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Practical guide. Fruits
Dates
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Introduction
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Dates
INTRODUCTION
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The dried fruits not only prolong the summer flavor but they provide a different sweetness to us. The drying or dehydration to which some fresh fruits are submitted is an operation destined to reduce to the maximum the water content in the constitution of the fruit, in order to paralyze the action of the gérmenes who need moisture to live. To achieve this intention, one resorts to the natural heat (exhibition to the sun) or to the artificial one (combustion of firewood or of coal, gas or electricity).




The different types of drying are:

Natural drying to the sun. The fruits allow to dry off outdoors, by what this process can only be carried out in the regions much favored by the climate. This procedure gives excellent results and preserves all the flavor and the qualities of the fruit.

Drying for artificial heat. Both the stove and the microwave guarantee good results, because it allows to regulate the evaporation of a progressive way. It is begun to a low temperature, from 45 to 50 grades, which 70 is raising progressively up to 65 ó, according to the class of treated fruit. With the artificial drying the operation ends in 8 ó 10 hours; in the microwave, according to the fruit, from 30 minutes until 1 hour, while outdoors it is necessary to count with 6 or 8 days or more.

ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The dried fruits as the dried apricots of apricot, of peach, the plums, the grapes you happen and the dried figs, they were part, already in the Middle Age, of the traditional kitchen of numerous countries. In the Europe of that epoch veal cakes were tasted with plums and dates, the pickled fish was accompanied with pasas and figs and the ducks with fruits. The big pies were containing a miscellany of ox, chicken, eggs, dates, plums and you happen, generously especiados and heightened with saffron. In Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the countries of the north of Africa keeps on being traditional the lamb with plums, apricots, almonds, honey and spices, and the chicken is still cooked by plums, quinces, dates or you happen.


The date is not a dried fruit, although the consistency and the aspect can remember this one, but he shares nourishing similarity with the dried fruits. It is the fruit of the palm tree date palm, of approximately 4-8 centimeters long and golden yellow color when it is mature. His meat, brandish and of sweet flavor, it contains a bone lengthened in his interior. This fruit does not surrender to a drying process, but it dries off to the sun in the same tree and later it is gathered. The dates are native to Middle East and to the north of Africa, and given his big variety they qualify in soft, semidry and dry dates. Between most commercialized there is the Tunisian date Deglet Noor, "date of the light", of smooth and brilliant skin, considered to be the best of all. and the date Medjool, of wrinkled skin and texture similar to that of a caramel toffee. The dry dates are commercialized in different presentations; concentrated, soft, hard, black, red and black and yellow gilded, that come both from Middle East and from California, although those of Elche (Alicante) are of an excellent quality. Time behind they were packed in bunches, as they were gathered, but at present they are inserted between plastic plates, although the first layer still supports his original presentation.


HOW TO CHOOSE THEM AND TO PRESERVE THEM


At the time of acquiring the dried fruits attention has to be paid to that his aspect and his color are uniform and do not present too many wrinkles. Some dried fruits, like the plum and the grapes, they can be acquired entire, boned or without pips, in what, before buying them, it is of interest to know the use that it is gone to give them to realize the correct election.


To achieve a perfect conservation and to prevent from drying up in excess, it is necessary to keep the fruits dessicated in well closed bottles of crystal and in a fresh place, dry and protected from the light and from the insects. This way they are supported for months. They must not survive in plastic bags, since they would end up by becoming moldy.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 227,1
Carbohydrates (g) 57,1
Proteins (g) 2,8
Fibre (g) 6
Potassium (mg) 590
I shoe (mg) 1,1
Magnesium (mg) 46
Calcium (mg) 52
Vitamin C (mg) Tr
Niacina (mg) 1,8
Provitamina A (mcg) 5,7
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


During the drying of the fresh fruit, his content in water diminishes, what gives place to the concentration of the nutrients. The caloric value of the dried fruits is raised (from 163 calories every 100 grams of the prunes you go on to 264 calories of the grapes) by his plenty in simple carbohydrates.


There are an excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron and of provitamina A (beta - caroteno) and niacina or B3. The vitamin C, in major quantity in the fresh fruit it gets lost during the dried one. There constitute an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibre, what awards his healthy properties to improve the intestinal transit. The use of the calcium of this food is worse than the one that comes from the milk or other food that are a good source of the above mentioned mineral.


The potassium is necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse, for the normal muscular activity and it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell. The beta - caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system, in addition to having antirust properties. The magnesium is related to the functioning of intestine, nerves and muscles, is part of bones and teeth, improves the immunity and possesses a soft laxative effect. The vitamin B3 or niacina it intervenes in different phases of the metabolism and use of the carbohydrates, greasy acids and amino acids between other substances.




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