Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit

I usually check the ingredients label of everything I buy, but for some reason I hadn’t noticed that our raisins had added oil. Now in the grand scheme of things 1% oil isn’t going to make much difference, but even so I went on a mission to find non oily raisins. My hunt was not fruitful! They don’t seem to exist! However I did find non oily currants (more specifically Zante currants, which are actually a variety of raisin), so I’ve started to buy them instead.

In addition to oil (which stops the fruit getting too dry), lots of dried fruits are treated with preservatives (to stop them going brown and to extend shelf life) and / or contain added sugar. On the sugar front, cranberries are a classic example. Companies add sugar to these sour berries to make them more palatable. You can get cranberries infused with fruit juice but I do wonder whether, from a nutritional perspective, this is any better than using refined sugar. Cranberries aren’t alone though: many dried berries contain added sugar.

Now-a-days when I buy dried fruit I scrutinise the label for added ingredients that I, personally, deem unnecessary. Products labelled as organic are not allowed to contain preservatives, but they still can contain sugar and oil, so don’t assume organic means 100% fruit. If you, like me, are a dried fruit puritan then the only way forward is to look at the ingredients!

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