Raisins are a sweet and natural addition to any meal but did you know about their nutritional benefits? We took the time to talk to California Raisins about the many different ways to eat naturally with raisins.
Are there any particularly delicious recipes that you could recommend that involve Californian raisins?
Yes, lots and lots of recipes can contain raisins – you can sprinkle them on salads and include them in your main meals, and of course, they are also great as an addition to your breakfast. Instead of sugar, honey or syrups, try adding a handful of naturally sweet raisins to your morning porridge, with 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon. The combination of cholesterol-lowering beta-glucan in oats and slow energy release of the raisins and cinnamon makes for a heart-healthy breakfast that will keep you going until lunchtime.
What are the nutritional components of raisins? Are they suitable as part of a healthy lifestyle?
Being able to eat naturally with raisins is important for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. They contain calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc as well as vitamins B1, B6, A, C and E which of course will help your body to stay healthy and active. Essential nutrients help protect a body’s cells from oxCutidative stress and a healthy, energy-yielding metabolism. As a source of potassium, raisins contribute to the maintenance of normal blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, while the fibre they contain contributes to normal bowel function. Raisins grown in California contain only naturally occurring sugars and no added artificial flavours or colours, plus, one tablespoon counts as one of your five a day.
See also: Get a healthier digestive system
Are they a suitable snack for people with diabetes?
Yes, 100% naturally sun-dried raisins are a perfect snack for individuals living with Diabetes.
A serving (28g/1oz) of raisins has a low glycemic index. This means that they release their energy slowly and research published in the Journal of Nutritional Science suggests that this is great news for individuals living with Diabetes or anyone looking to balance their energy levels throughout the day by eating a 100% natural, whole fruit in their diet.
What advice would you give to somebody looking for a high-quality raisin snack?
Californian raisins are made from fresh green grapes, plenty of California sunshine and pure mountain water, nothing more, making them completely natural. California Raisins are dried to perfection then collected and taken for packing and processing where they go through a rigorous cleaning process.
For over 130 years, each generation of grower has perfected the art of drying raisins in California, making them loved all over the world for their distinctive rich caramelised taste and high quality.
Raisins are a delicious, healthier alternative snack just on their own! However, try pairing with your favourite nuts to add a little extra protein and essential fatty acids - you now have a high fibre, nutritious snack that you can take anywhere that could lower your risk of heart disease
Because of their naturally occurring sugars, raisins are excellent for adding a natural sweetness to your favourite dishes, without adding refined sugars or artificial sweeteners.
What is the best way to keep your raisins fresh and store them adequately?
After the package has been opened they should be put in a sealed container and refrigerated. Raisins will retain their flavour, colour, and nutritive value if stored in the refrigerator. They can be kept even longer if frozen and will thaw quickly at room temperature. If raisins become dry due to improper storage, rinse them in tap water to dissolve the sugar crystals and restore the moisture.
What is the difference in flavour between regular raisins and Golden raisins?
The colour and flavour of raisins vary because of the drying process, for example, the dark purplish/black raisin is 100% sun-dried and has a distinctive rich caramelised taste. A golden raisin is mechanically dried and treated with sulphur dioxide to retain its colour, and the flavour is lighter than sun – dried raisins that are renowned for their rich and caramelised flavour.
California raisins fit perfect into a healthy lifestyle and are packed full of vitamin and minerals. For over 130 years each generation of growers has perfected the art of drying raisins in California, making them loved all over the world for their distinctive rich caramelised taste. To find out more go to http://www.californiaraisins.co.uk/