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Super Food of the Week: Raisins
When thinking of fruits and veggies, you may automatically think fresh, but dried fruit can actually count too. Raisins are one of the most popular dried fruits today. These simple fruits make a convenient snack and are easy to tuck into a lunch bag, purse or backpack. Believe me, with two little boys, raisins are one of our go-to snacks!
There are many uses for raisins as they are quickly added to vegetables, salads, breads, pizza, cookies, or hot cereal. They are even available year round and they taste great! Many people think dried fruit has too much sugar and that it does not count as a fruit serving for the day, but actually raisins are a nutritious super food you can count toward your daily fruit intake AND they don’t have any added sugar!
• Dried fruit counts too: Raisins are a great option throughout the day – from breakfast, to lunch and afterschool snacking, too. It’s easy: put them on oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast, use as a salad topper at lunch, sub them for jelly with peanut butter in a wrap or bread sandwich, keep individual boxes for after-school snacking; add them to veggies, or enjoy a bowl of raisin trial mix as a snack.
• Naturally sweet: California Raisins come by their sweetness naturally with no added sugar as opposed to some other dried fruits (like dried cranberries). Raisins are simply dried in the sun without adding sugar, and they also retain much of their nutritional value. Read labels and you’ll see that with raisins there’s only on ingredient: Raisins. Nothing else added.
• California Raisins are the smart, money-wise choice: The USDA ranks raisins as the most economical dried fruit. Also, according to national retail tracking data, raisins are almost a 2 to 1 value as compared to Craisins - which means more fruit and more nutrition for less money. For example: 12oz. of raisins are $2.63 and only 6 oz. of Craisins are $2.36.
• California Raisins have a high nutrition value (NuVal): California Raisins rank a healthy 87 on the 100 NuVal point scale (one of the country’s leading nutrition ranking systems used by retailers to help consumers make informed decisions about their food choices).
Be sure to check out www.calraisins.org to learn more about California Raisins!