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.
cranberries-dried-organic-yogurt-toppings

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

Brownie Recipe with Coconut Chips to Satisfy Your Sweet ToothWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Delicious, Gooey Brownies with a Tropical Coconut Twist

Once the weather starts teasing me with warmer temperatures my mind immediately turns tropical. And, there’s nothing I love more than taking advantage of that tropical state of mind by incorporating more coconut into my recipes.

I don’t know about you, but I also have a pretty ravenous sweet tooth. When I’m craving some time on the beach and something sweet, I whip up these amazing brownies using a combo of Made in Nature coconut chips and shredded coconut flakes. I like my brownies rich, fudgy, and sinful. If you feel the same way, let’s get baking!

Fudgy Coconut Brownies with Coconut Chips

Toasted Coconut Chips from Made in Nature

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups cocoa
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 large eggs gently beaten
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened, fine flaked coconut
  • 1 package Made in Nature Maple Madagascar Vanilla Toasted Coconut Chips

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4 Healthy Appetizer Recipes For Your Next Dinner PartyWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Prepare These Quick and Easy Appetizers in No Time

Every great party needs tasty appetizers, right? I’m a firm believer in that statement, so skip the potato chips and try one of these four good-for-you appetizer recipes instead.

1. Fig and goat cheese appetizer

Whipping up this appetizer is so incredibly simple, and the taste payoff is huge.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Made In Nature Calimyrna Figs or Black Mission Figs
  • ¼ cup of red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (soft Brie cheese also works well)
  • 16 crackers
  • 16 pieces of fresh arugula or mixed mesclun greens

Directions:
Add the oil and onion to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions until they begin to soften.

Fig and Goat Cheese Appetizer
Trim the stems off your figs and slice them into 1/4″ slices (about 4-5 per fig).
Add the figs and balsamic vinegar to your skillet. Saute for 2 – 4 minutes until the figs soften and are nicely coated with oil and vinegar. Remove from heat.
Spread cheese on crackers so that they’re lightly covered.
Add one small piece of arugula or mixed green on top of the cheese. Place fig topping on greens and serve.

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7 Healthy Snacks That Pack Nutrition and FlavorWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Level-Up Your Snacking with These Balanced, Healthy Snacks

Keeping my snacking on the healthy side is one of the bigger challenges I face while trying to eat my way toward a more balanced diet. It would be so easy to grab a few cookies or a handful of chips (and sometimes I do just that!), but there’s also a better way to snack.

If you want to eat healthier and balance your diet, give these healthy (but still super tasty and satisfying) snacks a try. They’re all quick and easy, too!

1. Seaweed snacks

Wait, what? Seaweed? Heck yeah! Seaweed snacks are a personal favorite of mine, and they’re extremely healthy. High in vitamins A and C, they’re also one of the only natural, non-animal sources of vitamin B-12. They’re packaged much like crackers, and come in a ton of different flavors.

Healthy snack ideas from Made in Nature

2. Dried fruit

One of my favorite nutrient-packed snacks is dried fruit, and Made in Nature has plenty of fruits to choose from. Choose your favorite or create your own delicious mix of fruits. My favorites are dried mango or Smyrna figs – they are both so good I really can’t choose.

3. Homemade trail mix

Trail mix isn’t just about GORP (good old fashioned raisins and peanuts.) Get creative! Mix your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits together for a snack that’s perfectly tailored to your taste buds. You’ll know exactly what you put in, so this is a great way to avoid unnecessary sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

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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!