Although the rapid shriveling of my zucchini plants and the cooler mornings don’t have me super psyched for another looming Minnesota winter, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the return of football and fall produce. All my very favorite foods seem to be orange and harvested in autumn: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and all types of squash. Perhaps not surprisingly my favorite spices perfectly accentuate these choices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, chili powder… My slow cooker is calling my name, and in honor of the first 49er game of the season (I was born and raised in Northern California and am therefore a diehard Niners fan) I’m making my first roast of the season today, complete with a side of mashed sweet potatoes.
But that wasn’t what I wanted to tell you about today – I wanted to tell you I made an amazing discovery! I’m always excited when I find a new nut-free, allergy-friendly food that makes my life a little easier and more delicious. Generally speaking I stay away from processed and packaged foods as much as possible, but I’m also pretty pragmatic. I really love dried fruit, but I don’t think I’ll be picking and sun drying my own figs. Let’s be serious. I’m pretty sure figs don’t grow in Minnesota anyway.
Thankfully, I’ve finally found a solution to satiate my sweet tooth without having to worry about my nut allergy. Most of the time I’ve had to bypass packaged dried fruit because of the allergy warning about it being “manufactured in a plan that also processes nuts” or some such silliness. Then I found Made in Nature, a company with a stance (and a FAQ!) on quality, organic and allergen-free fruit. None of their products contain nuts, nor are they meddling with nuts in their facilities. Their dried fruit is also gluten-free. Bonus!
Also, they are really tasty. My favorites so far are the figs and the apricots. Dried fruits are high in natural sugar, so this is not the kind of treat that I eat all the time or binge on (unless I want to have a massive sugar hangover). I eat one or two pieces after a meal if I have a sweet tooth and then I call it good. I don’t recommend pounding the entire bag at once, but I’ll warn you that it might be tempting.
I picked my Made in Nature goodies up at my local co-op, but they are also sold at Whole Foods. Hope you can find them somewhere near you so you can enjoy some nut-free dried fruit goodness!
Un-disclaimer: Made in Nature has no idea I wrote this post. I paid for the product myself and chose to write about it because I really love it and for no other reason.