15 Ways to Use Dried Fruit in Your Kitchen

Using dried fruit is not only delicious, but can also help you reduce food waste

Arabella Breck
Published in
3 min readJun 12, 2020

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Photo: congerdesign via Pixnio/CC0

There’s more to the world of dried fruit than those little boxes of raisins from elementary school lunches. Currently in my kitchen, I have stashes of dried mangos, cranberries, apples, and dates, but there are so many other kinds of delicious fruits to explore like dried mandarin oranges, banana chips, and dried papaya spears.

It is estimated that 80% of food waste comes from perishable foods, which includes fruits and vegetables, and while you do not want to hold onto a bag of dried apples for years, it is definitely going to last longer than fresh fruit and can help you waste less produce. You can also dry your own fruit at home — even without a dehydrator — so that you do not let extra produce end up in the trash.

Historically, dried fruits were always dried in the sun, but now many different methods are used and you can find candied fruit, dehydrated fruit, and freeze-dried fruit right alongside the traditional dried fruit at the grocery store. These different shelf-stable fruit options provide even more creative ways you can incorporate dried fruit into your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts.

  1. Cranberry orange scones are often made with fresh or frozen cranberries, but in this recipe dried cranberries take center stage.
  2. Trail mix is a great way to use different kinds of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and of course chocolate chips.
  3. No-bake cookies are an easy snack that only require a few basic, shelf-stable ingredients.
  4. Samin Nostrat’s recipe for jeweled rice is a labor of love, but completely worth it.
  5. If you’ve been able to get your hands on some yeast, cinnamon raisin bread is a worthy use of that precious commodity.
  6. This apple cake recipe uses dried apples and applesauce in lieu of fresh apples and still achieves a rich, delicious flavor.
  7. A simple kale salad is elevated with the use of dried fruit.
  8. These decadent truffles are made using a vegan salted caramel that is actually made from dates.
  9. Any bowl of oatmeal or vegan…

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Arabella Breck
Tenderly

queer writer + editor from the southwest, living in the midwest.