Dried fruits, nuts and seeds are a healthy way to satisfy those in-between meal snack cravings that otherwise leave you reaching for the biscuit tin.
They’re also great for adding to kids’ lunchboxes, or as replacements for their usual chocolate bars.
Not only are dried fruits, nuts and seeds easy and convenient to snack on, but all of these foods can be easily added to other meals to make them a bit more interesting and exciting.
For example, try adding them to cereal, yogurts, salads and pasta dishes for a bit of extra crunch, flavour and texture.
Shop from a wide range of organic nuts, dried fruit mix plus a variety of seeds online at Holland & Barrett.
Why should I choose dried fruits, nuts or seeds for a snack?
Seeds, nuts and dry fruits make for a perfect mid-morning, afternoon or even evening snack as they are a healthy but filling alternative to more traditional snacks like crisps, cakes and biscuits.
Dried fruits like cherries, pitted prunes and apricots are virtually fat and salt free and some provide you with a very concentrated source of vitamins and minerals which can help to promote your general health and wellbeing. Eating dried fruit is also a good way to get some of your five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables when you incorporate them as snacks in a well-balanced diet.
Nuts, including walnuts, cashew nuts and pine nuts, have a high energy content and are high in polyunsaturated fats meaning that they are a source of good fat (yes, there is such a thing!). They’re also packed full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Seeds are also great sources of fibre which contributes to a healthy digestive system and normal bowel functioning. They can be full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fats. Just like nuts, seeds have a high good fat content and you only need to eat a handful to satisfy your snacking.
What sorts of dried fruits are available?
There is a huge range of dried fruits available at Holland & Barrett and these are just some of our favourites:
Dried mango: a chewy, tasty treat, dried mango is naturally sweet in flavour and great for snacking. Holland & Barrett’s Dried Mango Slices are perfect for sharing. Or not, if you’d prefer to keep them all to yourself!
Figs: Figs are high in potassium and you can choose from 100% organic figs, diced figs and Lerida figs at Holland & Barrett. Figs have a naturally sugary powder coating created by the fruit’s natural sugars to quench those sweet cravings and they are also great for using in lots of different recipes when you are next cooking and baking.
Dates: Dates are a great source of fibre and are also very low in fat, making them an excellent and healthy snack. They are also succulent, sticky and sweet and are available pitted so that you don’t have to fiddle around removing the stone.
Dried cherries: Again, dried cherries make a lovely sweet snack and can also be used in baking. They’re a real breakfast hero too as they go well in muffins, pancakes, waffles, bagels and in overnight oats or cereal.
Are there any dried fruits, nuts or seeds suitable for a specialist diet?
In a word – yes!
Plain seeds, dried fruit and nuts are all suitable for vegetarians, vegans and plant-based diets.
Some nuts, seeds and dried fruits may have a flavouring or a coating that contains ingredients that aren’t suitable for vegans (for example, honey roasted nuts) so you will need to check the ingredients before you buy.
In fact, nuts can actually be very beneficial to a vegan diet. People following a plant-based diet can sometimes be at risk of certain deficiencies in various vitamins and minerals including protein, iron, zinc and calcium.
Nuts are packed full of vitamins and minerals as well as being protein-rich. Peanuts, almonds, and pistachios are all excellent sources of protein, with 50g of pistachios containing as much protein as an egg!
Gluten free nuts, seeds and dried fruit
Seeds and nuts in their purest form are gluten free, although ones with flavour may contain gluten.
Plain, unsweetened dried fruits are also gluten free and again you’ll need to check if they have any flavouring added to them.
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We have a great range of dried fruit, nuts and seeds at Holland & Barrett - our quality selection come in a variety of sizes with many suitable for vegans. From pumpkin seeds to whole brazil nuts - our dried fruits, nuts and seeds provide a mixture of nutrition and can be used as an ingredient in a variety of different meals.