June 2008

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In This Edition

Eat Right — How Important Is Water?
Grill Healthy/Grill Tasty
Fourth of July Recipes for Outdoor Fun
Food Safety at the Grill and Before
Health and Nutrition
Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month — Families that play together…

Valerie Waters’ Video Vignettes — Time Crunched

Recipe of the MonthWaldorf Salad with California Raisins

The balance of mind and body starts with the balance of diet

Eat Right — How Important Is Water?

The principal chemical component of the human body is water. The average human body — which is made up of 50-75 percent water — has 10 to 12 gallons of the cool, clear stuff cruising around in its veins, cells, organs, and throughout various systems. Humans can survive several weeks without food but only a few days without water.

Drinking fluids and consuming foods with a high water content are essential for keeping your body hydrated and healthy. Generally, the recommendation is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day but will differ according to your body weight, daily activity and exercise, and the prevailing weather conditions — hot or cold, dry or humid. Every day, you lose water, and it must be replenished.

Drinking plenty of water and eating foods with high water content help replace fluids lost through normal physiological activities, including respiration, sweating, and other functions. Also, the more you exercise, the more fluids you’ll need to take in to keep your body hydrated. Foods such as lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, grapefruit, milk, orange juice, carrots, yogurt, and apples contain high amounts of water and add variety to your diet while increasing your intake to keep you hydrated and replenished.

Flavored drinks such as Spider Cider or Citrus Cider with their spicy kicks and fruity flavors, provide plenty of water while keeping calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium intakes low.

Other fruity delights such as the Fruit Shake or Frothy Yogurt Shake smoothies that are low in calories, cholesterol, fat, and sodium make great meal replacements or in-between meal snacks. They are Wise Choices to bring additional water, along with good nutrition and flavor, to your diet.

Minted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and Chives

Soups are a great way to add liquids to any diet. Minted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and Chives is a refreshing and flavorful starter or an entire meal.Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto, an award-winning soup, is recognized for it’s delicious flavor and nutrient content.

For a light and satisfying meal, consider Cream of Raisin Soup or Cream of Raisin Beer Soup to replenish fluids while enjoying European flavors.

Salads pack in tons of water and add crisp fruits and vegetables to your meals. BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad and Salad of Tofu, Celery, Granny Smith Apples and Golden Raisins have tons of nutrients, too. Along with their high fiber contents, these salads are delicious, fresh, and filling.

Bombay Salad and Peach-Berry Salad are sweet and savory combinations full of fruity goodness and are a great way to include plenty of water-containing foods. Both are delicious, nutritious, and high in fiber while staying low in cholesterol and sodium.

Warm Salmon Soba Salad with Currant Dressing Select Warm Salmon Soba Salad with Currant Dressing, a sophisticated entrée, to make a tasty meal that’s also good for you. It’s high in fiber, low in calories and cholesterol, refreshing, and delicious. You can’t beat it!

Grill Healthy/Grill Tasty

Get ready! Set! Grill! Summer grilling is a fun way to get family and friends out for some good times, and it’s also a healthy way to eat. Grilling is fun and flavorful for everyone to enjoy — thank goodness it’s summertime!

Get creative with California Raisin-sweetened marinades to flavor meats and vegetables. Make it fun by trying some unconventional grilling ideas, like Grilled Pizza Salad with Tossed Greens and Golden Raisin Peach Vinaigrette for a casual feast. Your family and friends will love this crispy pizza crust topped with exotic flavors and that unbeatable grill taste.

Grilled Vietnamese Beef Salad with California Golden Raisin Relish Grilled meats can top fresh greens to make great salads. Grilled Vietnamese Beef Salad with California Golden Raisin Relish has the bold punch of Asian flavors. Increase the noodles with the tossed greens or serve over a bed of rice instead for a heartier variation.

Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts (Pignoli) Grilled Pineapple, Chipotle and Raisin Salsa Shrimp combines sweet and spicy flavors with a hint of fresh citrus for a delightful meal. For another seafood alternative, make Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts (Pignoli). These sweet Italian flavors complement the great grilled crust on the salmon.

Grilled Jamaican Jerk Pork Chops with Raisin-Rum Sauce and Garlic Sweet Potatoes Take a trip to the Caribbean without leaving your backyard when you serve Grilled Jamaican Jerk Pork Chops with Raisin-Rum Sauce and Garlic Sweet Potatoes. Grilled Limoncello Chicken with California RaisinsSo tasty, just close your eyes, soak in the warm sun and imagine yourself on the beach. Then, cruise on to the Mediterranean and make a pit stop in Italy with Grilled Limoncello Chicken with California Raisins. The flavors are so deliciously authentic, you’ll swear you’re on a European vacation.

