November 2009

In This Edition
What Is It About Fats?
Get Your Bake On!
Go Nuts!
Let’s Give Thanks
Health and Nutrition
Recipe of the Month – Raisin-Apple Stuffed Squash

The path from healthy leads to happy.

What Is It About Fats?

Does the word “fat” send a shudder down your spine? Let’s shed some light and see if it can allay those fears.

  • Dietary fats are essential nutrients for our bodies. They
    • Provide energy — about 9 calories per gram
    • Protect (cushion) our organs and bones
    • Provide some insulation from the cold
    • Support cell growth
    • Have important roles in digestion
  • They come in different shapes and sizes. The major ones are
    • Saturated Fats
    • Trans Fats
    • Monounsaturated Fats
    • Polyunsaturated Fats
  • Recommended Daily Intakes are
    • Adults, 20-35% of total daily calories from all fats
      1. Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of these
      2. Limit trans fats to less than 1% of calories
      3. Remaining fats should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils
      4. Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300mg per day
    • Toddlers (age 2-3) have a need for slightly more fat calories, about 25-35% of calories per day
    • But by age 4, it drops back to that 20-35% level and remains there for life

Saturated Fats, more specifically Saturated Fatty Acids, are the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol.

  • They are found mostly in foods from animals and a few plants. Most often they are solid at room temperature.
  • Beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole and 2 percent milk are the most common sources.
  • Note that these foods also contain dietary cholesterol.
  • Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (those so-called tropical oils) and cocoa butter are the plant sources.

Trans Fats are created when oils are hydrogenated to make margarine and shortenings so that they are easier to handle and more shelf stable. They may be present in baked goods and fried foods where these hydrogenated fats are used. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the package, and avoid them as much as possible.

Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats, again, more specifically Unsaturated Fatty Acids, are found mainly in fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants, e.g., olive oil, almonds, cashews, avocado, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and vegetable oils, such as safflower, corn, sunflower and soybean oil.

According the American Heart Association, “Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don’t is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol.” So plan for more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and reduce your family’s intake of those saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol bearing foods. There are numerous Low Fat and Low Cholesterol recipes made with California Raisins, and you can grind them to make a paste and substitute that for part of the fats called for in many recipes. Check out these possibilities at

Low Fat Recipes
Moroccan Vegetable Ragout with California Raisins

Spiced California Raisin-Honey Couscous with Yogurt

Eat more vegetables and fruits with a low fat combination in this Moroccan Vegetable Ragout with California Raisins and the Recipe of The Month, Raisin-Apple Stuffed Squash.

And pull out all the stops with a low fat dessert, such as Spiced California Raisin-Honey Couscous with Yogurt.

Raisin-Apple Stuffed Squash
Low Cholesterol Recipes
Dried Fruit and Sausage Stuffing Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix with Raisins starts the party off with a tasty treat and

Dried Fruit and Sausage Stuffing would be great with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix
Raisins as Fat Replacer
Lomo De Cerdo with California Raisins Lomo De Cerdo with California Raisins uses raisin paste instead of oil in the stuffing for a pork loin, but it would be equally good with turkey breast.

Angostura Entrée Salad has a dressing made with raisin paste that should go with those holiday leftovers as well as chicken breasts.

Angostura Entrée Salad

During the coming busy holiday season, remember California Raisins are always a Wise Choice.

Get Your Bake On!

November 17 is Homemade Bread Day. There’s not much that is better than the smell of freshly baked bread when you open the door after a long day at work or school. So have some ready when your kids come home from school and enjoy it with them while they share their days at school.

Create a beautifully rich treat such as Brioche with Vanilla Cream and Raisins. The cold vanilla ice cream and warm brioche will be unbeatable on a balmy afternoon!

Get ready for Christmas and bake up some California Raisin Panettone. These individual fruit-filled breads are perfect to pack in the kids’ lunches. They will be the talk of the cafeteria.

Raisin and Walnut Whole Wheat RollsTraditional Irish Soda BreadIrish or not, Traditional Irish Soda Bread is a fabulous quick bread for everyone’s indulgence at breakfast, or as a bedtime snack, or anytime in between!

Raisin and Walnut Whole Wheat Rolls would be perfect for that Thanksgiving Feast, but well worth a try in advance.

Go Nuts!

Savory California Raisin Trail MixThere’s an entire day devoted to the beloved cashew — November 23 is National Cashew Day! Versatile and packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, enjoy them, often and spice up any occasion with Catahoula and Sazarec Spiced Nuts with California Raisins or Sesame Rolled Raisin Treats or add cashews to Savory California Raisin Trail Mix. Serve them at a party, take to a potluck, or make a batch just to enjoy at home.

Let’s Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is remembering our blessings and sharing them with family and friends while enjoying all that abundance of food that makes this day so special. To make preparation for Thanksgiving dinner easier, take a spin off the traditional roasted whole turkey, with Breast of Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts, Pistachios, and California Raisins. If you must, a whole turkey, goose or duck is something special when filled with Golden State Stuffing with its California Raisins and apples, too.

Vietnamese Stir-fried Chicken with Nuts and California RaisinsIf this year demands something different, Vietnamese Stir-fried Chicken with Nuts and California Raisins and the wide array of flavors and textures may be just the ticket to a surprisingly satisfied gathering.

Pear, Raisin and Gorgonzola SaladCauliflower-Raisin SaladThink about Pear, Raisin and Gorgonzola Salad or Cauliflower-Raisin Salad for starters, and lighten up those candied yams with Sweet Potatoes with Raisin-Orange Sauce but keep all the great flavors.

California Nuggets of Gold Raisin PieAmaretto Raisin Swirl DessertThe finale is just as important as the bird itself! Would golden raisins, white chocolate chips, and pineapple make a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic meal? Make sure your guests leave happy with California Nuggets of Gold Raisin Pie or Amaretto Raisin Swirl Dessert.

These are just a few of the great ideas and recipes to be found at Whether its home for the holidays or over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, California Raisins can add to the fun and enjoyment. From Cookies to Breads to Party Foods to that all-important Thanksgiving Meal, they are the Wise Choice for better eating, every time!

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