Complete Guide on Raisins

A Complete Guide on Raisins

Ratinkhosh R&D Team

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Raisins may look very flat and tasteless with their wrinkled appearance and dry texture; but the moment you put them in your mouth, you will understand look doesn’t matter that much! You’ll feel like a festival on your tongue because raisins have a complex sweet-savory and earthy taste that can boost your mood immediately.

In addition to their wonderful flavor, raisins are one of the healthiest natural alternatives to those manufactured candies which are full of processed sugar (read the article The sugar/carb content of raisins). Raisins can be an excellent ingredient for a lot of foods, from bakery to desserts to savory dishes.

In this Article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about these sweet drops of heaven.

  • Raisin Etymology

  • History of Raisins

  • What are Raisins?

  • What do Raisins Taste Like?

  • The Different Types of Raisins

  • Raisin Nutrition Facts

  • The Health Benefits of Raisins

  • The Side Effects of Eating too many Raisins

  • Raisins Toxicity in Dogs

  • How to cook with Raisins?

  • How to make Raisins at Home?

  • How to choose and Store Raisins?

  • Our Raisin Products

 

“Raisin” Etymology

The word “Raisin” comes from the Latin word “Racemose”, a loanword from old French which means a cluster of grapes or berries. Wall paintings from ancient times show that dried fruits were eaten and used as decoration in the Mediterranean parts of Europe, Persia and Egypt.

Raisin Etymology

History of Raisins

The ancient Armenians and Phoenicians took the first steps in developing viticulture, the process of grape growing and collection. They began pioneering vineyards in the areas of Spain and Greece. About this same time, the Armenians established their vineyards in Persia (Iran, Turkey and Iraq). These lavish growing areas had the ideal climate for growing raisins and were also close to Rome Greece, the first markets for raisins.

In the 11th Century, knights returning from the crusades brought raisins back to Europe with them. They discovered it during their travels through the Mediterranean and Persia. When the knights came back home and began to crave raisins, a huge rush was created. Fortunately, packing and shipping systems were developed enough for raisins to be sent all over Northern Europe.

Raisins History

Remains of engineered irrigation dating to 5,000 BC was found along the Nile River, confirming that the Egyptians were cultivating grapes by 3,000 BC This painting (below) from the tomb of Nakht, in Thebes, shows the gathering and crushing of grapes.

LEARN MORE ABOUT History of Raisins

 

What are Raisins?

So, what are Raisins anyway? Raisins are the sweet grapes that are dehydrated and shriveled up. Before medieval times, raisins and honey were the top choices for sweeteners. There are different types of Raisins either golden or brown.

  • Golden raisins (except Sultanas) are usually oven-dried and treated with sulfur dioxide to maintain their color. They are used for savory dishes.
  • Brown raisins are sun-dried, usually by placing them out in the vineyards for 2 to 4 weeks, after which the raisins are graded, refined and packed.

Raisins

What Do Raisins Taste Like?

It is amazing and a bit weird that raisins don’t taste anything like fresh grapes. Possibly because the drying process concentrates the sugar content in fruit. Each kind of raisin has its own taste. For example, Golden raisins are fruitier. And while natural brown raisins can be dry and grainy—not to mention super sweet—golden raisins have a unique flavor and are fleshy and soft.

LEARN MORE ABOUT What are Raisins and What do They Taste Like?

 

The Different Types of Raisins

There are many different types of raisins with different shape, color, size and flavors. Most raisins are made from different types of grapes such as Thompson seedless, Flame seedless, sultana, Muscat and black Corinth.

The Different Types of Raisins

Each of these types are made from different grapes with different colors and tastes:

  • Black raisins
  • Currants
  • Sultanas
  • Red raisins
  • Green raisins
  • Golden raisins

There are a lot of bags and boxes of raisins available every year. The black raisins like Muscat raisins are preferred for holiday baking and usually available only in winter and fall. Currants can only be found in specialty and large supermarkets. If you are looking for the best tangy taste, you should try Sultana raisins.

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Different Types of Raisins

 

Nutrition Facts of Raisins

Raisins are Full of nutrients such as Fiber, Protein, Iron and Antioxidants which makes them one of the healthiest snacks around. Here is the nutrition facts of a ¼ cup serving of raisins:

 

The Health Benefits of Raisins

In addition to their wonderful flavor, raisins are one of the healthiest natural alternatives to those manufactured candies which are full of processed sugar. They can help you in many ways including but not limited to:

  1. Raisin Helps Digestion
  2. Raisins Reduce Acidity
  3. Raisins Help to Cure Anemia
  4. Raisins May Prevent Cancer
  5. Raisins Are The Cupid of Dried Fruits
  6. Raisins Can Improve Dental Health
  7. Raisins Can Improve Eyesight

The Health Benefits of Raisins

A 100-grams serving of raisins provides these nutrients:

  • Calories: 299
  • Carbs:79 grams
  • Fiber:7 grams
  • Protein:07 grams
  • Potassium:21% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 5% of the RDI
  • Iron:10% of the RDI
  • Copper:18% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C:5% of the RDI

Raisins have a great nutrition profile. They are dried grapes so they have more calories than its fresh fruit. Most of these calories come from sugar in raisins. They contain many crucial vitamins and minerals in addition to high amount of fiber.

