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Healthy snack options

JAMS are thick in consistency and made by crushing or using the pulp of whole fruit. © iStockphoto.com JAMS are thick in consistency and made by crushing or using the pulp of whole fruit. © iStockphoto.com
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Spreads like jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalade's are a great way to get the health benefits of fruit - and when paired with crackers, bread and other delicious add-ons can be part of a terrific snack or meal.

This week, my team and I have put together our favorite ways to incorporate fruit spreads into YOUR snacks and meals.

To quell your curiosity, let me start by explaining the differences:

JAMS are thick in consistency and made by crushing or using the pulp of whole fruit.

JELLIES are made using the juices of the fruit. Jellies can also be made from ingredients other than fruits such as teas, wine, herbs and flowers.

MARMALADE is a jelly with pieces of citrus fruit cut into it. Oranges, lemons and limes are the common fruits used.

PRESERVES are sometimes used interchangeably with jam, but often have larger chunks of fruit in it. It may be a little more syrupy than jam.

FRUIT BUTTERS are a smooth and creamy spreads from fruit made into a paste. Apple and pumpkin are often common fruit butter flavors. Surprisingly, there is NO butter in the product.

CONSERVES are thick and chunky and often contain both dried fruit and nuts in the spread mixture. They are often used as a spread over meat or with cheese.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since these spreads are all made with sugar, be careful with the portion sizes - all you need is 1 tbsp (approximately 30-50 calories, which is close in calories to a ½ serving of fruit)

Snack suggestions from the team:

Heather Recommends: Using 1 tbsp of jam and ½ cup of Friendship 1% whipped cottage cheese on 2 Fiber Rich crackers. A great afternoon snack.

Stephanie Recommends: Putting jam over good ol' oatmeal and sprinkling some cinnamon and walnuts on top. All you need is a small dollop of the sweet stuff.

Dara Recommends: A peanut butter and jam sandwich on Ezekiel 4:9 bread.

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