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April 26, 2009

Daily Healthy Tip and Recipe: 10-Minute Peanut Bars

Filed under: Food — hypeplug @ 5:10 pm

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April 26, 2009

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daily healthy tip and recipe
Today’s RecipeIf you don’t know what to have for breakfast today …

Try this great energy boosting snack any time of day. And it only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Enjoy!

10-Minute Peanut Bars

10-Minute Peanut Bars

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw or roasted peanuts
  • 1 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • 2 TBS sesame seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 TBS honey

Directions:

  1. Grind all ingredients, except for the honey, in a food processor until fairly fine but still having some texture (you don’t want it to have the consistency of peanut butter).
  2. Add honey and process just long enough for it to blend in.
  3. Press into a square about 3/4-inch thick on a plate or square pan and refrigerate for about an hour or more.
  4. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Makes 8-12 barsPrinter Friendly Version of 10-Minute Peanut Bars

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for 10-Minute Peanut Bars

Daily Food Tip

Do fresh fruits contain more nutritional value than dried fruits?

The answer is simple. When you dry fruits, you lose more than just water. You also lose nutrients. For example, when it comes to berries, much of their uniqueness is derived from their phytonutrients. Flavonoids like peonidin, petunidin, malvidin, and many others found in berries are susceptible to damage from heat, light, oxygen, and time-since-harvest. While some drying processes are harsher than others, no drying process can leave the phytonutrient content of these berries unchanged.

Since fruits lose water (and therefore volume) during the drying process, their nutrient, calorie, and sugar content become concentrated once they are dried. When you eat a handful of dried fruit, you are consuming more calories than you would if you ate that same amount of fresh fruit.

For example, one-quarter cup of dried apricots contains about 75 calories; for that same amount of calories you could actually enjoy a whole cup of fresh apricots. In contrast to fresh fruits, which I would place in the moderate sugar category, I would classify dried fruits as high-sugar foods (using the apricot example, the one-quarter cup of dried apricots actually contains more sugar-17.4 grams-than the entire one cup of fresh apricots, which contains 14.3 grams. While dried apricots do offer some benefits, fresh apricots are more concentrated in several vitamins and minerals because the commercial process of drying fruit in large quantities is very hard on some nutrients. The following chart illustrates some examples:

Nutrient Fresh Apricot Halves Dried Apricot Halves
Calories 74 (1 cup) 313 (1 cup)
Fiber (g/calorie) 0.04 0.03
Vitamin A (IU/calorie) 40.0 15.0
Beta-carotene (mcg/calorie) 22.9 9.0
Vitamin C (mg/calorie) 0.209 0.004
Potassium 5.4 4.8

The other thing to be aware of with commercially dried fruit is the addition of other ingredients, notably sweeteners. These are usually

always added to dried cranberries (and oftentimes other berries) since cranberries are very tart. In this example, I’d suggest looking for dried cranberries sweetened with a natural sweetener such as apple juice concentrate rather than refined sugar or corn syrup.

With the home dehydrating of fruit, however, it’s a different story. A home dehydrator does nothing more than blow warm air up through the fresh fruit, and it’s not nearly as harsh on the nutrients. The fruit is still “dried” and lasts longer than fresh fruit, but using a home dehydrator is gentler on the fruit than commercial processing. Even though home dehydration is not a bad way to go from an overall nutrient standpoint, it still causes some concern from a sugar and calories standpoint. Sometimes we might end up eating a lot more dehydrated apple slices, for example, than the amount of apple we would have eaten if we had a fresh, organic, whole apple in our hand. The chewing and whole experience of eating can also be quite different.

References:

Kao ES, Wang CJ, Lin WL, et al. Anti-inflammatory potential of flavonoid contents from dried fruit of Crataegus pinnatifida in vitro and in vivo. J Agric Food Chem. 2005; 53(2):430-6.

Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Nieves Jr, C, et al. Immunity and antioxidant capacity in humans is enhanced by consumption of a dried, encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate. J Nutr. 2006; 136(10):2606-10.

Nguyen ML, Schwartz SJ. Lycopene stability during food processing. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. 1998; 218:101-105.

Lindley MG. The impact of food processing on antioxidants in vegetable oils, fruits and vegetables. Trends Food Sci Technol 1998; 9:336-40.

If you have any questions about today’s Daily Tip Ask George Your Question

What’s New on the Home Page This Week
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George’s Q&A

Eating Healthy for Less New Book How to Order The World’s Healthiest Foods, Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. See sample pages and find out how to place an order for our new book. The special offer of free shipping is still in effect. We are already getting wonderful feedback which we want to share with you, so we’re posting it on the bottom of our home page. Enjoy the book and let us know how you like it.
New way of cooking: I first started visiting the web site then I ordered the book and then I ordered the book for my daughter. My steamer pan was handy once in a while but now it is essential. The mix of vegetables and grains and cooking techniques has taken vegetables from side dish to main dish. It is great and fun. – GA

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