Dried fruit and nuts have received a bit of a bad rap over the last few years but the truth is when consumed in the right quantities, healthy fats and natural sugars are necessary for a balanced diet. I for one, am hopelessly in love with nuts and dried fruit. I’ve always used nuts and dried fruit as a form of healthy snacking in my diet but I must admit I do have a problem with stopping after just one handful. I find that the key to moderation is finding a delicious nutty mix that includes seeds and other goodies to help you feel satisfied without going overboard. The new range of ‘We Care’ nutty blends and mixes from Montagu Fruit & Nuts has helped me do just that. Montagu’s ‘We Care’ range has been developed with health-conscious lads and lasses in mind and offers something for almost every type of modern lifestyle need – from heart health and high-energy exercise to Banting, there’s a blend to suit your diet.
Made with mainly raw ingredients (such as fruit, nuts, and seeds), the guilt-free ‘We Care’ range is all sorts of wonderful. With 5 different blends to choose from you’re bound to find one you love. The range includes a Heart Friendly Mix, Immune Support Mix, High Energy Snack Mix, Brain Food Blend, and Banting-Friendly Blend. I love to open up the gorgeously packaged mixes and munch on a handful or two but they’re also great for including in baking, salads, cereal, yoghurt, and more. I made a batch of healthy, raw muesli bars recently and added a few handfuls of the Montagu Banting-Friendly blend to the mixture before setting it in the fridge.
Whether you’re eating your favourite mix a handful at a time or mixing it into your favourite meals, the large 500g bags are enough to last you a while. My favourite mix is definitely the low-carb, high-fibre, Banting-Friendly Blend (which includes almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and linseeds). With no added sugar, the Banting-Friendly Blend is delicious snack as well as a good source of monounsaturated fat. It’s also naturally cholesterol free and very low in sodium. When I’m getting ready for a workout I tend to reach for a handful of the High Energy Snack (which contains almonds, cashews, cranberries, tropical mix and macadamia nuts). This yummy blend is all about helping you meet the daily demands of modern life and not only tastes great, but is also high in monounsaturated fat, energy, and fibre. The mix is also naturally cholesterol-free and very low in sodium.
Busy students or a career woman on the run will love the Brain Food Blend (which includes raisins, walnuts, pecan nuts, dried apple, chia seeds and linseeds). This blend is packed with ALA (a plant-based Omega-3 fat, which contributes to normal brain functioning) and fibre. Plus, with no added sugars (only natural sugars found in fruit and nuts), it’s a great way to keep you going without the sugar crash afterwards. The mix is also naturally cholesterol-free and very low in sodium.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up during winter then I’d suggest you invest in a bag of the Immune Support Mix. Ginger is my go-to when I’m feeling run down and this mix includes ginger cubes along with a mix of seeds and nuts (namely sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, almonds, goji berries and cocoa nibs). This tasty mix joins the body’s personal army to defend it against attack and is high in copper (to help with the normal functioning of the immune system) and fibre.
For those who are concerned about their blood pressure, you’ll probably want to reach for the Heart Friendly Mix (includes almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseeds) which is a great source of monounsaturated fat and potassium (both of which contribute to normal blood pressure).
The ‘We Care’ mixes and blends start from R149 per 500g pack and go up to R199 for the High Energy 500g pack. The Montagu ‘We Care’ range is now on sale at all Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts speciality stores – click here to find your nearest store. For more information on Montagu Fruit & Nuts and the ‘We Care’ range visit the Montagu website.