As we prepare to welcome a brand new year, many people have resolutions or goals to be healthier in 2018. One of the best ways to do that is to seek a more natural approach to a diet. Traina Foods all natural sun dried fruits are a great way to incorporate the sweet flavor that many people crave, but without the processed white sugar that is a detriment to any diet. Traina Foods offers some ideas for using dried fruit as a replacement for refined white sugars or artificial sweeteners in the New Year.
• For those considering a vegan lifestyle approach in 2018, dried fruits such as dates are an ideal replacement for honey or eggs, from which some devout vegans steer clear. Dates can be pulsed in a food processor to create a paste that can be used in place of honey for smoothies or granolas, or eggs in other baking recipes.
• Instead of adding a teaspoon of sugar to marinara sauce to cut the acidity, substitute a mild dried fruit, such as apricots or pears that has been rehydrated and pureed. The sweet yet subtle flavor adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” that will have family members and guests asking for seconds!
• Swap out “usual suspects” in the kids’ lunch boxes like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a portion of mixed dried fruit bits, peanuts (or other nuts such as almonds or cashews) and whole grain crackers. This deconstructed version of a classic “PB&J” is not only healthier, but it allows for more variety and creative license for the kids.
• When making preserves, dried fruit pieces really impact the end result. Because much of dried fruit’s water has been naturally removed, the essence of the fruit is concentrated — and maximizes the taste of homemade preserves. Store preserves in pretty jars, and enjoying them will feel like a real treat.
• Many people use applesauce as a replacement for oil or eggs in baking recipes, but figs are also a great substitute, with a subtle smoky flavor. They can be soaked in water to reconstitute them, then pureed and used much like applesauce — omitting unwanted sugar and fat from baking recipes.
Traina Foods California sun dried fruits can be used in endless ways. The Traina family invites home cooks and chefs like to experiment with all the ways that dried fruit can take any dish to the next level! For products and recipe inspiration, visit www.trainafoods.com.