3 Reasons To Eat More Cranberries (You’ll Be Surprised)Written by Kelsey Blackwell | Monday, December 19th, 2016

Sure, cranberries are good, especially when they’re not gelatinized into a formidable side dish, but do you know exactly how good? Recent research suggests that the humble cranberry could pack more of a punch than you know. This holiday favorite may offer a host of unexpected benefits beyond its already impressive nutritional profile. Here are a few reasons why we love delicious, organic cranberries.
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Cranberries fight bacterial infections.

This may not come as news since cranberry pills and juice are commonly used to treat the bacterial infection that leads to uncomfortable urinary tract infections. Now scientists are discovering that the berry’s bacterial-fighting powers could be beneficial for treating other types of bacterial infections (think, strep throat, food poisoning caused by e. coli and meningitis). The phytochemicals in cranberries disrupt pathogens’ ability to move about the body and adhere to other cells.

Cranberries can protect your pearly whites.

Proanthocyanidine, a compound found naturally in cranberries, is shown to prevent plaque. This is the sticky substance that naturally collects on teeth, traps acid and leads to tooth decay and gingivitis. Proanthocyanidine is so beneficial for dental health that doctors are currently working on a mouthwash featuring the compound. Consider adding 100 percent cranberry juice to your diet to reduce plaque by up to 50 percent.

Cranberries contribute to gut health.

If you’re not familiar with the gut microbiome, it may be time to get better acquainted. This mini-ecosystem in the body is made up of thousands of microbes, which play a big role in regulating the health of the immune system and brain. These microbes also help the body balance energy and use carbohydrates and fat. Research shows that cranberries may support microbiome health by strengthening gut defense systems and protecting against infection – meaning they can help keep many important systems running smoothly. That’s big!

To get the most out of your fruit, avoid cranberry products that contain high-fructose corn syrup or unhealthy sweeteners.  Made In Nature Organic Cranberries are moist, sweet and free of refined sugars. We add just a touch of apple juice concentrate so you can snack in confidence.

If you need suggestions for cranberry snacking beyond grabbing handfuls from the bag, here are our favorite recipes.

Cranberry Mole
Granola with Cranberries and Raisins
Dried Apple Cranberry Conserve
Dried Cranberry & Apricot Braised Lamb Chops
Cranberry, Oatmeal & White Chocolate Cookies

Amazing Snacks On The Go – Fruit Bar RecipeWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

You’ll Love These 3-Ingredient Dried Apple Energy Bars

Like many a health-minded foodie, I love fruit bars. Lärabar is probably one of my favorite brands, but you know what kind of fruit bars I love even more? My own homemade organic dried apple fruit bars.

If you need a quick snack for your workday commute, or just want to avoid midday hanger, give these guys a try. Oh, and before I forget… you’ll only need three ingredients! Mind = blown.

Ingredients

1 cup nuts (use mixed nuts, almonds, cashews, or any other nut you enjoy)
1 cup Made In Nature Organic Dried Apples
1 cup Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates

Organic Dried Apples from Made in Nature

Directions

Whip out your food processor and toss in the nuts, dried apples, and dates. Pulse a few times to break everything up and separate the dates by hand if they start to get clumpy. Then, you want to process the mixture until a ball is formed. This should take a minute or two and you may want to scrape the sides of your food processor to make sure nothing is sticking to the sides and blade.
Put some wax paper on your countertop and then plop your ball down. Press the mixture into a thick square, making it as thick as you ultimately want your bars to be. Wrap that lovely square up in the wax paper and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, unwrap your square and place it on a cutting board. I usually cut mine into 8 – 12 bars depending on how large I want my fruit bars to be.

… And that’s it! Your bars can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks at a time. If you’re anything like me, there’s no way they’ll last that long. I think they’re best right out of the fridge, but I also like wrapping them up to go. They’ll get a bit soft eventually, but it doesn’t impact the amazing taste.

Do you enjoy making your own homemade energy bars? What are your favorite ingredient combinations? Swap recipes and ideas in the comments!

Fall FavoritesWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Monday, September 15th, 2014

The autumn season always gets me excited for baking. Something about the cool, crisp air and the change in color on the trees inspires a warm and alluring-scented kitchen. However, as much as I love to bake, I don’t like the affects of consuming heavy baked goods. Most recipes are filled with sugar and butter and I feel weighted down afterwards. I want to be able to eat something tasty and feel good afterwards. So, here are a few recipes that we enjoy at Made in Nature using our Organic Dried Fruit, which keeps those Fall cravings happy, healthy, and satisfied.

1.) Sweet and Spicy Cranberries & Pumpkin Seed Mix: A great snack for anytime of day, and it makes the house/office smell amazing! Also, a great recipe for using pumpkin seeds from carving Halloween pumpkins or making Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie!

