October 2008

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In This Edition
Wise Choices and Family Meals
Raisin Fun All Month Long
Columbus Day and More
World Series Party Time
Healthy Halloween Treats
Health and Nutrition
Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month – Make a Plan

Valerie Waters’ Video Vignettes – Time Crunch Workout

More News from California Raisins

Recipe of the Month – Orange-scented Golden Raisin Tapenade


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

Wise Choices and Family Meals

The American Cancer Society attributes one out of every three deaths from cancer to poor diet, obesity, and lack of physical activity. To help prevent cancer, the Society recommends eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 further defines these as 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day for a 2,000-calorie diet. And the Produce for Better Health Foundation goes even further in their fruits & veggies More Matters campaign stating that “According to nutrition experts, eating 8 or more and as many as 13 fruits and vegetables a day can help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and birth defects.” Most kids count fruits as their number one snack choice these days, but what about those vegetables? Getting kids started on building lifetime habits that include eating lots of fruits and vegetables is the best risk preventative of all.

Now, let’s talk serving sizes. One-half cup fresh fruit; 1 medium piece of fruit; 1/4 cup dried fruit, e.g., California raisins, etc.; 3/4 cup (6 ounces) 100% juice – fruit or vegetable; 1 cup of leafy vegetables; or 1/2 cup cooked or raw vegetables will count up pretty fast. So, see what happens when we combine California Raisins with some of those good-for-you vegetables.

Harvest Butternut Squash Soup with California Golden Raisin CrostiniMinted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and ChivesLooking for some kid-friendly first course soup? Try the prize winning Minted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and Chives or a seasonal Harvest Butternut Squash Soup with California Golden Raisin Crostini.

Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin PestoAn even healthier alternative is the Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto, a grand prize-winner in the Wise Choices Recipe Contest.

Asian Pear, Spinach and Golden Raisin Salad with Pomegranate-Mustard Dressing and Herb Crusted Chicken BreastEating a variety of foods is the best way to ensure good nutrition. Kids and adults need calcium for strong bones and teeth. We know that milk and milk products are good sources, but calcium-fortified orange juice or bread products made with flour fortified with calcium, canned fish with bones, some brands of tofu, and green leafy vegetables are good sources, too. California raisins combine with those green leafy vegetables in some very good salad combinations for hearty lunches or hearty meals, anytime. Elegant Asian Pear, Spinach and Golden Raisin Salad with Pomegranate-Mustard Dressing and Herb Crusted Chicken Breast or the simpler Spinach Salad with Pears and Raisins and Asian Turkey Salad are healthy and wise choices, while Curried Tuna and California Raisin Salad and South of the Border Bowl are packable lunch alternatives.

Raisin-Apple Stuffed SquashIn the Fall, some nutrient rich vegetables naturally go together with California raisins. It is hard to believe that any kid or adult could resist Raisin-Apple Stuffed Squash, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Raisins, Sweet Potatoes with Raisin-Orange Sauce or Zesty Sweet Potatoes with Golden Raisins

Moroccan Vegetable Ragout with California Raisins For a healthy combination with vegetables, Moroccan Vegetable Ragout with California Raisins is hard to beat. Serve it with roast beef or oven-baked chicken to get the full benefit of all the vitamins and minerals, especially the iron that helps kids be active and happy.

Children learn to eat fruits and vegetables over time — a little bit now, a little bit more, the next time — and soon they are enjoying every bite and asking for more. As fitness guru, Valerie Waters, points out, the key is to “Make a Plan. Summer is fun and carefree, but with the first day of the new school year, structure returns. You child’s day quickly fills up with school, homework, and after-school activities. Now more than ever, it is important that exercise and meals are planned. Schedule meals so that your family eats together, at the table, at least once every day. This is a good opportunity to slow down and eat mindfully. Sitting together allows you to stay involved in your child’s life.” And, we might add, make sure that he gets a good nutritious meal and an opportunity to try some really good fruit and vegetable dishes.

Good nutrition and planned family meals are just one part of the picture when it comes to building good health habits and teaching children to make wise choices. Almost every child should log some good, old-fashioned fun and exercise outdoors, every day. And moms need time to exercise, too! Valerie Waters’ Time Crunch Workout video has helped many fit a few minutes of physical fitness into their busy days. Try it! You just might find that it is the answer for you, too.

Raisin Fun All Month Long

National Cookie Month

Waiting for Halloween? Start the fun now with National Cookie Month. Gather the kids and make some easy, fun snacks for the entire family to enjoy. With a wide variety of cookies, everyone has his favorite, but one all-time favorite is the classic oatmeal-raisin cookie. Here are a couple of ways to make this old favorite all new.

Our Growers Favorite Oatmeal Raisin CookiesRaisin, Bran and Oatmeal Cookies are low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, healthy, and so easy even kids can make them! These could possibly be the perfect cookies! Speaking of perfect cookies, Our Growers Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies come straight from our California raisin growers. One of these is never enough! And, Oatmeal-Raisin White Chocolate Chip Cookies just have it all!

Raisin and Chocolate Filled CookiesGolden Raisin, Lemon, Pistachio and Butterscotch CookiesCalifornia raisins are guaranteed to bring out the sweet flavor of your cookies and keep them fresh and moist as long as they last. A favorite ingredient in many different cookies, like Golden Raisin, Lemon, Pistachio and Butterscotch Cookies, Raisin and Chocolate Filled Cookies, and Snickerdoodles or Sour Cream Raisin Cookies, California raisins bring all their goodness to other recipes, too. See LoveYourRaisins.com for a multitude of ideas for more cookies and tasty dishes.

