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Menu Swap: November 2nd

Posted Nov 02 2009 10:00pm

I thought that was appropriate for this week’s ingredient.

Anyway, dried fruit is the ingredient of the week chosen by Esther of the Lilac Kitchen and, yes, fruit is known to be good for you, but not all fruit is good. In fact, dried fruit is okay in moderate but go overboard and you’ll find yourself in a train wreck unless you take the extra step and do it yourself.

During the drying process, the majority of the water in the fruit evaporates and the fructose within the fruit becomes more concentrated, thus, making the fruit sweeter. Of course, it also alters the texture and density as well. Because of the drying process, the fruit shrinks and volumetric eating (eating large amounts of low calorie high fiber food) becomes more difficult. The reason being is that such a small amount of dried fruit adds up to a lot of calories all due to the concentration of fructose. For example, one average medium apple is about 80 calories, well, about 3 ounces of dried apple slices equal 150 calories. Yikes! Not to mention that the hunger stimulation of the sugar, urges you to eat more. Eating more and eventually you’ll find yourself consuming five times as many calories as intended. This is why I don’t snack on dried fruit, but, I add it into things.

Raisins are one of my favorite varieties of dried fruits, followed by prunes, goji berries, golden berries, cranberries, and dates. I have yet to try blueberries since they’re awfully expensive, but, I’ll get to them. Raisins are the universal dried fruit, if you ask me. You can add raisins to anything sweet or savory and be satisfied. I recall, in my childhood, that my grandmother used to throw raisin boxes in my lunch box and I hated it. She followed the exaggerated concept of raisins and iron. Now that I think about it, I’ve always had an iron issue, which was never rectified. Iron is found in many dried fruits, all because of the concentration. Personally, I’d eat three fold greens for iron than a whole bag of raisins. Too much sugar makes me sick! Ironically enough, too, the Sunmaid raisin counsel states raisins promote dentil health. Er, okay. Let’s just hope the kids brush their teeth after eating raisins!

So, basically, dried fruit is better than candy and it is okay in moderation but that still doesn’t give you the excuse to binge on raisinets thinking they’re a health food. So, anyway, thanks Esther for chosing dried fruits for the ingredient! I’ll do my best in adding them here and there.

Okay folks, we’re down to two weeks. That’s right, TWO. And I think I’m all set…for the most part..

Menu Swap for November 2nd

Kare Imo Sarada - Curried Sweet Potato Salad, Japanese Style
Cornbread Salad with Z’atar, Avocado & POM seeds
Vegan Breakfast Nachos with Boda Sauce
Roasted Eggplant Salad with Chipotle Date Dressing

Butternut Squash Parmesan with Garlic Bread and Salad
Swedish Cabbage Rolls with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce, Brown Rice & Steamed Vegetables
Risotto Nero with Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Confit
Korean Squid Stir Fry with Kimchi and Rice

Tutti Frutti Topping

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