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2.) Honey Date Loaf: Everyone loves banana bread, but what about a honey date loaf? This sweet and healthy bread is perfect for dessert, breakfast, or anytime you’re craving that luscious Fall flavor. For some extra protein and a little crunch, throw in some walnuts!

 

3.) Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: For a little more indulgence and to enjoy a true dessert, these cookies are it! The savory flavor from the oatmeal paired with the tartness of the cranberries and sweetness from the chocolate chips make this a balanced treat!

 

I can just imagine having a lovely fire with all these delicious snacks around for family and friends to enjoy!

Make your own preserves, with no sugar added!Written by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Oh, the delight of sinking your teeth into a buttery biscuit smeared with homemade jam.  Grandma (and maybe even mom) made it a tradition to preserve seasonal fruits so you could enjoy strawberries and peaches year round but in today’s go-go-go world, who can spare the time?  Well, with this done-in-a- snap recipe, you do! Beyond the lip-smacking delight of homemade preserves spread on well … anything, here are a few other reasons doing it yourself can’t be beat. Mango Preserves

 1.     Quality Control. We know exactly what fruit is going into our preserves (USDA Certified Organic of course) and exactly how much added sugar (none please!). If your family is as big a fan of jam as we are, these are two areas you’ll want to monitor. When you buy non-organic jam you can bet that in addition to the fruit listed on the label, each jar contains a host of pesticides. It’s also likely full of sugar since the sweetener is a natural preservative.  Because fruit is naturally sweet, we don’t think it needs much.

2.     Diversity. Craving plum preserves? How about mango or cranberry? They’re all within reach since many of our dried fruits can be used to easily prepare preserves that aren’t found anywhere else. Then the real fun begins—pairing and savoring. How about fig jam with brie on walnut toast points? It’s at your fingertips.

 3.     Cool points. Life just seems to come a little easier for some. Who doesn’t want to be in that crowd? Make your own preserves to earn instant wow-factor points and make your mark as a do-it-yourself gift giver. Jars can be paired with cheese and wine in a festive gift basket, or even better deliver a bag of your favorite Made In Nature Fruit and the below recipe. Now, that’s the gift that truly keeps giving.

Making your own preserves is as easy as 1, 2, 3–which you’ll see in the below video. We love these homemade mango preserves used as salmon topping or simply eaten as is. Enjoy!

 

Welcome! Now sit back and relaxWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Life should be more like a bowl full of cherries, don’t you think? Let us help.

We know you’re busy. Between shuttling the kids between practices, figuring out what’s for dinner and maintaining your own health and wellness goals, who couldn’t use a few resources to boost sanity?  We hope to be that extra hand that helps you keep it all together. That’s why our 100-percent organic dried fruits use only the best tasting, most mouth watering ingredients. How do we do it? We work with the most dedicated family of farmers to grow the highest quality fruit – fruit that shines with the ‘taste of place’ like no other. So, when you support Made In Nature, you’re doing your part to nourish not only your family but also the planet. And of course, we’re always striving to offer more. We’ve been brainstorming in what other ways we can connect with and be a resource to you, and  we think our new blog is just the ticket.

To make life just a little less hectic we’ll provide quick tips (gleaned from our many trial and errors) and information to motivate, empower and streamline how you approach your day-to-day. We’ll keep it short, sweet and fun, so you can easily absorb and implement what works best for you. Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ll be covering:

Quick and easy recipes. Impromptu dinner party? No problem. Nutrient dense kids snacks? We got you covered. Our quick and easy recipes will streamline mealtimes and make you look like a whiz in the kitchen. Don’t worry, we don’t need the credit.

Tips to promote balanced living. Why you should buy organic bananas if they have such a thick peel? How can you easily manage clutter to make your space a true sanctuary? Get the answers to inform your decisions in the home, kitchen, grocery store and more.

The down low on free stuff.  We love getting free samples and suspect you do as well! Our contests and giveways will be announced here, so check back often. We promise to make it worth your while.

We love any excuse for a celebratory treat so to kick things off, and keep cool in June’s heat, we’d love to share this festive and easy freezer staple to sustain you through the summer.

Look for a new post each week and please submit any feedback. We’re here for you!

Fruit-infused Ice

 Ingredients:

1/3 cup Made In Nature Organic Pineapple and/or Made In Nature Organic Mangos (diced)

Ice Tray of your choosing

Water (or juice, i.e lemonade, punch or lime juice)

 Directions

1. Dice the mangos and/or pineapple. Make sure the pieces are small enough to fit in your ice tray mold

2. Drop diced fruit pieces into the ice tray mold

3. Fill ice tray with water (or juice)

4. Place the tray in the freezer for about 8 hours or until frozen

5. Serve with your favorite drinks and enjoy!