A is for Apricot

Photo Bill Longshaw

Photo Bill Longshaw

I am traveling through Switzerland on vacation this summer, enjoying the fresh fruits and veggies available. It is such a refreshing eye opener to see only seasonal produce for sale in markets. For example, I have been craving tangerines but cannot find any around, it is the end of summer with berries, peaches, apples, and apricots at their peek. I find European communities to be far more supportive of local farmers and produce than what we have in America–I am not finding tangerines because they are not local and would not be as beneficial for me as seasonal crops.  Soooo… my treat of choice is now apricots. Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart healthy foods.

Another healthy treat this time of year are walnuts and my fiancé’s family farm has some of the most succulent around! A study published in Diabetes Care in 2010 found that 2 ounces of walnuts per day improve blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes. A previous study also found that a diet supplemented with walnuts help type 2 diabetes patients lower their cholesterol by 10%.

With all these goodies and new health information, I found a super yummy sweet treat that is sugarless and heart healthy. Try these and tell me if you don’t feel like you are spoiling yourself with a European truffle.

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Apricot Walnut Balls

Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts
1 cups dried apricots (whole)
Optional extras – unsweetened dessicated coconut, raw cacao powder, vanilla extract.

Directions:
1. Place apricots and nuts in a blender (plus optional cacao and vanilla). Blend well.

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2. Roll mixture into balls of desired size with hands. (Optional – roll balls in coconut to finish.)
3. Chill until required.

That’s it for an all natural treat to satisfy any sweet tooth 🙂

Enjoy!

In health,
Reve~Johanna

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