The $11 per container is a hefty sum, even if the produce is organic and picked at optimal ripeness. However, for the special occasion party, I think these crisps would be a great addition to a charcuterie platter. You can find the crisps at Whole Foods or order them online at Dean and Deluca.
When fresh fruit isn't available, dried fruit is a great option. Since it doesn't spoil as quickly, it's great for packing in your purse, desk drawer, or gym bag, and can be added to so many dishes including salads, yogurt, oatmeal, and baked goods. There's also a huge variety to choose from, and since it's made from fresh produce, it's packed with lots of vitamins and fiber.
Beware though — dried fruit is calorie dense, so it's important to watch portion sizes and resist mindlessly snacking on handful after handful. Check out the breakdown below to see how your favorites compare.
|1/4 cup serving||Calories||Carbs (g)||Fiber (g)||Sugars (g)||Protein (g)||Calcium (mg)||Potassium (mg)|
Don't see your favorite dried fruit? Keep reading to find out the calories in figs and raisins.
Besides freezing fruit and making smoothies, another way to use up all that farmers market bounty in your kitchen is to dry it. Dried fruit is a great healthy snack that's easy to tote around, and it also doubles well as a salad topping, cocktail garnish, or trail mix ingredient. Drying your own fruit is easy though a bit time consuming, but it's totally worth it! Say goodbye to high prices, added sugar, and sulfur, and hello to an all-natural fruity goodness that's sure to make Martha Stewart weep from joy, or whip around a stripper pole in total glee.
See the recipe when you read more
They say you can't really compare apples and oranges, but what about grapes and raisins? I have often wondered how the dried version compares with its juicy source.
When a fruit is dried, many of the nutrients become concentrated. According to the Berkeley Wellness Newsletter, ounce for ounce, raisins have almost three times the antioxidants as their grape counterparts. However, the amount of sugar is concentrated as well. Ounce for ounce, raisins also contain considerably more calories. A half-cup of raisins contains 246 calories and the same amount of grapes contains only 31 calories. But once the portions of each are appropriately sized, as in the chart below, raisins and grapes hardly differ.
|Raisins 1 ounce||Grapes 1 cup|
|Fiber||1 g||1 g|
|Sugars||17 g||15 g|
|Potassium||6 %||5 %|
|Vitamin C||.6 mg||3.6 mg|
|Iron||.5 mg||.3 mg|
I think it comes down to preference and season. I love grapes and eat them all Summer long, and in the Winter months add raisins to my oatmeal. What about you?
Driving home from a climbing trip this weekend, I found myself in an all-too-common dilemma — "How do I stay healthy while road tripping?" Skipping the fast food mainstays, I ventured into 7-11, hoping to find something to snack on until I got home. Situated next to the gummy snacks were a few bags of Sensible Foods Crunch Dried Snacks ($2). With a label that read, "100 percent organic, all natural, fat free, and no added sugar crunchy fruit snacks," I was feeling optimistic.
Guess what? For once the label was telling the truth. I bought the "Cherry Berry" mix, a blend of dried cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and apples. Unlike most dried fruit snacks, all the moisture in the Sensible Foods fruit snacks has been removed, making the finished product super crunchy. I was surprised at how flavorful the fruit tasted, and specifically, that each fruit held onto its unique flavor. The crunchiness totally satisfied the chip lover in me and it was a nice departure from how chewy and tough dried fruit can often taste. I think Sensible Foods fruit snacks would taste great tossed into yogurt or a salad, and would also satisfy a candy craving.
As for the health factor, it comes pretty close to the real thing. Because the fruits are dried at the peak of ripeness, all the nutritional content remains intact. There's no added sugar either — in fact, the ingredient list is pretty simple: "100 percent fruit." Each bag qualifies as one serving of fruit and is only about 80 calories. I'm definitely stoked on them and can't wait to try a few of the other mixes, like the tropical or orchard blend. If you're more of a savory snacker, the brand also has corn and soy nut snack bags.
After researching sulfured vs. unsulfured dried fruits, I realized that it's healthier to go for the ones without the sulfur dioxide. If you have a hard time finding dried fruit made without this chemical preservative, check out Peeled Snacks.
This company sent me a whole array of its dried fruit snack packs to try and I was pleased to see that most of them are unsulfered and organic, and all of them are completely sugar-free. To see how they taste and get a closer look, read more
Only a couple weeks ago, Party made a delicious black bean quinoa, and ever since then I've had a hankering for quinoa salad. Recently, I found red quinoa which is very similar to regular quinoa, but with a stunning color.
This uncomplicated recipe combines quinoa, avocado, dried fruit, and nuts dressed in a tart lemon vinaigrette. I didn't have raisins on hand, so I used cranberries and they proved to be a perfect substitute.
This protein-packed dish is a great side or an easy lunch. The salad is nutty, fruity, creamy, and full of satisfying texture. If you want to experiment with quinoa, keep reading for the recipe.
I like to keep my pantry stocked full of things — olive tapenade, cheese, crackers, and dried fruits — for an impromptu party. The other day I noticed it was sparse, so I headed off to Trader Joe's. While there, I found these dried sweetened hibiscus flowers and decided to take home a package.
I've had hibiscus cooler, but I had never actually eaten dried hibiscus flowers. Although I was a bit weirded out — the petals shriveled up into long fingerlike prongs — I was curious to try them. Surprisingly, and I'm sure this has to do with the fact that they're sweetened, they were delicious! With a sweet yet tart flavor, they're like a chewier version of dried cranberries.
Great for snacking, they would also be an excellent addition to salads or baked goods. I stirred some into a pitcher of sparkling lemonade, and it made for a super BBQ hit. Folks were intrigued by the look, the flavor melded with the lemonade well, and the flowers tinted the liquid a pretty color.
What do you think? Is this something you would try?