You may have noticed, or at least heard, it's winter. Along with the cold, winter dries everything up from leaves to our skin. Even though it's out of season, there are a variety of fruits available this time of year. I'm not talking about the "fresh" ones imported from across the globe either. There is more to wintertime than eating only citrus, apples and pears, not that any of these foods aren't delicious, but now and then I crave a berry or a peach or an apricot. What to do? What to do? Eat dried fruit of course!
Dried fruit is nutritious and delicious. According to the European Food Information Council (and the folks at, https://www.livestrong.com) dried fruits, "contain high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium."
I often blog about ways to consume foods for better health. Foods like ginger for settling a stomach and/or increasing energy and today's post is no different. You may not realize that consuming dried fruits can also improve your skin and/or your joint health. Frankly, Dear Readers, who doesn't want that? So, what are some of the better dried fruits to consume?
Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, and figs are rich in the vitamins mentioned above plus they are high in fiber. Dried tart cherries can help with joint pain because they decrease inflammation and even promote heart health. Dried tart cherries are high in antioxidants (the reason they help with inflammation) and are packed with nutrients. Blah, blah, blah... The main reason I snack on dried fruits is because they are delicious, lets be honest. Try adding some to your morning Greek yogurt along with a (small) handful of nuts for a filling and tasty start to your day. Try them dipped in dark chocolate for a yummy treat. Pack them in your bag if you're traveling for an easy (and clean) snack. Use them in a homemade trail mix along with unsalted, toasted nuts, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate chips. Pack a few in your child's lunchbox. Get the picture?
If you're wondering whether or not dried fruits may cause, to put it delicately, bloating in the tummy... yes, they can. I'm not encouraging you to eat truck loads of dried fruit at a time unless of course you're into gas. (Remember, there is no judging here at Mary's Kitchen.) This side effect could come in useful if you don't like your office mate(s) or if you're traveling and you don't like your seat mate. I'm just saying...