You do not need to be a tourist or a participant in a marathon to appreciate raisins as a convenient, energy abundant and low-fat breakfast - they are easy for packing, easy to eat and almost never break. Like other dried fruits, raisins are available in stores year round.
The scientific name is raisins Vitus vinifera. They are created by dehydrating grapes using a solar thermal or a mechanical process that is practiced in the drying oven. Among the most popular types are Sultana, Malaga, Muscat, Zante Courant and others. Given the size of small pebbles, raisins have wrinkled coating over their chewy interior, reminiscent of sugar cookies. While there are variations of color, mostly they are dark brown, often with purple shades.
Origin of raisins
Drying of grapes and turning them into raisins was practiced even in ancient times, it was first mentioned in the Old Testament. Murals show that it is used for human consumption, and for decoration and Romans used it as a barter item, or as a prize for the winners of sporting events.
Today, the biggest commercial producer of raisins is California, and in particular a region known as the San Joaquin Valley, where raisins are grown since the 19th century. Australia, Turkey, Greece, Iran and Chile are among the leading commercial producers of raisins.
Composition of raisins
Dried grapes have most of the summer beneficial vitamins and trace elements. They contain antioxidants, especially oleanol acid. They are rich in vitamins B1, B2 and B5, the elements magnesium and boron. They are a valuable source of calcium, copper, phosphorous and manganese. Quantities of potassium are also very high.
100 grams of raisins contains 299 kcal, 15.4% water, 3 g protein, 79 g carbohydrate, 0.45 g fat, 59 g sugar, 3.7 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol.
Selection and storage of raisins
• If possible, buy raisins in bulk, so you can see if they are moist and healthy.
• If you need to buy packaged, make sure you are properly closed and that are packaged by a reputable company.
• You can store them in the refrigerator in a well sealed bag. Will be freshest if you consume within 6 months.
Culinary uses of raisins
Raisins are very widely used in the cuisine of the Middle and Near East, but also in the Mediterranean. Dark, almost black currants are used primarily for making sweets and cakes.
Light raisins are a great addition to many drinks, risotto and various meat dishes. Large fleshy raisins have a very pleasant taste and complement a range of drinks.
To restore dried raisins, soak them in some hot water, then you can also add them to a recipe.
Raisins are suitable for most baked cakes. You can add them to bread, cake or cookies.
Benefits of raisins
Raisins are a part of many studies related to their content phytonutrients. They have unique phenolic content and are a major source of trace minerals and boron.
- Due to their content phenols, raisins have antioxidant protection. Phenols help to prevent the occurrence of oxygen-based damage in human cells. Although not as affected by the drying process, raisins also contain fewer phenols than fresh grapes;
- Chemical element boron is welcome for our bones. Although less frequently mentioned, pine is especially important for our health, especially in relation to the health of bones and advancing osteoporosis in women. Boron is a trace minerals needed in the conversion of estrogen and vitamin D, especially after menopause. Raisins contain within them a really good amount of this element;
- Raisins protect us from Macular Degeneration (visual impairment in the investigation of age). Your mother may have told you that for good vision snacking more carrots is better, but over time it turns out that fruits are more suitable for this purpose than vegetables. People who took fruit three times a day showed a reduction in risk of macular degeneration by almost 40%. So always add a handful of raisins in your breakfast cereal and milk at noon and in the vegetable or green salad for dinner;
- Raisins are among the few sweets that are allowed in diets for weight loss. This is due to their high energy input. Many people who avoid their consumption do so because of the large amount of sugars which are 8 times more than grapes. The good news is that you do not damage your teeth with raisins, as with other sweet products.
- Regular consumption of raisins helps to fight fatigue and depression. They have an excellent toning effect and are recommended for athletes, the elderly and young people who do hard physical or intellectual labor.
Dangers of raisins
Golden raisins contain sulphites which prevent discoloration and flavor changes. When individuals use sulphite compounds. they can cause allergic reactions.