I was asked to participate in the “California Raisins. Sweet. Naturally.” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received free samples of the California raisins mentioned in this post, and I was compensated for my time, but as always, all opinions are my own.
Is there a person on this earth who doesn’t crave a snack around 3:00 each day? It’s like clockwork, whether you’re young or old — there’s a teeny (or sometimes screaming loud) voice inside your head that says “feed me or else!” right smack in the middle of the afternoon. Anyone with kids knows all about the complete physical and mental breakdown that occurs when one is unprepared for the Hangry Horrors. But offer them something delicious, filling, and healthy, and that afternoon snack can easily turn evil little monsters into happy, sweet and energetic angels.
Well, guess what? Even though most adults can do a good job of controlling our hangry tantrums (it doesn’t look so good after all, to have a breakdown in the middle of a business meeting) even grownups still need a healthy snack in the mid-afternoon. Imagine how much happier the world and especially our workplace would be with snack and nap at 3:00 each day. Just sayin…
And California raisins still make the perfect snack food. Remember when you found them in your snack bag when you were young? Well, they’re still around, and they’re still the perfect snack no matter what your age.
California raisins are an all natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit you can feel good about serving your kids, or yourself as part of a healthy pick-me-up-when-I need-it-most snack. Their sweetness is all raisins – not a drop of added sugar, and absolutely none needed. Ever. Feel free to check the nutrition label if you don’t quite believe me. You’ll also notice that raisins provide a healthy dose of fiber, potassium and iron, and they’re completely fat free.
While snacking is perfectly acceptable for kids, I know lots of adults who think it’s a no-no. Actually, let me put on my dietitian coat for a moment and set the record straight. Adding a healthy snack in the afternoon will actually help you to eat less later in the day. Yup, it’s true. Research suggests that it works for kids, and I’m willing to bet that the same is true for the rest of us too. Especially when you pair sweet raisins with a touch of cinnamon, to make raisin butter, and serve it on top of whole grain bread with a dollop of nut butter or luscious ricotta cheese.
This recipe couldn’t be any easier, and it makes enough to keep the kids satisfied for several afternoon snacking sessions. Or bring a jar to work to share at snack time. And don’t forget your blankey 😉
- 2 1/2 cups black or golden California raisins
- 2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pear is soft and broken down, and the raisins are very plump and softened.
Remove the mixture from the heat, and let cool.
Place the raisin mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
Process until raisins are smooth.
Pour into a 12- ounce jar, and store for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Serve on toast, with ricotta or nut butter,
For more information about the healthy benefits of raisins, or for more recipes and inspiration, check out the California Raisins website.