Surprising Health Benefits of Dried Fruits + 18 Dried Fruit Recipes

Dried fruits might have a bit of a bad reputation, because they all have a high sugar content. But in moderation, dried fruits can be an excellent part of your daily diet. We’ve picked four of our favorite dried fruits and found out that they have a ton of nutrition hiding in them.

Dried fruits also allow you to get nutrition on the go: whether you’re spending the day outside or in the office, dried fruits offer a convenient and delicious way to get some essentialnutrients.

medjool-dates

Health Benefits of Dried Fruits

Dates: Dates are Nature’s candy. They are super sweet and very versatile in the kitchen. Just one gorgeous Medjool date has 1.6 grams of fiber, which is about 6% of your daily value. Dates also contain B6 and magnesium.Dates are high in sugar, however, so it’s best to consume them in moderation.

Figs: Figs are one of my favorite dried fruits; they have a rich flavor and unique texture. Filled with tiny seeds, they have a fun crunch that I find delightful in oatmeal, in baked goods, and just out of hand. But even better is the nutrition content of these little treats. Figs are high in fiber: one cup of figs contains a whopping 15 grams of fiber (about 60% of our daily value). Figs are also a great source of potassium too, coming in at about 1013 mg (about 28% of your DV). But there’s more: one cup of dried figs contains about 25% of your daily calcium and magnesium needs, and are high in B6 and iron too.

Raisins: No longer relegated to tiny boxes in lunchboxes, raisins are actually a great addition to your (adult) diet. One cup of raisins contains 5 grams of fiber, and like figs, raisins have high amounts of iron, B6, and magnesium. These little fruits are also super high in potassium, coming in at about 30% of your DV.

Apricots: Apricots are a lovely dried fruit, and their beautiful orange color is complemented by their nutritional benefits. One cup of of halved dried apricots contains an enormous 93% of your daily value for Vitamin A. Apricots also contain a good dose of potassium (43%), iron (19%), and B6 and magnesium. Apricots also have 10 grams of fiber per one cup serving.

Healthy Dried Fruit Recipes

Dates are great for raw food recipes, but they also work anywhere you’d use raisins, just chop them up finely and mix them in. You can use dates to make Superfood Date & Chia Energy Bites, Homemade Vegan Ice Cream, awesome Chocolate Truffles, or these Banana Date Cakes that I made based on a healthy cookie recipe. For savory, try using dates in dressing like in this Tahini Dressing.

Banana Date Cakes

Banana Date Cakes

Figs are my favorite fruit to eat while hiking, biking, or just snacking at the office. But they are great in desserts, too. Try them in Rustic Apple Pie with Apricots and Figs, Fig Pie and Raw Fig Bars, and these gorgeous Whole Wheat Fig Bars.

apple pie with figs

Apple Pie with Figs

Raisins are one of the few dried fruits that can pair well with both sweet and savory! Try raisins in your oatmeal, in yummy Apple Cinnamon Whole Wheat Muffins, or savory with Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins or Swiss Chard with Raisins and Hazelnuts.

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Make your raisins savory in this spinach saute.

Plain old apricots are a great snack by themselves, but they play well with other ingredients, too. You can find dried apricots in Gingerbread Layer Cake with Dried Fruit, Quinoa Pudding, Chocolate Fruit Bars and these beautiful Apricot Ginger Scones.

apricot ginger scones

Apricot Ginger Scones

All nutrition information from USDA. Dried fruits image and dates image from ThinkStock

 

68 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

thanks

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Anon E.
Cela V1 years ago

tyfs

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey1 years ago

But please don't encourage your children to snack on dried fruits like raisins. I've seen children with a mouthful of dental cavities as a result.

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mac C.
mac C1 years ago

Dates and Figs are my favorites. I also use date sugar when I bake and cut-up dates in my salads. I'll have to try figs in my oatmeal. I make a date, cocoa and raspberry vegan ice cream using dates so I will have to try yours. Thank you for a nice article and all the recipes.

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Janis K.
Janis K1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Aasim Ahmed
Aasim Ahmed1 years ago

Ajwa Dates are the best variety of dates grown in Arabia

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James Maynard
James Maynard1 years ago

I enjoy dried fruits, but have to
watch it as their carb count is
pretty high due to the concentrated
sugars.

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Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ

Good article with some delicious recipes.Thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

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