Saturday, Dec 16th

Last update12:54:43 PM GMT

THE VERSATILE RAISIN

Few foods are as easy to use as natural raisins. Sweet, tasty and delicious, raisins are a great snack just as they are or can add flavor to almost any favorite recipe.

Try mixing these delicious sun-dried nuggets with nuts and other dried fruits for a naturally good trail mix. It's easy to add raisins to salads and hors d'oeuvres. Liberally sprinkle raisins over your next green salad to add a new texture and taste appeal or toss sliced apples, walnuts and raisins together for a classic salad.

Raisins are also a natural addition to your baked favorites. Can you imagine a cinnamon roll without raisins? Raisins add a touch of sunshine to breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, tarts and puddings.

Here are some cooking tips for you: Raisins can be chopped easily when they have a thin coating of vegetable oil put on them. For easy grinding, you can freeze the raisins first, then use vegetable oil to coat the blades of your blender or food processor.

Raisins are also great in a variety of dishes. They add a piquant flavor to beef, chicken, pork, ham, lamb and even veal when cooked right alongside the meat or poultry. Or you can blend them with your favorite meat sauces for an international flavor!

RAISINS, RAISINS, EVERYWHERE

Have you noticed that raisins seem to be everywhere in your grocery store? They are! Well over 100 processed food items contain raisins - from granola bars - to yogurt - even tortillas! Manufacturers like raisins because they can utilize them in many products naturally - without the use of preservatives - due to the high moisture levels and preservatives found naturally in raisins. Manufacturers also use raisins in place of sugar since they have their own natural sugar.

So, next time you're in the grocery store, check your favorite products for raisins - and you'll probably find them on the ingredient label!

Delicious raisins warm up your morning

High-energy, low-fat raisins in granola cereals and snacks

Raisins are even sweeter when coated with tasty chocolate or yogurt

Plump, juicy raisins add flavor to cereals

Nutritious raisins add zest to salads

Naturally good raisins in healthy treats

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