March 2008

Visit LoveYourRaisins.com
In This Edition
Eat Right and Get Your Vitamins
Demystifying Food Labels
Special Days in March
Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month
Health and Nutrition
Recipe of the MonthValerie Waters’ Tip of the Month

MyPyramid.gov - Steps to a Healthier You

March is Nutrition Month —
Eat more fruits and vegetables in 2008

Eat Right and Get Your Vitamins

Chile Rellenos – Spicy Mango FilledVitamins are found in foods from both plant and animal sources. Our bodies do not synthesize or manufacture vitamins, making it essential to get these nutrients from our daily diet. Vitamins are absolutely necessary for our growth and general well-being. They help regulate metabolism, assist in forming bone, and help convert fat and carbohydrates to energy. Different vitamins have different specific functions so it is important to get your daily requirement of all vitamins in order be healthy.

California Raisin and Orange Salad Platter (Ensalada de Naranja PasaCalifornia Raisins offer different amounts of Vitamins A, E, B6, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Folacin, Niacin, Panthothenic Acid, Riboflavin and Thiamin. Incorporating them in your daily diet will help meet your vitamin needs and add a blast of flavor to any meal, or simply provide a light and satisfying snack.

Fiesta Brunch Strata Combined with other foods, California Raisins have a lot to offer. For example, Fiesta Brunch Strata makes a satisfying breakfast or brunch any day of the week, and it contains Vitamins A, B12 and Folate, just to name a few.

Tunisian-spiced California Raisin Hummus For appetizers or snacks, indulge in the Recipe of The Month, Tunisian-spiced California Raisin Hummus, or either of these Chile Rellenos — Spicy Mango Filled or Chicken Filled. All three of these dishes contain bountiful amounts of Vitamins A, C, K, B6 and B12.

Antipasto Salad with California Raisins Refreshing salads pack in the vitamins and when you add raisins, there is even more to be had. Raisin Citrus Cucumbers and Antipasto Salad with California Raisins are quick and easy to put together. Also, California Romaine and Raisin Salad, Orange and Lemon Salad, or California Raisin and Orange Salad Platter (Ensalada de Naranja Pasa) will pack a vitamin wallop into these spring meals. Did we mention they are really good to eat as well as good for you?

Sweet and Sour ColeslawCarrots and coleslaw load up Vitamins A, C and B6 along with some Folate. Curried California Raisin and Carrot Salad, Favorite Carrot Salad, California Celebration Slaw and Sweet and Sour Coleslaw can bring lots of vitamins and provide delicious taste to many meals.

Demystifying Food Labels

Understanding and using the information in the Nutrition Facts labels that are on most food packages can help you make wise choices for healthy living. Please refer to More About the Nutrition Label at http://www.calraisins.org/healthy/labelinfo.cfm and to http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/brocure.htm for more about Nutrition Facts labels and how to use them.

Labelinfo
  1. Pay close attention to Serving Size and to the Number of Servings Per Container. These are often overlooked, but are very important when choosing foods for healthy living. Measure and weigh, if in doubt about the amount of food that makes one serving.
  2. Calories do count and whether they come from fats, sugars or proteins is very important, too. Once in awhile, it is a good idea to tabulate all the calories you eat in a day. This is fairly easy to do just by adding up the Calories per Serving listed on the Nutrition Facts labels for all the foods consumed during the day. For those foods that do not have nutrition labels like fresh fruits and vegetables, you can find calorie counts at www.MyPyramid.gov.
  3. California Raisins are low in fat and cholesterol, so those zero grams of Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Trans Fat and Cholesterol on the Nutrition Facts label will help you take charge. Limit those fats to 30% or fewer of the total calories consumed each day and keep the total cholesterol intake under 300 milligrams per day.
  4. Sodium and Potassium work together to maintain normal blood pressure and guard against heart disease and stroke. With only 10 milligrams of Sodium per serving, California Raisins help to maintain this balance with 310 milligrams of Potassium per serving.
  5. The sugars in California Raisins are all natural sugars, primarily glucose and fructose, making them a great energy source.
  6. They also contain good amounts of inulin, a fiber-like carbohydrate that plays an important role in reducing cholesterol.
  7. The Recommended Daily Intake of Protein is about 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. For a 130-pound woman, this translates to 47 grams per day or about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces, approximately the amount in a 6-ounce piece of salmon or 3 ounces of beefsteak. Raisin sauces and salsas add more nutrition to these.
  8. Percent Daily Values are listed for the total amount of each nutrient you should eat every day. These are based on an average 2000 calories per day. However, many of us do not need or eat 2000 calories per day so it is very important to get the most nutrition from every food. For quick reference, foods with 5% or less of any nutrient are low in that nutrient while those with 20% or more are high. Shop for a variety of food groups with the higher percentages of nutrients.

