What You Can Do with Your Dried Foods

 

Dried Fruit

This image is made by Aka, courtesy of Creative Commons

Of course, one of the easiest ways to enjoy your dried foods is to eat them out of hand. They are convenient as take-along snacks when running errands or camping. But there are other creative ways you can use your dried foods that you worked so hard to preserve. Here are some ideas and recipes for what you can do with your dried foods.

Yogurt and Oatmeal Topping

Dried fruits like grapes, plums, and apricots make excellent toppings for plain or vanilla yogurt. You can chop them up small if you prefer, and maybe sprinkle some nuts on top. You can also stir them into oatmeal or any hot cereal.

Soups and Stews

Dried vegetables are great in soups and stews. Dried green beans, tomatoes, peas, corn, etc. can be added to simmering broth or water. The vegetables will absorb the liquid and plump up. For quicker cooking time, rehydrate the vegetables first by pouring boiling water over them and soaking them for several hours. Dump the rehydrated vegetables and their soaking liquid into the stewpot.

Spanish Rice

You can use dried veggies in Spanish rice. Here’s a recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried tomatoes
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes.

Pizza

Rehydrate your dried vegetables and use them as pizza toppings (drained and patted dry first).

Pork and Apples

Rehydrate dried apple rings by soaking in boiling water for about an hour. Then, brown boneless pork chops in a skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Place chops in baking dish, cover with rehydrated apple slices, and pour the apple soaking liquid around the pork chops. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes to an hour.

Dried Onions

Dried onions can be minced and sprinkled on rice, noodles, beans, and pretty much anything that needs an onion flavor. You don’t even have to rehydrate them first. Add a tablespoon or two to baked beans prior to baking, or sprinkle over a roast before you cook it.

Cranberry Sauce

You can make a nice cranberry sauce using dried cranberries. Try this recipe for 6 servings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 3 ounces dried cranberries
  • Half a cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 sweet apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

In a saucepan, simmer the cranberries in the juice, cinnamon, and sugar for 5 minutes. Stir in the apple pieces and continue to simmer, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Take about 1/2 a cup of the liquid from the saucepan and stir the cornstarch into it. Stir the cornstarch mixture back into the cranberries and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate. Goes well with turkey or pork roast!