5 Ways To Increase Dried Fruit In Your Diet - Whitworths

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5 Ways To Increase Dried Fruit In Your Diet

Five-a-day has always been something that we have been told we must follow and maintain to stay healthy. However, with our busy lifestyles, it can be hard to work out when and how to fit these in. Fresh fruit can easily get bruised when it’s chucked into your work bag in the morning, veggies can take a lot of prep work, and fresh product can go off quickly in the fridge. However, did you know that 30g of dried fruit counts as 1 of your 5 a day portions!? Dried fruit is notoriously known for baking, but also is becoming increasingly popular to snack on throughout the day. Easy, robust, intensely flavoursome and convenient, dried fruit is the perfect way of adding not only fibre, but a 5 a day portion to your daily tick list! Not only an on the go snack, dried fruit can be used in loads of different applications throughout your day, making 5 a day a more easily accessible health option. Here are 5 ways that you can add dried fruit to your everyday:

1. Top your favourite breakfast dishes

Dried fruit are heavily used in breakfast dishes these days– from being twisted into a pain au raisin, to being mixed into a crunchy granola to top your yoghurt. Raisins and apricots are a different way of adding sweetness into your first meal of the day, without any added or processed sugar! So next time you pour your cereal out, try tumbling some sweet juicy raisins through – perfect!

2. Stir through your porridge or baked oats

Keeping with the breakfast theme, porridge or baked oats are a really easy base to boost your intake. Porridge is a pretty bland product made up of milk and oats and traditionally you would sweeten it through the addition of sugar or syrup. Rather than this, swap the processed sugared for chopped dates, or sultanas. If baked, these will release their natural sweetness throughout your porridge, and if added on top, they can give an incredible burst of flavour in every mouthful!

3. Add chopped dates or prunes to your savoury and sweet dishes 

When making a curry or tomato sauce, adding a teaspoon of sugar helps balance the acidity. When making a cake, sugar is an inherent part of the process. Sugar is a vital ingredient traditionally in many things we make everyday. But all it is required for is sweetness. Dates and prunes, naturally, are incredibly sweet. If you add 100g of dates to 2-4 tbsp boiling water, the fruit softens to a paste. This can then be used as a replacement for sugar. Add a tbsp into your curry dish, swap out sugar with the paste in a sponge cake. The paste creates a toffee, sweet, malty note to a dish which is perfect for both sweet and savoury numbers! It’s a must try!

4. Tumble through your grains and pulses

A traditional addition to a side or salad in the middle east or north Africa is to add dried fruit. Sultanas and chopped apricots add texture, fibre and flavour to the perfect Moroccan couscous. Plump, juicy raisins can be stirred through a spicy pilaf rice to balance and add a hint of sweetness to the warming spice hit. Dried fruit is a clean and easy method of adding textures and flavours to a meal to bring It to life, something that you can’t necessarily get from any other ingredients!

5. Stir mixed fruit into dark chocolate and set for a tasty go to treat

Because sometimes we all need a treat! But why can’t we also get some fibre and 5 a day goodness from those treats? Melt some dark chocolate and mix through your favourite dried fruit – chopped dates, chopped apricots, sultanas or raisins – or all of them! Allow it to set in the fridge in a bar or on a baking tray and then enjoy pieces as a go to quick treat! Dark chocolate is great for iron intake and you are also supporting 5 a day and fibre! Perfect really!! Ultimately, if you are looking to mix-up your day to day meals and snacks, and want to make your eating habits more nutritious then dried fruit is a fantastic option. To find out more about this, and other interesting topics stay tuned with our blog, and don’t forget to keep an eye on our recipe pages for an existing mix of both sweet and savoury meal idea. Lastly, if you need any dried fruit, buts or seeds delivered to your door, check out our online shop to get your dried fruit fix.