January 2008

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In This Edition

Choose Wisely – Eat Right and Choose Low Fat Foods
New Year/New You
Comfort Foods / Drinks and Snacks
He-Man Menus for Super Bowl

Health & Nutrition

Recipe of the MonthValerie Waters Tip of the Month

More News From California Raisins

California Raisins 2008 Recipe Calendar Still Available
Click here to download your copy of the California Raisins 2008 Recipe Calendar

New Year/New You Sweepstakes
Click here for a chance to win a fitness session with Trainer to the Stars, Valerie Waters

Life is a journey. Bring a healthy snack along.

Choose Wisely – Eat Right and Choose Low Fat Foods

Choosing foods low in fat is a wise choice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Gram for gram, fat contains more than twice as many calories as proteins or carbohydrates. Cutting back on high fat foods is one of the easiest ways to start losing weight without reducing the total quantity of food that you eat. Although all fats do contain a similar number of calories, the healthier, unsaturated fats taken in small amounts add flavor to food, improve health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Low fat does not need to mean that food is not delicious and satisfying. The Recipe of the Month, Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto, and Sweet and Spicy Chili are tasty and filling hot meal variations for these cold winter days.

Or try entrées like Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Onion Jam and Gorgonzola Cheese, Chicken Breasts with California Raisins and Oranges, Citrus-Raisin Sauced Salmon Steak, or Curried Tuna and California Raisin Salad. They are sure to please your taste buds and waistline, too.

To accompany any of these low fat entrées, add Sweet and Sour Coleslaw, Antipasto Salad with California Raisins, Bean Salad with Artichokes, or Marinated Lentil Salad for a healthy and delicious side dish.

Finish off a meal with Spiced California Raisin-Honey Couscous with Yogurt-Rum Sauce, Orange and Raisin Bread Pudding, or Raisins Galore Citrus Cookies for a sweet dessert.

New Year/New You

Are you ready for a fresh start? For most of us, each New Year brings a new resolve to live a healthier life, spend more time with our families, and have more fun. Almost everyone benefits from regular exercise both physically and emotionally. Why not ring in the New Year with a fitness program for the whole family? Discuss your individual goals and write them down. Be very specific for each person. Chart progress on a grid that lists names, individual goals and days of the week. At the end of the month, evaluate the results and reward the family member who came closest to goal. It is even better when everybody wins!

Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Valerie Waters’ says, Get the family on board! Sticking to a healthy eating and exercise plan is easier if it is a shared goal. Teach your kids that there is a reward in the effort. For example, if the plan is to exercise three times a week, check it off or paste a gold star on the grid each time you or a child or family member completes a workout. At the end of the month, give out rewards for all 90 percent or better completions. Your reward could be a movie out, a new CD or even just a night off from household chores. It will not be long before the best reward is the increased self-esteem for sticking to a desired goal.

If a healthier lifestyle is truly your goal, remember, too, the importance of eating well. When between-meal hunger hits, just make sure those snacks are healthy for the kids and for you, too. Dried fruits are some of the best bets, and California Raisins are an especially wise choice. They are naturally sweet, fat-free and portable, too. Choosing healthy snacks like Sunshine Snack Mix, Raisin Peanut Butter Granola, and Glazed Raisinola will pack a lot of flavor into any energy boost.

Then, make wise food choices all the time. Golden Raisin and Lentil Salad; Asian Turkey Salad; South of the Border Bowl; Lima Beans with California Raisins; California Raisin, Rice and Carrot Salad; Toasted Couscous with Almonds and Raisins; and California Raisin Rice ‘n Broccoli Salad all make for great tasting accompaniments.

Pair healthy side dishes and salads with these tasteful entrees — New Orleans-style Meat Loaf with California Raisins and Creole Mustard, Seared Sea Scallops with Mushroom Raisin Goulash, Pork Tenderloin with Hoisin-Raisin Sauce, or Red Snapper Veracruzo.

Reward yourself with a nutritious dessert. Baked Peaches with Golden Raisins, Fruit Scone Fingers, Orange Blossom-scented Rice Pudding with Raisins, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Crème Chantilly and Brown Sugar Bars are mouthwatering treats.

Comfort Foods / Drinks and Snacks

Many people turn to comfort foods for familiarity, emotional security or special rewards. Certain comfort foods can make pleasant connections to our childhood especially during this cold and rainy season.

Typically, comfort foods can be high in fat and calories, but there are ways to make them better for your good health and enjoyment, too. Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix with Raisins, Granola Crunch Mix, and Raisin Nachos with Cinnamon Dipping Sauce are alternatives without that guilt.

Burgers with Raisin Salsa and Island Chicken Wraps are sure to satisfy any craving. Country Ribs with Waldorf Gravy and Lightened Up Pulled Pork are satisfying and comforting foods. Pair them with Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Raisins on the side, along with Waldorf Salad and Creamy Cabbage Slaw for a completely heart warming meal.

Satisfy your soul and other cravings with Chocolate Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding, Raisin Nut Brownies, and Old-Fashioned California Raisin Oatmeal Cookie and Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches to remember the good old days.

He-Man Menus for Super Bowl

Who’s ready for some football? Along with the Super Bowl, there has to be a game-day party. Go for the fun and serve these easy to prepare, finger-licking good foods. Savory Trail Mix, Sicilian Seviche, or Curried Popcorn Mix will get the party going. Chile Rellenos — Chicken Filled and Chile Rellenos — Spicy Mango Filled will help your guests find a spot on the couch, too.

At half time, dish up Beef Ribs with Smokey Raisin Mole, Raisin Country BBQ Back Ribs, The Sundance”, Smoked Turkey Waldorf Melt, or Sunshine Cheeseburgers. Any of these are sure to create a commotion.

No stick-to-the-ribs hearty meal would be complete without cornbread. Add Raisin Chorizo and Chile Cornbread Bubble or Savory Cheddar Muffins to the menu or go all the way and serve Pulled Pork with Raisin Corn Bread to drive the fans wild.

Delicious sides are a must for this crowd. California Celebration Slaw, Hot German Rice Salad, Italian Potato Salad, Jane’s Favorite Tri-colored Salad, or Warm German Potato Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser that satisfies all He-Man football-watchers.

Finish with a decadent dessert to celebrate your team’s victory! Double Glazed Rum Raisin Chocolate Cake; Lemon Delight Pie; Apple, Pecan and California Raisin Pie; and Rum Raisin Walnut Brownies will complete this super bowl bash on a high note and you will be named MVP for the day.

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Telephone: (559) 248-0287 Fax: (559) 224-7016 E-mail: info@raisins.org