Last month, the California Raisin Marketing Board flew me out to Fresno to learn more about raisins. Not only did I learn about how incredible this little fruit is, but I got to meet the farmers who grow them, walk in their fields, taste test different varieties, and see how they go from dusty fruit to shiny boxed raisins.
I learned that raisins are mostly grown by family farmers, and many of these fields are passed down through generations. We ate dinner with a family who has been farming raisins for over one hundred years, and their kids are getting ready to carry on the torch.
What struck me the most was how many health benefits we can get from such a simple little fruit. There are no additives, there is no processing (other than removing the stem and taking a water bath), the drying process is all natural (thanks to the sun), and raisins are readily available for everyone to enjoy (as opposed to some other “superfruits”).
- Raisins are as effective as sports chews for fueling workouts.
- Snacking on raisins significantly reduces post-meal blood sugar levels.
- Snacking on raisins controls hunger, promotes satiety in children.
- Routine consumption of raisins may significantly lower blood pressure.
Note: The ingredients listed make one pancake. I usually mix and make one at a time instead of mixing up a whole batch.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake
Prep time: 2 mins Cook time: 6 mins Total time: 8 mins Serves: 1
¼ cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if you have celiac disease)
¼ cup finely chopped apple
1 Tbsp. California raisins
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, using a fork to scramble the egg into the mixture.
2. Heat a small pan over medium heat and spritz with a little oil.
3. Pour pancake mixture into pan. Use a spatula to flatten into a pancake shape.
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes on first side, then flip pancake. Cook 2 minutes on other side, then remove from pan and serve.
5. Top with apples, raisins and yogurt if desired.
Alysa became a Registered Dietitian in 2002 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Nutritional Sciences. She earned a personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and later a group fitness certification through the American Council on Exercise. Now based in Phoenix, Alysa is a busy mom of two who writes about inspired healthy living. Fun fact: Alysa has a passion for handmade crafts and has her own Etsy shop!