22 November 2010

Raisins and cranberries, great seasonal food that pack a nutritional punch

Thanksgiving vegan or vegetarian meals almost always consist of seasonal foods, like squash and pumpkins, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, and even raisins and cranberries.

Adding raisins or cranberries to your autumnal and winter dishes doesn’t just make the platter pop, it increases your fiber, antioxidants, protein and vitamin & mineral intake with NO fat or cholesterol.

Sun Maid, a collective of raisin growers consisting of about 750 family farmers all within the San Joaquin Valley of California, offers some recipes on their site for holiday dinners which you can find here. Unfortunately, Sun-Maid is not organic and does use pesticides on their crops, however they are currently working with the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program to improve chemical use and judgment.

If you’re like me and eat only organic, there are plenty of organic options for dried fruit & nuts, such as Franny’s Organic Raisins, Newman’s Own Organics, or bulk organic options at your local organic market or Whole Foods. You can check out my favorite vegan-friendly recipe sharing site VegWeb.com—just do a search on the side tab for raisins, and you’ll get everything from vegan cobbler to curried rice salad!

Kelly Beth | @veganbotanicals
Kelly Beth is a smiley vegan herbalist and wanderer, and currently resides in Boulder, Colorado with her fiancé and kitty (kitty face). She created twig & leaf botanicals, a vegan & organic herbal apothecary 3 years ago to bring healthy, plant-based alternatives to mainstream medicine and home care. Follow Kelly Beth on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/andrewmorrell