I’ve always thought of raisins as a great snack and a “must have” for oatmeal cookies. It wasn’t until my trip to BlogHer’11 last month that I learned raisins are a healthy addition to many recipes. The California Raisins team hosted a luncheon featuring dishes prepared by registered dietitian and Cordon Bleu Chef, Michelle Dudash.
The lunch was a great break from the fast pace of BlogHer and I’m pretty sure it was the only healthy meal I had the entire weekend. So, kudos to the California Raisins folks for allowing me to relax, soak up some sunshine and enjoy a great meal!
I was really impressed with the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and the tasty chicken salad wrap served for lunch. The big surprise dish of the day that featured raisins were the California brownies! I know what you are thinking, but they are delicious! I would have never guessed they had raisins in them!
Check out these great tips Chef Dudash shared with us during lunch.
1. Plan Ahead. Carrying family snacks in your purse, car or gym bag while out and about can prevent vending machine and drive-through slip-ups. Apples, California Raisins, nuts and whole grain crackers serve as portable options that don’t require refrigeration.
2.Find the Perfect Snack Pairings. A blend of nutritious fats, complex carbs, and lean proteins can help curb your appetite. Consider a stick of cheese and pear slices, fruited Greek yogurt, or trail mix.
3.Refuel Your Body Naturally. The first 30 minutes after any physical activity, from morning workouts to after-school sports practice, is the most critical time for parents and kids alike to replenish the body’s energy stores. Reboot with a natural energy snack like a handful of fat- and cholesterol-free California Raisins.
4.Curb Those Cravings. A healthy nosh after school can keep you and the kids satisfied until dinner and the junk food at bay. Try carrot sticks and sugar snap peas dipped in hummus, a strawberry banana smoothie, or a brown rice cake spread with natural peanut butter and topped with banana slices.
5. Treat Yourself with Decadent Alternatives. Satisfy your chocolate snack cravings with nutrient-rich combinations, like strawberries dipped in dark chocolate syrup and rolled in slivered almonds, whole grain crackers with natural chocolate hazelnut spread, or chocolate-flavored yogurt.
Chef Dudash has inspired me to incorporate raisins into our meals more often. Check out these great recipes at the California Raisins site. Be sure and stop by the California Raisins Facebook page to learn all about their current promotion- the Give Kids Their Day In The Sun contest. The grand prize winner gets a premium playground structure valued at $10,000. How cool is that?!
Do you have any go-to recipes that incorporate raisins? Feel free to share the links below!
** I received a complimentary lunch and a gift bag while attending the California raisins luncheon while at BlogHer’11. The thoughts and opinions you see here are 100% my own and not influenced by others. **