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Bare Fruit: The Next Best Thing to Fresh Fruit

10 Apr

Bare Fruit: The Next Best Thing to Fresh Fruit

It’s better to eat your fruit than to drink it. And it’s usually better to eat fresh fruit than canned or dried fruit.

But Bare Fruit Crunchy Apple Chips throws this recommendation on its head…because these dried fruit chips are actually as good for you as real, whole apples.

Whereas most apple chips (and most dried fruit in fact) include a ton of added sugar – these guys are just what they say: bare fruit.

You may have seen the Bare Fruit Crunchy Fuji Red Apple Chips recently at Costco. At first glance, I thought $7 for a bag of dried fruit and sugar?

But upon closer inspection, these snacks are the real deal. The ingredient list is incredibly clean. And short: Organic Fuji Apples.

As always, the proof is in the nutrition facts panel – a 1/2 cup serving of chips has 90 calories and 4 grams of dietary fiber.

Surprise: that’s EXACTLY what a medium-sized apple has.

The Bare Fruit Apple Chips are crunchy, tasty, and give you the satisfaction of a snack chip, with the real fiber of a fresh fruit.

So next time you need a convenient, fresh snack on the go, I say grab some Bare Fruit Apple Chips. You can find them at your local retailer, or check out the Bare Store Finder online here.

La Tour Whole Grain Puffs

1 Apr

La Tour Whole Grain Puffs

If you find yourself hungry in the Hawaiian Isles, check out La Tour Bakehouse, an artisan bakery located in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown.

While owner Thanh Lam and his crew churn out some amazing French bread, they have also expanded into packaged snacks, including a line of Whole Grain Puffs.

I recently had a chance to sample the honey glazed sunflower, flax, and sesame flavor puffs, which are available at Oahu farmer’s markets and retail outlets like Longs, Foodland, and Safeway.

These whole grain puffs pack a flavor punch! They’re light and crunchy, and slightly sweet. The texture is similar to a puffed cereal, but the seeds and grains add a heartier taste.

A one ounce serving has 120 calories, 6 grams fat and 3 grams dietary fiber. These are a great, high fiber addition to any afternoon snack, whether you can be at the beach or not!

 

Dole Pineapple Plantation

31 Mar

Dole Pineapple Plantation

The Fiber Blog is on Spring Break in Hawaii this week, and yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa on Oahu.

Now I knew pineapples were a fiber friendly fruit, but I didn’t know just how prolific the Hawaii operation really was to global pineapple distribution.

At the ripe old age of 21, James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1,500 and a Harvard degree in agriculture. He bought 61 acres of land and experimented with various crops, growing increasingly frustrated with the unforgiving nature of the harsh red dirt of the Hawaiian Islands. Eventually though, he struck gold with pineapple.

Dole revolutionized pineapple distribution through his company’s proliferation of canned pineapple. The iconic American recipe for pineapple upside down cake was the product of a canned pineapple recipe contest sponsored by Dole in 1925, drawing over 60,000 entrants. He purchased the island of Lana’i in 1922, and for over 70 years, Lana’i provided more than 75% of the world’s pineapples.

From a nutritional standpoint, pineapple is pure platinum: 1 cup of pineapple chunks has 80 calories, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber and more than 100% of your daily value for vitamin C.

Even if you don’t have fresh pineapple readily available in your neck of the woods, don’t forget about canned pineapple – making sure to pick up the type that is packed in its own juice, as opposed to sugary syrups.

What’s the Story with Sprouted Grains?

11 Mar

What’s the Story with Sprouted Grains?

March is National Nutrition Month…where Super Foods take the stage.

And this year, it seems, sprouted grains are all the rage.

But what exactly is a sprouted grain? And why are they considered more healthful than traditional grains?

Shoots & Sprouts

Sprouting the seed of grains, nuts, and beans, can help unlock valuable nutrition. When the sprout takes shape, it deactivates certain enzymes that block nutrient absorption. Reducing these “anti-nutrients” (compounds like phytates and lectins) helps make more micronutrients and fiber available.

Other nutritional benefits of sprouted grains include:

  • Increased micronutrients such as B vitamins including folate, and vitamin C, plus fiber, and essential fatty acids
  • Improved digestibility – some people find sprouted grain easier to tolerate if traditional grains cause bloating or GI discomfort
  • Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic for those who have certain grain-based sensitivities
  • Higher content of certain antioxidants than non-sprouted grains

To learn more about sprouted whole grain nutrition, check out this article from the Whole Grains Council.

How to Sprout

If you’re looking to get more sprouted grains in your diet, here’s some tips:

At Home

You can sprout grains at home easily with some mason jars, water, and a few days’ worth of patience. Here is a great article from Vegetarian Times about sprouting and estimated soaking and sprouting times.

In Snacks

Way Better Snacks has an array of sprouted grains snack foods that include unique ingredients such as sprouted quinoa, and broccoli and daikon radish seeds.

Thanks to samples provided by Way Better, I recently sampled their Simply Sunny Multi-Grain Tortilla Chips. Not only are these chips packed full of flavor, they are GMO-free, gluten free and contain an impressive 3 grams of fiber per serving. If you’re looking for a convenient way to get your sprouted grains, Way Better is the way to go!

Bake With Sprouted Flour

Sprouted grain flour can be purchased or made from your own sprouted grains. Whole Foods Market carries a number of sprouted whole grain flours, and most can be substituted one-to-one for all-purpose flour in recipes.

If you’re not a baker but like bread, try out some of the commercially available sprouted grain bagels, whole grain breads, and tortillas available at certain health food stores. Look for sprouted grain bread products in the refrigerated aisle.

Safety First

Incorporating sprouted grains into your diet can enhance health and expand your whole grain horizons; however, raw sprouts and raw sprouted grains should be avoided by high risk populations such as pregnant women, infants, and people with compromised immune systems. To learn more about sprouts & sprouted grain food safety, click here.

And for a little more sprouted grain love – check out my segment on the topic from yesterday here.

Sorghum with a Twist of Salt

11 Feb

Sorghum with a Twist of Salt

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing more sorghum.

Despite being the fifth most popular cereal grain in the world (according to the Whole Grains Council), most people don’t consider sorghum a go-to whole grain.

But a new line of chips from Popcorners is working on that.

Popcorners’ Popped Whole Grain Chips are made from popped whole grain sorghum, a pretty innovative turn for the chip aisle.

With 110 calories in a 1 oz serving, these popped whole grains have 3.5 g total fat, 2 g dietary fiber, and 3 g protein.

Sorghum is a gluten free grain, and these chips are not only gluten free but also GMO free.

I recently sampled the Twisted Salt flavor. The ingredient list is simple: whole grain sorghum, sunflower oil, and tropical seasoning (salt, onion powder, garlic powder and spices).

While the nutritionals and ingredient list are impressive for a chip, the flavor is a bit off. The garlic and onion powders are overwhelming, leaving what can best be described as a musty aftertaste.

So while these chips need some work when it comes to flavor, it is at least refreshing to see some sorghum getting shelf space.