Dried fruit/Christmas cake
What is dried fruit?
A wide range of dried fruit is used in a Christmas cake, but the most common dried fruits used are raisins, currants and sultanas. These are all dried grapes. Raisins are any dried white grapes, currants are dried Black Corinth grapes and sultanas are dried white seedless grapes. Although we can grow grapes in glasshouses in Scotland, to get a good crop, sunshine is needed, so dried fruit is imported. If you make your own Christmas cake, you can opt for for Fairtrade chocolate to make a very indulgent mixture.
What to look for
There are a few Fairtrade producers growing the grapes for raisins and sultanas so look out for the Fairtrade logo. You can also buy organic dried fruit – which means it’s been grown with minimal use of artificial chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides.
Is dried fruit good for us?
Dried fruit is high in sugar, as drying removes the water and concentrates the sugar, however it does provide a source of fibre. One heaped tablespoon of dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or sultanas counts as one of your five a day (you only need 30g of dried fruit because the portion size is based on the weight of the fresh fruit). Bear in mind however, that Christmas cake also contains sugar so keep your slices small.
Making the most of your dried fruit
Drying fruit prolongs its shelf life and ensures it is available year round. Fruit is usually sun dried, so the energy used comes from the sun. Dried fruit keeps for a while provided it is stored well. You can also add it to breakfast cereals like porridge. If you have any Christmas pudding/cake left over, you can make your own
We’re talking Christmas pud here in Glow!