America is the nation of snackers. We crunch, dip, dunk and miniaturize any tasty morsel we can get our hands on. Now, it’s in the genes — we’ve created generations full of kids who are snack-loving, on-the-go eaters.
A national survey of moms conducted by California Raisins found that half of their children enjoy at least one to two snacks daily, with another 44 percent saying snacks are the norm for their kids three to four times each day. Participating moms said there are two deciding factors that determine what snacks make it into the shopping cart. First, is it healthy? Second, does it receive a thumbs up or down from the peanut gallery of picky eaters?
California Raisins are a great choice for that sought-after intersection between healthy snacking and happy kids. The fat-free, no-sugar-added fruit adds a kid-approved burst of sweetness on its own or as a tasty complement to other healthy snacks.
“As a busy full-time working mom of three young kids, I’m always looking for convenient and healthy snacks for my children,” said Laura Fuentes, California Raisin Blogger Ambassador and founder of MOMables, a company dedicated to helping parents create healthy school lunches. “California Raisins are a great choice for wholesome, on-the-go snacking, and I make them a key ingredient in many of my homemade baked goods.”
Raisins have another perk, too: they’re affordable. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raisins are the most economical dried fruit. Try out wholesome, fun-to-make recipes, like California Raisin Cinnamon Fruit Roll Ups, to help your family enjoy the healthy snacking wave the right way. Check out loveyourraisins.com for this recipe and tons more.
CALIFORNIA RAISIN CINNAMON FRUIT ROLL UPS
Courtesy: California Raisin Blogger Ambassador Laura Fuentes, SuperGlueMom
Serves: 14-18 roll ups
2 cups golden or natural raisins
1 small pear, peeled and cut into pieces
2 cups water
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil.
2. Meantime, place raisins and diced pear inside a large bowl.
3. Once water boils, pour inside the bowl. With a fork, mix ingredients around, and wait 20 minutes for raisins to plump up.
4. Using a 1-cup measuring cup, remove ¾ cup of liquid. Add cinnamon, and mix ingredients around.
5. Carefully pour cinnamon-plumped fruit and liquid inside a blender or food processor, and blend well until it becomes a paste or thick puree.
6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
7. Pour half the mixture onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread it thinly on first sheet with the back of a spoon. You might need to add more to cover entire baking sheet. Less is more here. Pour remaining mixture onto a second sheet.
8. Bake in mid to lower parts of your oven for 2.5-3 hours. This is one recipe in which it is OK to open up the oven to check for doneness. After 2.5 hours, check every 15-20 minutes. You are looking for the fruit to peel away easily from the parchment and has become dehydrated. Oven temperatures and cooking times will vary, so keep an eye on these after 2.5 hours.
9. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Using scissors, cut into 1-inch strips across your pan. It will be sticky. Roll them up and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long)!