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July 2015

Since at least the fourth millennium BC, almost certainly much longer, dried fruit has been appreciated for its long-term storability, concentrated sweet deliciousness, high nutritional value, high energy value, and easy portability.

Dehydration / drying is the easiest and earliest method of preserving food. Removing most of the water from food is an almost universal way to prevent both spoilage and infestation. Just the sun and breezes were used first, and this remains common today. Wood fires, which gave rise to a food preserving method called smoking, have also been used continually. Modern, food type specific, dehydrators using fossil fuel are a recent development.

Drying fruit shrinks it to about a quarter of its original size and concentrates flavor and sweetness. Almost all vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients of the fresh fruit are retained in the dried fruit. The main factor that can reduce vitamin and phytonutrient content is too much heat. Dried fruit's taste and nutritional content is determined by the choice of the fruit that is dried. Eden Foods is very fussy in sourcing fruit, and we are fortunate to have the excellent suppliers whose fruit we enjoy.

The earliest documents about, and recipes for, dried fruit were found in Mesopotamia as clay tablets dating to about 1700 BC. Most of the 300 recipes on the tablets show dried fruit being used in bread, pastries, spiced cakes, and with cooked grains and beans. Ancient Roman housekeepers were always instructed to keep stores of dried fruit on hand. Dried fruit was common throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East where abundant fruit and sunshine produced the valued food and trade item.

Native Americans dried blueberries, cranberries, grapes, and other fruits that were important as food and for trade. Dried fruit was used in most of their cooking whenever they had it. It was added to soups, stews, deserts, and was used in curing recipes for the meat and fish they dried.

Dried fruit's popularity and value in commerce has remained pretty constant around the world. Today, regrettably, commercial dried fruit is dosed with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, anti-clumping chemicals, sulfites, preservatives, artificial color, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ chemical flavors, and other undeclared toxic processing aids. This type of adulteration began with refined sugar because the taste of fruit declined steadily from the use of agricultural chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides, as did the nutritional values. Great tasting, unadulterated, and intelligently dried fruit such as EDEN is a much tastier and more rewarding choice.

Pure and Purifying

EDEN dried fruit is pure and purifying fruit with no refined sugar, refined oil, sulfites, or other chemical additives whatsoever.

Wild, organic lowbush EDEN Dried Blueberries and organic Dried Cranberries are Canadian family hand harvested, infused with organic apple juice concentrate, and slow dried before a light mist of organic sunflower oil to prevent clumping. Montmorency Tart Dried Cherries, a.k.a. the ‘healing cherry,’ are Michigan transitional-to-organic infused with organic apple juice concentrate, slow dried, and misted with organic safflower oil. These three varieties are available in 1 ounce Pocket Snacks™, 4 ounce recloseable pouches, 1lb bags (online and Eden Store only), and in bulk boxes.

EDEN Dried Apples Slices and Dried Apricots

Two dried fruits, apples and apricots, are only available through the website at edenfoods.com, by phone order, or at our small shop in Clinton, Michigan. They are California family orchard organic and slowly dried. Their color is darker and their texture a bit firmer than commercial versions prepared with sulfites, softening agents, and/or preservatives. Their flavor and nutrient values are superlative.

Energizing Snacks or Wonderful Food

EDEN Dried Fruits are simply the best there is. Today dried fruit is mostly eaten as a snack, but there is no need for their use to be so limited or narrowly defined. They are delightful, energizing, nourishing, and wonderfully versatile food. Naturally sweet/tart, they add pleasing flavor and texture to salads, grains, beans, stuffing, cereal, desserts, pastries, breads, and a wide variety of cuisines. For many free recipes visit edenfoods.com/recipes.

EDEN Dried Fruits are Gluten Free and kosher pareve.