Ever had one of those rare weekends where you have either virtually no plans or have decided to shelf aside less urgent ones so that we can devote time to what weekends are best for – being spontaneous? Well, rare as it is, we had one recently in the midst of weeks of whirlwind school holiday activities.
It was a Sunday…we turned down several invites as we wanted to laze at home after church . Not wanting a precious afternoon like this to be whiled away, I decided at the drop of a hat to well…spice things up a little by doing something unique with the kids. We decided it would be fun to create easy meals with the ready supply of Sun-Maid Raisins we had in our pantry.
Raisins are so versatile. I use them often in my baking and Dana loves it in her cereals. Whenever I pack it into her lunchbox for school, she would always beam with joy.
Benefits of Sun-Maid Raisins:
1. 100% Natural, No Added Sugar
o Just grapes & sunshine
o Naturally sweet without addition of sweeteners
o Dried fruit = fresh fruit with a reduced water content level
2. Naturally Fat Free and Cholesterol Free
3. Natural Energy Booster before exercise that is low Glycemic Index
4. Good Source of Fibre
5. Portable, Convenient, Delicious, and Nutritious Snack on the Go
o Fun sized packaging that fits into birthday favor bags
o Canisters suitable for cooking (in pastries, pastas or rice)
o added to breakfast cereals, salads or snack as it is
Here are 3 dishes I whipped up with Dana’s help that Sunday afternoon. Incidentally, these are just 3 of our family’s favourite ways to enjoy Sun-Maid Raisins:
This is an easy salad to whip up for a weekday meal and also presentable for parties. It’s colourful, delicious and full of vitamins!
2 to 4 apples, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 sticks Celery, thinly sliced crosswise
½ cup halved red, seedless Grapes
¼ cup low-fat Plain Yoghurt
Juice from half a Lemon
Garnish: Sun-Maid Raisins and Walnuts
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and lemon juice.
2. Add apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts; toss to coat with dressing.
3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to overnight.
Pineapple Fried Rice
Easily the yummiest one-dish meal we can prepare at home, at a fraction of the cost we usually pay at restaurants. Kids love this dish too, thanks to the sweetness from the pineapples and the raisins.
1 packet Pineapple Rice Paste (I used Dancing Chef brand)
1 Pineapple, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 bowls of Rice (about 600g)
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1 tablespoon sliced Shallots
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
6 to 10 Prawns
1 Chicken Breast (sliced thinly)
Garnish: Sun-Maid Raisins and Chinese Parsley
Marinate for Chicken:
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon Corn Starch
A dash of White Pepper
1. Marinate the chicken breast with light soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, corn starch and white pepper and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Heat the oil. Fry shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add chicken and prawns.
3. Add rice and pineapple paste. Stir to combine well.
4. Add the pineapple cubes, give it a quick stir and serve with desired garnish.
Recipe adapted from Budget Pantry
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Bake some oatmeal raisin cookies with the kids, serve it with fresh fruits, mini packs of Sun-Maid raisins, and a glass of milk and you have a nutritious afternoon snack for the family! Perfect for weekends or when your children’s friends pop over for play-dates.
Ingredients: (makes about 36 cookies)
150g Plain Flour
150g Rolled Oats
150g Light Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
60g Sun-Maid Raisins (pre-soaked in water for 10 mins)
125ml Sunflower Oil
4 tablespoon Milk
1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Lightly grease a baking paper on a baking tray.
2. In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients together: flour, rolled oats, baking soda, brown sugar and raisins.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Mix together manually with hands to form soft cookie dough.
4. Place dollops of dough onto the baking tray. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.
5. Send into the oven to bake for 10 mins. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container and serve with fresh milk.
Recipe adapted from Happy Home Baking
For busy families with energetic kids like ours, it’s good that we have a steady supply of Sun-Maid Raisins stocked up at home. They are great for the impromptu snacks as well as to add that colour and taste to zest up a family meal and in the process…make those spontaneous weekends just a bit more memorable.
Sun-Maid Raisins are sold at major supermarkets. Raisins are a ‘ready-to-eat’ snack that does not require refrigeration, once a package has been opened; please keep in an airtight container under cool and dry conditions, away from heat and/or humidity.