How Sugar Could Make Chopping Sticky Ingredients Easier

Cutting or dicing up certain dried or candied fruits such as apricots, prunes, or orange peels can prove a daunting task, with the fruit often sticking to the knife, food processor, or to other separate fruit pieces. It may seem counterintuitive, but sugar offers up one simple solution to addressing this "sticky" situation.

First for Women explains that this vexing stickiness is caused by the sugars and juice in dried and candied fruits becoming "more concentrated and almost syrupy" as they dry out. While sugars may have contributed to creating this mess, sugar can clean it up, too.  

Adding just a pinch of granulated sugar over the fruits before chopping can make your life a whole lot easier, according to culinary writer and author Stacey Ballis, who shared her not-so-secret anymore baking tip with MyRecipe. Ballis compared it to sprinkling salt on garlic, which helps keep it from sticking to your knife.

A spoonful of sugar leads to a pound of cure

The sweetness and texture of dried and candied fruits are what lends to their stickiness, according to Ballis. Mixing in a tablespoon or two of plain white granulated sugar into a bowl with the fruit before chopping will actually prevent it from adhering to your knife like a nuisance piece of tape you just can't seem to peel off of your finger. It also keeps the fruit pieces themselves from clumping together in a gummy, not so yummy, ball.

Another suggestion is to add a little bit more sugar as needed as the dried fruit is sliced into ever smaller pieces, should it resume sticking together again. First for Women notes that the process of sprinkling in sugar works because it "acts as a barrier between the sticky flesh of the fruit and your knife."

It also serves as a delightful buffer between you and frustration. To save yourself some time and patience, remember this helpful trick the next time you're baking sweets or craving sliced dried fruits over yogurt or cereal.