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Organic Dried Fruit has been a staple in the diet of in the Mediterranean culture for thousands of years, as dried fruits were mentioned in Mesopotamian tablets dating back to 1800 BC. One of the earliest forms of food preservation began when grapes and figs would fall from vines and trees and dry in the scorching heat of the sun. Dates, figs, raisins, apricots, grapes and apples were some of the earliest fruits that were dried and valued for their intense sweetness and usefulness in recipes for breads and desserts. Today, California is the largest producer of the Organic Dried Fruit in the world. The San Joaquin Valley of California provides ideal growing conditions for Organic Dried Fruit due to its rich soil, terrain and climate.
Fruits are dried in different forms, such as whole, halved or sliced. Due to the fact that Organic Dried Fruit is dried at high temperatures, it retains a low moisture content and has natural antimicrobial components. The result is a long shelf life. In fact, there are no known instances of food born-illness stemming from Organic Dried Fruit.
To be Certified Organic by the USDA National Organic Program, the Organic Dried Fruit needs to be grown and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Crops must also be grown using production methods that replenish soil fertility. Furthermore, growers must keep organic and non-organic crops strictly separate, and provide detailed recordkeeping. A USDA certifying agency provides periodic inspections to verify conformity to uniform standards. The organic certification process includes inspection of farm and processing facilities, audits and soil and water tests. While sulfur dioxide is added to some dried fruits to protect their flavor and color by blocking reactions which may brown fruit, it has been shown to cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. Organic Dried Fruits contain only natural ingredients and have no artificial coloring and no sulfur dioxide or any other unnatural preservative. To be granted the USDA certified organic seal, Organic Dried Fruit must have 95% or more organic content.
Nutritional Benefits of Dried Fruits
Naturally low in fat, Organic Dried Fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber which promotes overall health. While the drying process removes some beneficial vitamin and mineral content, Organic Dried Fruit still offers many health benefits. Organic Dried Fruits are a convenient healthy snack that can be enjoyed any time during the day, and may be added to cereal, granola, oatmeal and are also delicious when added to salads, bread, muffins and desserts.
Organic Dried Fruit Types
Organic Dried Blueberries
Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse, high in antioxidants and Vitamins C and K, fiber and manganese. Blueberries have been shown to improve memory, preserve vision, may help boost your immune system and help to reduce belly fat.
Organic Dried Cherries
Known for their delicious sweet taste, cherries are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Cherries are rich in melatonin, which helps regulate sleep, Vitamins C and A, beta carotene, fiber, and anthocyanins, which help reduce pain and inflammation.
Organic Dried Cranberries
Sweet and tart, cranberries are rich in phytonutrients, which offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. Cranberries also contain Vitamin C, fiber and manganese, and have been shown to prevent urinary tract infections by blocking the ability of certain bacteria to latch onto the urinary tract lining.
Organic Dried Dates
Dates are a sweet fruit high in fiber which promotes healthy bowel functioning. Dates are also a good source of potassium, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, iron and magnesium. Dates are a good source of quick energy, may help lower cholesterol and regulate intestinal disturbances.
Organic Dried Figs
Since fresh figs are highly perishable, drying figs for consumption was discovered long ago. Figs offer many vitamins and minerals such as calcium, which helps build string bones, iron, which helps with respiration, potassium, which helps to control blood pressure, magnesium, known to help relieve fatigue, and fiber, which helps with digestion and weight loss.
Organic Dried Goji Berries
Goji Berries are considered one the most nutritionally dense fruits in the world. Goji Berries have the highest concentration of proteins of all fruits. Goji Berries are a good source of Vitamin C, iron, and fiber, contain over twenty trace minerals, and have been used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes and eye problems.
Organic Dried Mango
Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world. Mangoes contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to fight free radical damage. Mango provides vitamin A, helping to regulate the metabolism, vitamin B6, iron, calcium and phenols, which are known to fight cancer.
Organic Dried Papaya
Papayas are a good source of Vitamins C, A and E and are a rich source of carotenes, flavonoids, B-Vitamins and folate. Papayas offer protection against heart disease, offer anti-inflammatory benefits and promote digestive health.
Raisins are obtained by dehydrating grapes through the heat of the sun or mechanically through oven drying. Raisins are the most popular dried fruit, and are high in iron, which helps fight anemia, potassium, manganese and fiber, which helps relieve constipation.
Our line of USDA Certified Organic Dried Fruit includes cherries, mango, blueberries, mulberries, figs, dates, bananas, cranberries and more. From the everyday raisin to the exotic rambutan, almost all organic fruits lend themselves well to becoming Organic Dried Fruit. Our Organic Dried Fruit mixes are grown all over the world, all by growers who are certified to use only organic methods and techniques. Offering, as an example, five different gourmet varieties of Organic Dried Figs, igourmet has the most complete selection of gourmet Organic Dried Fruit. To find Organic Dried Fruit and the best gourmet foods and gift baskets online, begin your search at igourmet.com.