Five Ways to Eat: Raisins

Oh the humble raisin! Raisins are seeing a renaissance lately, with heirloom grapes dried in the sun showing us that the raisin can reach past preschool snack time and into the realm of gourmet foods. Do you like raisins and their winey, sun-dried sweetness? If so, here are a few ways to appreciate them more.
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Sour cream raisin bars, one dessert where raisins get a starring role.
  1. Just plain, thanks. - Raisins are a quick pick-me-up after strenuous exercise, or on a long trip, where their healthy sweetness is welcome. They are dried, so they last for ages. You don't have to worry about them spoiling, and if they get a little warm, sitting in the car, well they're better like that.
  2. In oatmeal - Classic! A handful of raisins in a bowl of hot steel-cut oatmeal. That's heaven on a cold morning.
  3. In cookies, English muffins, and other baked things - We like raisins in almost anything. We love homemade English muffins with raisins, and these sour cream raisin bars sound particularly enticing. And oatmeal raisin is an enduring classic. What's your favorite sweet with raisins?
  4. In salads - Raisins give sweetness and a little chew to salads. We love pairing a bitter green with savory crunchy nuts and sweet raisins, like in this rainbow chard salad with raisins and walnuts.
  5. Plumped up in booze - Regardless of how you use raisins in your cooking or baking, don't forget to give them a little boost of extra moisture by plumping them up in booze, juice, or wine.

What's your favorite way to eat raisins? Do you still like those sticky little boxes of raisins, a la preschool?

In Praise of Raisins
Recipe Review: Martha Stewart Oatmeal Raisin Squares
Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Ice Cream
Copycat Recipe: DIY Nutri-Grain Fruit and Nut Bars

More 5 Ways to Eat Posts: These posts are all ingredients paired with Social Workout's daily exercise over at their Fall Challenge.
KaleDark ChocolateGreen TeaEdamameQuinoaBroccoliOatsBeets

(Images: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; Emma Christensen)

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