January 2007

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In This Edition
Wise Choices–Making Them Last
When Winter Wind Blows
Recipe of the Month
Chef of the Month – James Perillo
Health and Nutrition
Step 1. Take Stock
Step 2. Keep a Journal
Step 3. Learn the Basics
Step 4. Learn to Read Labels

Wise Choices–Making Them Last

Before you embark on your journey, choose your snack wisely.

Choices for Healthful Eating

It’s January and the beginning of a New Year! Everywhere there are reminders to “get the year started off right” and helpful tips for making and keeping all those New Year’s resolutions. Have you noticed how many of them revolve around food?

If you are a new subscriber, Welcome! Please join us at Step 4 of a month-by-month program to help you make wise choices and eat healthfully — The Way of the California Raisin. If you have been with us for the last few months, you know that our program for Healthful Eating has already dealt with taking stock, keeping a journal, and learning the basics. For a quick review, see the archive issues of this Raisin Review for October, November and December 2006 and check out www.mypyramid.gov, www.healthierus.gov and www.kidnetic.com, too. This month, it’s all about the labels you find on food products at the supermarket and how they affect your Healthful Eating Program.

Step 4. Learn to Read Labels

Ingredient Label — Every food package displays an ingredient label where you will find the ingredients in the product in descending order by weight. Here you will find out if there are added sugars, such as granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, molasses and honey. Also check for partially hydrogenated fats that will most likely contain trans fats.

Nutrition Facts Almost all foods are required to have Nutrition Facts labels. Here, you will find

  • Serving Size that lists the normal portion and the number of servings in the package. Compare these to the amount you actually eat and do the math.
  • Calories per serving will provide a measure of how much energy you get from a normal serving of this food. As a general guide, 40 calories per serving is low, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 or more calories per serving is high.
  • Nutrients listed first like Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium, Carbohydrate and Protein are the ones Americans eat in adequate amounts — or, more often, to excess with the consequent increase in the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure.
  • Most Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron so look for foods containing higher percentages of these.
  • Zero in on the fat content of foods. For a 2,000 calorie a day diet, strive to eat less than 65 grams of fat. When a label shows 25 grams of fat or more per serving realize that it is nearly one-half of the daily fat allowance.

When Winter Wind Blows

Thoughts often wax nostalgic and turn to those classic favorites of bygone days. Craving some of those foods that bring back fond memories of childhood but think Mom’s recipes may not fit a healthy eating plan? Choose from these old-fashioned favorites that are already healthy choices.

Wise Choice Drinks and Snacks to Chase Away the Cold

Nothing warms like a blazing fire in the fireplace. For something light and quick, try Citrus Cider — hot and full of citrus flavor and spices.

Crunchy munchies on a cold evening call for Spicy Margarita California Raisins. After school snacks might include Granola Crunch Mix, Spiced Apple Pie Party Mix, or for something more substantial, try quick-fix Toasted Raisin-Apple Munchables. Raisin Nut Brownies are a little self-indulgent but generate great warm feelings, too.

Hot Stuff to Warm Inside and Out

Not exactly your mother’s chicken soup but a wise choice for a quick warm-up, Warm Apple Cider Soup with Crispy Apple-Raisin Turnovers is a heart-warming snack. Out-of-doors all morning? Sweet and Spicy Chili is just the thing for lunch!

Main Dish Memories from the Past

Remember when Mom set extra places because company was coming? The table groaned with Warm German Potato Salad and one of these hearty main dishes shown here in a modernized version, Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Raisin Sauce;Italian Meat Balls; or Pork Rack Chops Smothered with Apples, Cabbage and Raisins.

Unexpected drop-ins might be served a sandwich like Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Onion Jam and Gorgonzola Cheese — most likely without the fancy cheese.

Special Times with the Older Generation

Trips to Grandma’s house were filled with some good old-fashioned desserts. Simple fruit desserts like this Hot Fruit Compote and frugal puddings made with bread and rice like Orange and Raisin Bread Pudding or California Golden Raisin Rice Pudding often graced her table. Special occasions brought out the Portuguese Orange Custard with California Raisin Glaze or Double Glazed Rum Raisin Chocolate Cake.

Build your own comfort food memories with wise choices from some of the many other California Raisin recipes at www.LoveYourRaisins.com.

Recipe of the Month

Turkey Cutlet on Ciabatta wth California Raisin and Red Onion Marmalade

A hot and hearty, make-ahead jam and quick-fix sandwich to ward off winter chills. Broil it and serve with a fruit or salad as part of the Healthful Eating Program.

Chef of the Month – James Perillo

One of the Raisin Industry’s most prolific Celebrity Chefs with recipes ranging from trifle to couscous to pizza and sandwiches and chicken to pork and lamb, Chef James Perillo can be found at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here he continues to extol the virtues of California Raisins in a variety of menu items. Try one of his many recipes for an extraordinary eating experience.