tempted to eat two or three recommended serving sizes.
• If you place a high value on buying organic fresh produce, check the fruit's country of origin and whether it's organic.
Is it OK to double recipes?
For most recipes, you can simply double the ingredients, though many sources recommend using 1 1⁄2 times the amount of spices when doubling. That includes salt, pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika and garlic powder. For example, if the recipe calls for 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, you would use 3⁄4 teaspoon.
With savory recipes, you can adjust the spices or seasonings to your own taste. And for something like whole roast chicken, simply cook two at once at the same temperature for the same time.
Baking recipes are trickier. On a small scale, it should be OK to just double all the ingredients. But other variables can affect the outcome. To get uniform results when baking, mix each batch separately.
Anyone who has dug for clams at low tide, pinched a blackberry or two on a trail walk or tried to pry a black walnut from its rock-hard shell has been foraging for food. It's an instinct as old as mankind that's become a red-hot trend in a growing number of food circles.
• Don't eat anything unless you know absolutely, positively what it is.
• Take at least two guidebooks for your region along with you to identify edible foods.
• Don't forage alone. Tag along with or join local foraging, native plant and/or mycological societies.
• Avoid foraging along busy roadsides where plants may absorb pollutants or car exhaust; ditto near fields that may be sprayed with pesticides.
• Know the foraging rules for public lands; don't trespass on private property.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Decisions backfire in Steelers’ loss in Seattle
- Penn State coach fires offensive coordinator
- Marshall’s Fluhme Glam Bar hopes to take beauty concept nationwide
- Police charge New Florence man in St. Clair officer’s killing
- French and Indian War re-enactor Wilson commits to pioneer lifestyle in Murrysville cabin
- Woman found in Carrick died of multiple wounds, autopsy results say
- 24,000 hours of volunteer service, 112 debutantes add up to Pittsburgh’s 2015 Medallion Ball
- Auction watch: High-quality artwork highlights Dec. 5 sale in Regent Square
- North Allegheny 7th best school in national ranking, moves up 2 spots
- Baldwin Santa gets the reality-show treatment
- Sale of doll clothes to benefit Harrison library