My dad makes Irish soda bread once every year and it always appears in the kitchen around St. Patrick's Day. Irish soda bread is a dense bread that is quite simple to make. This traditional recipe — it's from my Irish-born great-grandmother — includes caraway seeds and raisins. While you could leave these ingredients out, they are surprisingly delicious in the bread. It's an exceptional breakfast treat especially when lightly toasted and generously buttered. It would make a wonderful hostess gift or an accompaniment to Irish stew. To check out the recipe, read more
Pasta is an obvious choice for a super swift yet delicious meal. Why? Because an easy and tasty sauce comes together while the pasta cooks. Sautéed Italian sausage, garlic, and swiss chard are delicious when tossed with cooked gemelli. Raisins, pine nuts, and Parmesan round out the hearty dish.
Feel free to get experimental with the recipe. Use arugula instead of chard, or dried cranberries instead of raisins. For the recipe, please read more
Oatmeal cookies may be old-fashioned, but their homey goodness will never grow old. Many grandmothers pass the recipes down from generation to generation, and they are fabulous chewy, crisp, fresh from the oven or a few days old. The best accompaniment to an oatmeal cookie — besides a bear hug from grandma — is a large glass of cold milk. To make these for your loved ones today, read more
The folks at Threadless have come up with another fantastic shirt. This time it's a simple chocolate chip cookie with the words, "Stupid Raisins, Stay Out of my Cookies." Personally I have to agree. Although I like raisins, I rarely like them in my cookies. How about you? Do you like raisins in your cookies?
With high blood pressure in my family, I try to avoid foods that contain high amounts of sodium. But it's tough to find pre-packaged crunchy snacks that fit that bill.
Check out their Organic Trail Mix (it's so new - it's not even on their website yet). The packaging is clear so you can see the almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, whole cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips - all ingredients prefaced with the word "organic."
On the back, they list each ingredient separately and explain why they chose them.
- Cashews contain 75% unsaturated fat so even though they're shaped like a kidney, they're good for your heart.
- Pumpkin seeds provide high levels of phytosterols, which are believed to lower cholesterol.
- Dried Cranberries are vibrant in both taste and antioxidant activity.
So snack away, knowing you're giving your body a healthy energy boost, with zero sodium.
Thanks to everyone who submitted their raisin recipes to the Secret Ingredient group! There were so many tasty recipes, including a drink, but the one that made me drool the most was a Crossiant Bread Pudding with Pecan-Toffee Sauce submitted by reader luvbriere (who also took the gorgeous photos on the right).
The next secret ingredient is thyme. FitSugar recently wrote about how thyme is an amazing herb and so I thought it would make a good Secret Ingredient candidate. So dig up your best recipes featuring thyme and post them into the Secret Ingredient group. You've got until this coming Thursday, so get started!
Don't forget to submit your raisin sporting recipes to the Secret Ingredient group. Any kind of recipe will do, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or even a drink! Go wild and come up with your best recipe. We'll pick our favorite one and put it up here on Friday. So hurry up, you've got until Thursday to get the recipe in.
Thanks everyone for participating in the Secret Ingredient group. There were many great entries and once again I had a difficult time deciding (really, it's so hard!). However in the end I've decided that the Jicama Salad posted by Crispet1 is my number one choice. I can just taste the way the crispy Jicama plays with the soft textures of the beets and carrots. Top that off with orange segments and lime juice and you've got my kind of a salad.
The next Secret Ingredient challenge is raisins. As a kid I loved them, but these days, not so much. So post your best recipe featuring raisins and help me fall in love with them again. Post them in the Secret Ingredient group by this coming Thursday. Good luck and good eats!
Oh and it turns out that raisins may be good for your teeth. I guess that's another reason for you to find me a great recipe!
I know this sounds crazy but "nature's candy" may be good news for your teeth. Researchers have found that certain compounds contained in raisins appear to fight the bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities and gum disease.
Lab tests showed that phytochemicals in raisins suppressed the growth of several species of oral bacteria associated with tooth decay.
Studies also showed that these chemicals prevented cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to the surface of teeth. If plaque can't stick to your teeth - then it can't cause cavities.
It's not known yet how many raisins a person needs to eat in order for their teeth to benefit, but at least we know that just because a food is sticky, doesn't mean it's bad for your teeth.