May 2009

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In This Edition
The Secret to Eating Better – Fruits and Vegetables
Get Out the Barbecue!
Health and Nutrition
Valerie Waters’ Tip of the MonthFamilies That Play Together, Stay Fit Together

Valerie Waters’ Health and Fitness Video Tips – Tone My Abs

More News from California Raisins

Recipe of the Month – Mayan Soft Tacos


Life is a journey. Bring a healthy snack along.

The Secret to Eating Better – Fruits and Vegetables

Across the country, leading healthcare professionals, educators, lawmakers, and activists are encouraging better food choices. Research shows that five or more servings of fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Consequently, farmers’ markets, cooking programs, regulations to provide nutrient information in restaurants, and programs to encourage schools and hospitals to buy local produce are springing up all over the country.

A $3.2 million promotion of “specialty crops” including fruits and vegetables and a sustainable community garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC are indicators that the Obama Administration has made healthy eating a priority.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that less than one-quarter of Americans eat fruits and vegetables 5 times a day, as recommended. “We think we are eating healthier because we are buying foods with added omega-3s or probiotics,” says Harry Balzer, author of the last 23 years of the annual report, Eating Patterns in America, “But this is a 180-degree shift from a recent trend that emphasized a decrease in the harmful such as fat or sodium.”

So just how do you get your family to eat more of these good-for-you foods?

  1. Enlist the family. Let them know that you will be serving more fruits and vegetables and ask them to help you select different ones to serve everyday.
  2. Start small. One new one each day, or even week, can make a difference. Small portions are enough until everyone develops a liking for ‘turnips’ – or that other new vegetable you are serving.
  3. Try them again. Serve it once and serve it again in a day or two.
  4. Prepare vegetables in different ways – baked, roasted, boiled, steamed or sautéed make them different every time.
  5. Add a few California Raisins to almost any fruit dish or vegetable preparation and make it even more enjoyable.

Speaking of Fruits and Vegetables – Salads Galore

California Raisin and Orange Salad (Ensalada de Naranja Pasa)Plain and simple Fruit Salsa Salad or the California Raisin and Orange Salad (Ensalada de Naranja Pasa) get ample servings of fruit to the table. Serve them over mixed salad greens and count a vegetable serving, too.

Asian Pear, Spinach and Golden Raisin Salad with Pomegranate-Mustard Dressing and Herb Crusted Chicken BreastCombine fruits and vegetables with chicken for almost a whole meal in an Asian Pear, Spinach and Golden Raisin Salad with Pomegranate-Mustard Dressing and Herb Crusted Chicken Breast.

Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts (Pignoli)If fish is your dish, the Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts (Pignoli) is truly a prize winner featuring spring’s best vegetable, asparagus.

Raisins and Asparagus?

Thai Raisin and Lemongrass Glazed Salmon Fillet with Asparagus, Mango and Golden Raisin Salad and Red Curry-Noodle Stir-FrySpeaking of asparagus, here are a couple of tricks that will have the family calling for more! For starters try this Golden Raisin Asparagus Salad or add excitement with Thai Raisin and Lemongrass Glazed Salmon Fillet with Asparagus, Mango and Golden Raisin Salad and Red Curry-Noodle Stir-Fry. Serve the salad alone or with the noodles.

Just for fun, you might want to serve Goat Cheese Wonton Ravioli with Green Asparagus, Chicken Gravy and Crispy Raisin Tuile. The perfect appetizer, it also makes a great main dish just by increasing the number of wontons served to each diner. The perfect side dish will be found in Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter and Raisins. Serve with pride to your family or to special guests.

Things to Do with Raisins and Eggs

Fiesta Brunch StrataMay is National Egg Month so it is only fitting that eggs and California Raisins get together to celebrate. Serve them together for breakfast in a Fiesta Brunch Strata you can fix the night before.

Or top Santa Rosa Andante Nocturne Cow’s Milk Cheese Souffle with Port Wine and California Natural Raisin-Port Compote. The soufflé bakes in 20 minute while the sauce reheats.

What better way to combine eggs and raisins than a bread pudding! Just plain, rich, old fashioned Bread Pudding or Applesauce Bread Pudding can serve double duty at breakfast, too.

Rum Raisin Bread PuddingWhile Rum Raisin Bread Pudding or the one with chocolate, Chocolate Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding, close the meal in style.

Portuguese Orange Custard with California Raisin GlazeA Lemony Raisin Bread Souffle or a Portuguese Orange Custard with California Raisin Glaze provides lighter fare to top off the evening.

After Your Workout

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month could get you a head start on toning and shaping for those great summer activities. After a hearty workout with Valerie Waters’ Tone My Abs video, there is nothing so refreshing as a Berry Berry Freeze, a Frothy Yogurt Shake or a Fruit Shake.

Mayan Soft TacoBring them or a more filling Mayan Soft Taco along when the family moves outdoors for summer sports, too. As Ms Waters says, “Families that play together, stay fit together. The key is to spend time together doing something active.”

Get Out the Barbecue!

Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with California Raisin Sambal (Murghi Kebabs)Grilled Limoncello Chicken with California RaisinsThe closer it gets to summer, the more we gravitate outdoors. This month is a great time to dust off the barbecue and get to cooking and eating al fresco. Start with an East Indian favorite, Marinated Grilled Chicken Skewers with California Raisin Sambal (Murghi Kebabs), or a simpler Grilled Limoncello Chicken with California Raisins.

Grilled Lamb Chops, Red Salsa with California Raisin (Salsa de Pasitas Rojas) and Fennel SaladMove right up to Grilled Lamb Chops, Red Salsa with California Raisin (Salsa de Pasitas Rojas) and Fennel Salad. If you can’t find fennel for the salad, substitute a couple bulbs of jícama.

Grilled Veal Chop with Raisin-Rice PilafNext time, serve Grilled Veal Chop with Raisin-Rice Pilaf and get ready – Backyard Barbecuing is here to stay!

These are just a few of the great recipes to be found at LoveYourRaisins.com. Wherever you go, whatever you do, California Raisins add to the fun and enjoyment. From snacks to barbecues to special desserts, they are the Wise Choice for better eating, every time!

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