Fourth of July Recipes for Outdoor Fun

Bring out the red, white, and blue this Independence Day — there’s nothing like a family outing on the Fourth of July! “Families that play together stay fit together,” fitness guru Valerie Waters points out. “Find something for the family to do together — a bike ride or even something as simple as playing tag or Red Rover with the neighborhood kids.” All kinds of fun activities can fill a family Fourth of July outing and lead to days of healthy exercise and outdoor activity for all.

Afterward, it’s the perfect time for picnics, barbecues, and more celebration! Get out the grill and get ready for some old-fashioned American fun at the park, beach, or block party with great food, family, and friends.

Sunshine Cheeseburgers Nothing is more traditional than burgers and hotdogs on this special day. Sunshine Cheeseburgers are so juicy and tasty. Did we mention they’re easy to prepare? Just toss them on the grill and give them a few minutes. Crown Roast of Hot Dogs makes kids smile and fills their tummies, too.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with California Raisin Sambal (Murghi Kebabs) Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with California Raisin Sambal (Murghi Kebabs) brings exotic flair to the grill. These spicy skewers are portable and perfect for any outdoor party.

Grill up some jerk chicken to make Island Chicken Wraps or simply prepare some of our Housemade Steak Sauce to top your favorite grilled meats and vegetables. So flavorful and savory, it’ll add kick to anything from the grill.

Sweet and Spicy Chili Make a huge pot of Sweet and Spicy Chili and serve it on buns. This one-pot wonder is so good it won’t last long!

Vagabond Baked Beans can be reheated on the grill and added to almost any picnic meal.

What’s an outdoor party without coleslaw? Coleslaw with Raisins and Peanuts is fresh and delicious, perfect for picnics and barbecues. Pasta salad is also a barbecue must. Jane’s Favorite Tri-colored Salad, an award-winning favorite, is easy to prepare in advance and bring along to any picnic or barbecue.

Waldorf Salad with California Raisins (Waldorf Salad Version 2.0) Another great bring-along and the Recipe of The Month, Waldorf Salad with California Raisins (Waldorf Salad Version 2.0), is crisp, sweet and nutty. This flavorful high-fiber salad will substitute for an entire meal at lunch or dinner. Enjoy it especially during the hot summer days for a cool and delicious treat.

Rum-Raisin Chocolate Ice Cream served "Martini-Style" Bourbon, Pecan-Praline, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Serve Summer Fruit Bowl before the fireworks just to hold everyone over. Then, end a fun-filled day with Raisin Nut Brownies or Bourbon, Pecan-Praline, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Don’t forget the homemade ice cream! Go all out with Rum-Raisin Chocolate Ice Cream served “Martini-Style.”

Food Safety at the Grill and Before

Outdoor meals call for some extra precautions. So, take the upper hand in the battle against foodborne illnesses even as you stroll down the grocery store aisle. As you fill your shopping list, consider these:

  1. Check for cleanliness. Does the store, especially its aisles, look clean and well-kept?
  2. Inspect cans and jars to avoid purchasing any that have been dented or cracked, have loose lids, or seem to have been tampered with.
  3. If the seal is broken on a frozen food package, the package is crushed on the edges, the cover is open or torn, or the item is stored above the frostline, select another item.
  4. Select frozen foods and perishables last. Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in separate plastic bags and keep them separated in the cart, at the checkout, and in your grocery bags.
  5. When buying fresh eggs, open the carton and check the contents. Avoid eggs that are cracked and have not been refrigerated.
  6. Finally, be mindful of time and temperature. Make the grocery store the last stop on the way home and refrigerate perishables as soon as possible. Do not allow them to stand at room temperature for more than two hours. In warm weather, bring an ice chest to keep frozen foods and perishables cold.

Filling your grocery cart at the store and transporting food home are just the beginning. Additional precautions are in order as you pack foods for picnics and even for backyard grilling and outdoor meals. Again, keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Be sure containers are clean. Above all, never serve grilled meats from the same container used to marinate the uncooked meat unless you wash the container thoroughly in hot, soapy water before adding the cooked meat. If you want to serve additional marinade with the cooked meat, it is safer to make a separate batch just for this purpose.

Hard-boiled eggs and dishes like salads containing egg and mayonnaise must be kept cold at all times. Use only pasteurized eggs if you make your own mayonnaise at home. Be sure to cook meats, especially hamburger and other ground meats, until they are done (to 160°F) and measure them with a thermometer.

Keep your grill clean. Trim excess fat from foods to be grilled and avoid flare-ups. Use marinades based on olive oils and citrus juices and do not overcook foods for the safest of all grilling.

A bit of care every time can make for a happy, healthy family all summer long.

California produces the World’s best, nutritious, and fun-filled fruit. Eat more California Raisins in 2008.