Dried figs, dates, raisins, prunes… besides the taste, you have an important reason to include these ingredients in your diet: they are rich in fiber and with more nutrients than fresh fruit, dried fruits are an undoubted source of health.
These are their nutritional qualities:
1. Natural Laxative
Dried fruits contain six times more fiber than fresh fruits (about 15 grams of fiber per hundred grams), promoting intestinal transit and preventing constipation, especially dried figs.
2. Energy Capsules
Its sugar ensures a valuable calorie intake, ideal to fight fatigue and increase optimism. Athletes, children and pregnant women find their perfect partner in dried fruits. Are you on a diet? A handful is not necessarily an obstacle to achieve your goal, because although containing many calories, they are low in fat. A handful (25 grams) of prunes has about 40 kcal; dried figs, 62 kcal; dates, 75 Kcal, and raisins, 80 kcal.
3. Very nutritious
Dried fruits provide a lot of minerals and vitamins and your body will thank you for including them in your diet. With vitamins like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin B1, B2 and B3; will help strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce fatigue and enhance your wellbeing. What you probably did not know is that its nutritional value is much higher – even five times – than in fresh fruit. Why? When fresh fruit dries, water goes away and nutrients are concentrated; it’s as easy as that.
4. Great for heart and bones
Its high content of potassium helps remove the excess fluid and sodium, and it’s also good for muscles, so it’s especially notable in its contribution to our cardiovascular health. Also for bone health, as some studies are even investigating the functional value of the plum in postmenopausal women with increased risk of osteoporosis. Dried figs are also known for their high calcium content.
5. Antioxidant Power
Polyphenols, carotenoids and vitamins A and E of dry fruits act effectively against the aging of our skin and body. There is no better wrinkle treatment than eating natural antioxidants.
6. Labor & Delivery Aid
Every pregnant woman wonders what they can do to make the delivery of their sweet bundle of joy more quick and comfortable. Look no further than dates! Yes-dates! Evidence shows that dates have an oxytocin-like effect on the body leading to increased uterine sensitivity. Studies show that women who ate 6 dates a day for 4 weeks leading up to their due date were significantly more dilated and more likely to: go into labor spontaneously, avoid use of Pitocin, have a shorter first phase of labor, and many other desirable effects. Learn more about this here.
Now that you know just how much dried fruit can contribute to your overall health, we’re sharing some of our favorite recipes that with help you include more of it in your diet.
No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Bars Recipe from Chef Yvonne Ruperti at Serious Eats
2 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) raisins
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) rolled oats
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) sunflower seeds
- Line 8- by 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Toss raisins, oats, walnuts, coconut, salt, and vanilla in large bowl to combine. Place mixture in food processor (if too small to fit entire batch, do in 1/2 batches) and process just until mixture forms large clumps.
- Transfer mixture back to large bowl, add sunflower seeds, and press with hands to form one large mass. Firmly press into pan and let sit until set, about an hour. Remove from pan and cut into bars.
Plum and Brie Stuffed Chicken from the kitchen of Sunsweet
2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of Diced Prunes
4 medium-size boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 oz brie cheese, cut into 4 equal slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup plum jam or preserves
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
snipped fresh basil
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet.
- Add shallots and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until very soft, stirring frequently.
- Add prunes and cook for 5 minutes.
- Make a horizontal slit in each chicken breast to form a large pocket.
- Place equal amounts of onion mixture and a piece of cheese inside each breast and secure with toothpicks; season with salt and pepper.
- Brown chicken in remaining butter on both sides.
- Tent with foil and cook for 10 minutes over low heat, turning once or twice. Stir together preserves and vinegar and pour over chicken.
- Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. Remove toothpicks and top with snipped fresh basil.
At Weaver Nut Sweets & Snacks, you’ll find a wide variety of healthy, delicious snacks that will please your palate, plus you can buy your dried fruits online with a few clicks! Get your dried fruits today and try out a new recipe or an all-time favorite with the delicious fruits that we have to offer.