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Health Benefits of Raisins

 

 The Side Effects of Eating Too Many Raisins

An excess of everything is not good, even raisins! Eating too many raisins is not healthy and may raise health complications. Here are some of the side effects of eating too many raisins:

  • Too much dietary fiber can cause stomach discomforts
  • High levels of antioxidants could raise the risk of mortality
  • Raisins may develop allergic reaction
  • May cause Hypotension
  • May lead to weight gain

Consuming raisins or other dried fruits may be a better option than eating cookies as a snack, but it will still spike your blood sugar. Why? Throughout the dehydration process, grapes’ natural sugars become much more concentrated, causing unhealthy rise in blood sugar when the body rapidly consumes them. So, you’d better avoid raisins if you have diabetes, due to their high sugar contents.

Therefore, raisins should be eaten in moderation. Women can eat at least 1.5 cups of raisins daily and men can have 2 cups, according to chooseMyPlate.gov. One 1.5 oz serving of raisins contains 90 raisins and fills one-half cup of your daily fruit requirement, with only 129 calories and no fat.

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Side Effects of Eating Too many Raisins

 

 Raisins Toxicity in Dogs

 Raisins Toxicity in Dogs

Are grapes and raisins toxic to dogs? The short answer is YES. Many pet parents don’t know that grapes and raisins are highly toxic for these little cuties and can lead to serious reactions such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and kidney failure.

The type of raisin or grape doesn’t matter, and the amount eaten can be a single serving of raisins or grapes, a single grape or raisin, or a pound or more of them. Raisins are more harmful for dogs than grapes; because they are the dried version of grapes and much more concentrated.

LEARN MORE ABOUT The Danger of Raisins and Grapes to Dogs

 

How to Cook with Raisins?

Raisins can be paired with sweet and savory, mild or spicy flavors, cinnamon, vanilla and citrus flavors. They can create an excellent flavor base and background for ethnic and savory dishes and are also compatible with all sweet recipes.

When added to a food that is traditionally cooked, such as sauces or stews and then pureed, raisins have the great ability to take the flavor profile to a whole new level.

Raisins are also a good pair for comfort foods such as ice cream, cheese burger, scones, French toast, muffins, breads and rolls, as well as dry cereals and cookies. Lately raisins have also found their ways into wraps and savory sauces, Latin libations and fruitful desserts.

You can combine raisins with spicy, crunchy, smoky and salty ingredients to create a range of soft, balanced and elegant flavors from the earthy and deep to the super aromatic.

LEARN MORE ABOUT How to Use Raisins.

 

How to Make Raisins at Home?

How to Make Raisins at Home?

Raisins are one of the most nutritious dried fruits around, which are full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins. If you ask us about the best raisins, we would just tell you those coming from your own backyard. In order to make your own raisins at home, you should follow these three steps:

  • Choose your desired grapes
  • Prepare the grapes
  • Dehydrate the grapes

You can easily grow your favorite type of grapes on your backyard crop and then enjoy homemade wine, fruits and juicy raisins. It’s super easy! Let us show you how:

LEARN MORE ABOUT Making Raisins at Home

 

How to choose and Store Raisins?

How to Choose and Store Raisins?

Most raisins are in boxes or resealable packages you cannot see through so it’s hard to estimate their freshness by the eye. If you press the box and the raisins are squeezable and not hard, there is a good chance your selection is a pleasant one. Another vital sign is rattling. Give the package a good shake and listen.

As raisins age, they keep drying out, may harden and will rattle around in a container or box if shaken and dried up. Take a look at the expiration date and if OK, take them home with you. You can store them in the refrigerator for more than a month. In a properly sealed container, raisins can last for six months to one year.

LEARN MORE ABOUT Tips to Choose and Store Raisins.

 

 Our Raisin Products

Now that you are familiar with this wonderful dried fruit, do you like to add them to your daily diet? Take a quick look at our high-quality Raisins made from 100% natural Grapes with no added sugar, gluten-free and healthy, to use this wonderful dried fruit in your daily diet:

A Complete Guide on Raisins

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