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month

As Summer turns to Fall and September turns to October, that crisp snap in the air reminds us that National Popcorn Poppin’ Month is here. So, start popping! An in-between-meal snack, a party favorite, Halloween treats, or simply something to munch during the Friday night movie or football game, pop enough for everyone!

Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix with RaisinsMix it with California raisins and nuts to make Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Mix with Raisins packed with the flavors of Fall and sure to become a family favorite. Then, step it up a notch to a savory variation with Curried Popcorn Mix combining crunchy pretzel sticks, walnuts and golden California raisins for a spicy, high fiber snack. Beyond Good Old Raisins and Peanuts combines a familiar tangy mix with raisins and popcorn to cure all the munchies.

Columbus Day and More

On October 12, 1492, Columbus arrived in the Americas, but officially this year, October 13 is designated as the day we will celebrate Columbus Day. It is also celebrated as Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, Dia de las Culturas (Day of Cultures) in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in The Bahamas and Columbia, Discoverer’s Day in Hawaii, and Native American Day in South Dakota, among others.

Remember that chant you learned in grade school — “In fourteen ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue”? Days and days at seas as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean in those tiny boats, Columbus and his crew must have had to rely on the sea for much of their food. Make a wise choice and include one of those deep-sea fishes as you celebrate the anniversary of our beginnings.

Jumbo Shrimp with Pernod-plumped California Raisins and FennelSea Scallops with California Raisin-Currant ChutneySea Scallops with California Raisin-Currant Chutneyis best described as — Delicious! — with those bacon-wrapped scallops and tangy sweet chutney. Jumbo Shrimp with Pernod-plumped California Raisins and Fennel fills the air with aromatics to entice everyone to come to the table.

Roasted Salmon with Pearl Barley and Parsley CoulisFor a sweet, spicy, lowfat, quick-fix meal, Honey Chipotle Raisin Glazed Salmon is low in sodium and one of our healthy recipes, too. Roasted Salmon with Pearl Barley and Parsley Coulis is also low in sodium and simply flavored with all natural ingredients.

Matelote of Monkfish, California Raisin Roulade and Celeriac MousselineMatelote of Monkfish, California Raisin Roulade and Celeriac Mousseline, a real showstopper, makes a great dinner entree. If you’re looking for a very quick-to-fix meal, No-Fuss Fish, filled with omega-3 fatty acids, is so easy and, more importantly, delicious, too!

Tropical Shrimp CocktailIf something simpler appeals, Tropical Shrimp Cocktail or Sicilian Seviche will start the celebration with taste and flair!

World Series Party Time

Attention baseball fans! The 104th edition of Major League Baseball’s Championship Series begins October 22 and will run to the end of the month. For some great baseball fun, gather family and friends for a blowout World Series party where you serve great food and fun sprinkled generously with California raisins!

Orange-scented Golden Raisin TapenadeStart the party with this month’s Recipe of the Month, Orange-scented Golden Raisin Tapenade — sure to get it going good!

Escarole California Raisin Salad with Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette and Candied PecansThen, layout BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad for a quick start. Coleslaw with Raisins and Peanuts, and Escarole California Raisin Salad with Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans from some of our top chefs make good munching, too.

Sunshine CheeseburgersShift into full meal mode with Italian Meatballs with California Raisins, Country Ribs with Waldorf Gravy, Sunshine Cheeseburgers, or Burgers with Salsa.

Pulled Pork with Raisin Corn BreadIf knife-and-fork sandwiches (read that “extra napkins all around!”) are your style, we’d like to suggest Pulled Pork with Raisin Corn Bread or the Lightened Up Pulled Pork version.

Beef and California Raisin PicadilloOr make it all ahead and just pull these Beef and California Raisin Picadillo wraps out of the fridge when it is time to eat!

Amaretto Raisin Swirl DessertRaisin Nut BrowniesAmaretto Raisin Swirl Dessert and Raisin Nut Brownies will end it all on a very sweet note!

Healthy Halloween Treats

PumpkinAn old Irish celebration to mark the end of the harvest season has evolved into our modern day Halloween that includes dressing up in fun or scary costumes, trick-or-treating, parties and festivities with candies and treats. If your thoughts immediately turn to teeth and cavities, it is possible to have great tasting treats without this worry.

California raisins may actually be good for teeth — yours and your children’s. Research has shown that phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Actually, a routine chemical analysis identifies five compounds in Natural seedless raisins that are known phytochemicals and antioxidants, including some compounds that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

To feel good about the treats you give trick-or-treaters this year, individual snack packs of California raisins are great for those scary hobgoblins in your neighborhood. The new crop of raisins should be in and, not only will they be affordable, but they are so good, and good for you, too.

If it is party time or you need something special for the party at school, check out these. Frankenstein Eyeballs, Scary Spiders, and Ghosts and Goblins will thrill any kid with just a bit of imagination. Add Chocolate-covered Raisin Clusters, Yogurt Raisin Clusters, and Apricot Raisinots for some bite-size goodness, or combine the chocolate clusters with the yogurt clusters for a showy black and white combination.

Remember California Raisins are the Wise Choice for healthy eating, every time.

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