Special Days in March

The whole month of March is National Nutrition Month dedicated to nutrition education through a campaign sponsored by the National Dietetic Association focusing on the importance of informed food choices and sound eating and physical activity habits.

This is a good time to renew that resolve to eat more fruits and vegetables in 2008 and keep at it. With that in mind, here are some wise choices for healthy living that can help celebrate all those holidays that fall in March this year, including the First Day of Spring, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.

The First Day of Spring is a harbinger of new life when the last snowstorm ignites the anticipation that gardens will bloom and spring will be here at last. Now is the perfect time to get into gear and begin to make more wise food choices and develop healthier lifestyle habits.

The promise of new beginnings offered by the First Day of Spring, the end of Lent and the Palm Sunday and Easter holidays, and other Celebration Sundays bring families together. Where there is family, there is always food! Remember that California Raisins make great Easter basket treats and fit perfectly in those plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt, too.

Golden Raisin-coated Sea Bass NapoleonThese Celebration Sundays are a good time to gather the family around the dinner table. Feature Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with Wilted Spinach, California Raisins and Pine Nuts for a complete meal. Citrus-Raisin Salmon Steak or Golden Raisin-coated Sea Bass Napoleon are quick, delicious Passover meals and perfect for Celebration Sundays, too.

Lomo De Cerdo with California RaisinsLamb Chops with Red Wine and California Raisins or Sautéed Veal Chops with Braised Juniper Berry Red Cabbage make Easter Sunday dinners that are sure to bring out the entire family. If it is for a crowd, our Lomo De Cerdo with California Raisins is the perfect meal.

Chili-Sugar Cured Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Corn-Jalapeño Whipped Potatoes, Raisin-Port Chipotle Demi-GlacChili-Sugar Cured Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Corn-Jalapeño Whipped Potatoes, Raisin-Port Chipotle Demi-Glace, Pork Rack Chops Smothered with Apples, Cabbage and Raisins or Roasted Leg of Lamb and Minty Raisin Jam are heart warming family favorites perfect for Sunday dinner or anytime.

Raisin and Chocolate Filled CookiesChocolate Covered Raisin Day is March 24 — a perfect day to celebrate the marriage made in heaven of California Raisins with chocolate. Raisin and Chocolate Filled Cookies or Chocolate-covered Raisin Clusters are kid-friendly sweets for the entire family to enjoy. Low in sodium and healthy, these pleasurable little nibbles are guilt free and totally satisfying.

California Raisin Peanut Butter GriddlersBelieve it or not, Peanut Butter Lover’s Day happens in March, too. Almost as good as that other combination, peanuts pair perfectly with raisins for some very satisfying snacks. California Raisin Peanut Butter Griddlers, California Raisin Peanut Butter Tortilla Roll Ups, Peanut Butter Buddies, and Raisin Peanut Butter Granola are tasty treats celebrating this nut lover’s special day.

Tunisian-spiced Raisin HummusDaylight Saving Time begins again in March. That makes it time to get back into the exercise groove by scheduling a jog or walk with the family to enjoy the long evenings and take advantage of the extra sunlight! Our Recipe of the Month Tunisian-spiced California Raisin Hummus is sure to restore all that energy, afterward.


Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month

What better time to follow the advice in Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month — Get Motivated.

  • Set a goal with a deadline.
  • Write it down.
  • Include a date you are going to achieve it.
  • Develop a plan for doing it.
  • Post the following wherever you need to so that
    • You can do this!
    • You will do this!
    • You must do this!

Remember March is Nutrition Month — Eat more fruits, including California Raisins and vegetables and be more physically active in 2008.

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