Raisins can start out life either as seeded or seedless grapes. They may have to wait until late August — when they are ripened to perfection — before they are harvested and plucked from the vine. Cut in bunches the grapes are placed on paper trays in the sweltering sun for two to three weeks so that wrinkled and shrivelled they become an irresistible dark brown tan. 

But sun-drying grapes is not the only way to make raisins. There is another more indulgent treatment to produce succulent raisins: the ‘health spa’, better known as the dehydrator treatment. Grapes, having been spruced and cleaned in cold water, are thrown into scalding hot water of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates tiny cracks in their skin allowing them to dry quickly. As the grapes come out of the water, they are placed on trays stacked in long drying tunnels where a huge ‘hairdryer’ blows hot air over them. Within twenty-four hours the grapes are transformed into plump and moist raisins. Throughout these treatments no preservatives are added.

Eating raisins is the most natural way for the body to gain an immediate energy boost. This is due to the fact that grape sugar differs from other sugars chemically. This allows it to be absorbed without being broken down by saliva, giving an instant increase in energy. But this is not all. Raisins are also rich in calcium, iron, and potassium — vital for maintaining the fluid balance of the body — as well as vitamin A (antioxidant) and B1 (essential for energy production and brain function).  

Raisins are good mixed in cakes, breads, teacakes, scones, muffins and biscuits and they can be added to a bowl of mixed fruit or cereals. Raisins can also enhance savoury dishes: spiced rice, Middle Eastern lamb dishes, stuffing for turkey or chutney all benefit from the presence of the ubiquitous raisin.  


Nutrition Information

Typical valuesper 100g  
Energy 1252kJ 
Proteins 3g6%*
Carbohydrate 79.2g61%*
    Total Sugars 59.2g 
Total Fat 0.5g 
    Saturated 0.1mg 
    Monounsaturated 0.5mg 
    Polyunsaturated 0mg 
Dietary Fibre 3.7g12%*
Sodium Trace  
Vitamin C 2.3mg8%*
Thiamin 0.1mg13%*
Niacin 0.8mg10%*
Riboflavin 0.1mg9%*
Vitamin B6 0.2mg10%*
Folate 5mcg3%*
Vitamin E 0.1mg1%*
Vit K 3.5mcg5%*
Calcium 50mg10%*
Iron 1.9mg16%*
Magnesium 32mg11%*
Zinc 0.2mg2%*
Manganese 0.3mg15%*
Selenium 0.6mcg1%*
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