Using Dried Produce

Most vegetables are refreshed with water before use. Dried vegetables need about 2 hours soaking time before cooking. When you soak or rehydrate the vegetables they should plump to nearly the same size they were when fresh. Start with 1½ to 2 cups of water for each cup of dried vegetables. If necessary, add more water during the soaking process. 

Cook the vegetables in the same water in which they have soaked to save nutrients. All dried vegetables can be added directly to soups or stews without pre-soaking, just boil or simmer dried vegetables in soups, stews, or other dishes cooked in liquid. 

Most dried fruit can be eaten or used in recipes as it is. If you wish to plump or soften the fruit slightly to make it more chewable, you can use one of these methods: 

Cover the dried fruit with boiling water. Let it stand for 5 minutes then drain. 

Place the dried fruit in the top of a steamer over boiling water and steam 3 to 5 minutes until the fruit is plump.

Dried fruits can also be eaten as nutritious snacks, or can be soaked in water or juice for one to two hours and used in favorite recipes. Sliced vegetables can be eaten dried as tasty vegetable chips for dips.

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Did You Know?
When making jelly without added pectin use only firm fruits naturally high in pectin. Select a mixture of about 3/4 ripe and 1/4 underripe fruit. Do not use commercially canned or frozen fruit juices. Their pectin content is too low. Wash
all fruits thoroughly before cooking. Crush soft fruits or berries; cut firmer fruits into small pieces.

Using the peels and cores adds pectin to the juice during cooking. Add water to fruits that require it, as listed in the table of ingredients below. Put fruit and water in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer according to the times below until fruit is soft, while stirring to prevent scorching. One pound of fruit should yield at least 1 cup of clear juice. FREE Recipes