"dried fruit" news and stories
I'm not sure what makes these cookies something you have for breakfast. They do have dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, cherries, raisins) and nuts in them, which is great, but there are probably healthier options for you. But hey, any breakfast that includes fruit and nuts and oats is a good start to a busy day (wow, I sound like a commercial).
These Breakfast Cookies look rather tasty, even if you have them later in the day.
Filed under: On the Blogs
Although cranberries have long been a favorite part of the holiday meal, it seems like craisins have finally come into their own. The sweet, dried cranberries are popular year round, although 80% of sales are still around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Craisins, made by Ocean Spray, are probably the single biggest brand of dried cranberries and account for most of the sales. Their sales have doubled in just the past two years, prompting Ocean Spray to plan the opening of a new factory for processing them. The berries are first dried and, unlike some other brands of dried cranberries, they have the juice removed and it is later injected back into them, creating a slightly sweeter final product that helped the catch on with fans of sweeter raisins and other dried fruits. Craisins go well in salads, baked good and with main dishes, in sauces or on their own, and company executives say that the sales are split evenly between retail consumers and manufacturers of cereals, baked goods and other products. They also attribute their continued popularity to the fact that consumers are constantly seeking out snacks that are at least as portable, but healthier than some of their less good-for-you favorites.
Most grapes are dried on paper trays in the field to make raisins, but researchers at UC Davis have found that there are distinct differences between raisins dried in the traditional way and those dried directly on the vine. Their testing looked at factors that included "fruitiness, chewiness and color" and the tasters were split on which raisins they liked more, though it was clear that there was a big difference between the two types. The vine-dried raisins were said to be softer, plumper and more complex, almost like wine, while the tray-dried raisins were stickier and more caramely. The noticeably different flavor profiles may open the door for gourmet raisins if some growers switch over to the vine-dried variety.
Vine-dried raisins are less labor intensive than tray-dried raisins, but they usually need to be harvested with a machine and take much longer to dry, needing as much as a month on the vine, as opposed to a week on the trays. As a result, they are more expensive to produce and not all of California's growers, who produce almost all of the US's raisins and about 40% of the world's supply, would be willing or able to make the switch.