We all lead busy lifestyles nowadays, so quick and simple snacks that are nutritious and empower us to carry on with the demands of our daily activities are absolutely essential. Smart snacking is most definitely the way forward and that means choosing something that’s not only full of goodness but also accessible and easy to have to hand. Being caught out unprepared can often lead to unhealthy choices, and let’s face it, we’ve all succumbed to the lures of the vending machine!
We’ve learnt over the years that good snacking can have a positive impact on your day and one of our favourite foods to snack on is dried fruit. It’s sweet, satisfying, natural and doesn’t mind being bashed around in your gym bag as you cram it into your gym locker! Raisins are a particular favourite of ours and are seriously great if you’ve got a sweet tooth! We’ve recently upgraded to buying South African Raisins due to the different varieties they offer and their plump, juicy taste! Raisins are a ‘natural powerhouse’ packed full of nutrients, such as fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants and just 30g of raisins counts as 1 of your 5-a-day, compared to 80g of fresh fruit. South African raisins are produced in the Orange and Olifants river regions. The dry, sunny climate, along with the ample supply of water from the rivers, makes ideal growing conditions to produce the highest quality raisins. Their Jumbo and golden varieties are super sweet and taste far superior to other varieties on the market.
If you know us, you’ll know we have high standards on sustainable and ethical practices from the brands we purchase products from and it’s important to support and highlight this so we can help educate others on making more thoughtful choices. One thing we really love about South African Raisins is their dedication to this. South Africa is dedicated to adopting sustainable farming processes that benefit its produce, workers as well as the environment. It’s a real 360 approach that not only results in great quality products but also a supportive, positive community.
To help raise even more awareness, South African Raisins are collaborating with South African stone (plums, peaches and nectarines) and top (apples and pears) fruit growers association, Hortgro on the South African Young Chef of the Year and Help A South African School initiatives. This is a perfect way to shed light on the versatility of raisins and also encourage people of all ages to reach for South African Raisins as a healthy, delicious food source.
South African Young Chef of the Year invites young UK chefs, under the age of 25, to create a menu which showcases South African dried, stone and top fruit. The chefs submit their menus and six finalists are chosen to go through to a cook-off at Westminster Kingsway College. The winner flies out to South Africa to experience a week’s stage with top Franschhoek-based restaurants, Reubens and La Petite Colombe.
The Help a South African School project asks UK primary schools to donate unwanted English language and textbooks to deprived schools in South Africa. Only 7% of South African schools have libraries and their schools are in desperate need of resources. The second part of the initiative encourages UK school children to learn about South Africa and demonstrate, through artwork, an understanding of how eating their fruit can make a huge difference to its people. Primary classes submit their artwork and the winning school receives £1,000 to spend on school resources and a ‘Gastronaut Live’ show by BBC presenter Stefan Gates.
Like we mentioned above, raisins are so versatile and can be effortlessly woven into your diet through delicious breakfasts, snacks, salads and more! Below are our favourite recipes with raisins so you can get chomping asap!
Healthy Mince Pies
Mince Pies are a real treat come Christmas time and we love all the festive flavours that come from the spices, raisins and currants. Give this one a try if you’re looking for a delicious vegan mince pie recipe!
This Coconut Granola is made with chunky jumbo oats, crunchy pecans and sweet, juicy raisins. This recipe made in bulk will make a fantastic breakfast for busy mornings this winter!
Healthy Matcha Cookies
Sorry but who doesn’t adore cookies? Comfort food or what? Well, luckily this recipe made with matcha and oats is a little more healthy than your average chocolate chip cookie but it still tastes scrummy!
Raisins South Africa