I was never a fan of healthy diet or fitness. You see, I hardly gained any weight all these while, even when I indulged myself in countless foodie sessions. Those who knows me are envious of “blessings” where I can eat like nobody’s business and remained slim. And I have always taken this for granted until one day earlier this year, I couldn’t fit into one of my skinny jeans. Feeling strange, I decided to weight myself and I discovered that I gained about 8 kg and when I examined my reflection in the mirror, I noticed that I now have love handles and slightly bulging tummy. I was seriously taken aback and freaked out. Although I’m still considered underweight by any standard and I always wanted to put on a little bit more weight, but these are not healthy weight gain. All I gained was fat and not muscle. That’s when I realized that I got to stop being cruel to my own body and I decided to lead a healthier lifestyle. I started to workout and watch what I eat.
Speaking of watching what I eat, I’m quite taken to snacking on healthy, energy-booster snacks these days, especially after my cardio workouts. My snack of choice are usually California Raisins, which are known to be a healthy snack for both adults and children alike.
Dried in the warm California sunshine,the little dried fruits has many benefits that helps to maintain a healthy lifestyle compared with other snack foods, as they are naturally sweet and do not contain any added sugar.
California Raisins are also a very versatile ingredient and can inspire a wide repertoire of dishes-from appetisers and main dishes to desserts and beverages especially as consumers are becoming more health conscious and more adventurous in their culinary endeavours.
A plus point? The package of California Raisins fits pertectly in a purse or briefcase. They also conveniently fit in lunch boxes, gym bags, and in your desk drawer. Apart from that, California Raisins are also economical, do not bruise and are easy to use straight out of the box- no washing, peeling or chopping required-so one can create a simple meal to help you sustain your energy throughout the day.
Anyway, not long ago, I was invited to participate in the California Raisins Raya Rasa Sayang cooking competition, whereby the main ingredients includes the highly nutritious California Raisins. The event aimed at bringing out the sweet loving moods through culinary delights in celebrating the Raya festive season. During the event, we were told that California Raisins can be nutritious and versatile to be incorporated as a key ingredient to make a tasty dish for friends and family during Raya or for any occasion. According to RAC’s Trade Promotions Director for Southeast Asia, Mr Richard Lieu, California Raisins are a healthy snack, compared with other snack foods, as they are naturally sweet and do not contain any added sugar California Raisins are also a very versatile ingredient and can inspire a wide repertoire of dishes-from appetisers and main dishes to desserts and beverages -especially as consumers are becoming more health-conscious and more adventurous in their culinary endeavours. More than just being an appetising delight, Califomia Raisins are also a source of nutrition which are suitable to incorporate into meals amidst rising concerns for health issues, such as diabetes.
Here’s yours truly and her teammates. We picked the theme “Love” and our team name was Sarong Ikat Tepi. Apart from preparing delicious dish with raisins, we also wished to showcased the beauty of Malaysian traditional fabric, the batik sarong.
The 1 hour competition kicked off with kitchen safety briefing.
Here’s giving you a glimpse of the busy kitchen during the competition.
My team decided to prepare an energy-booster raisin cookies.
I was in charge charge of making the black raisin sauce for the cookies.
Our final product; the Lebaran Love Raisin Cookies
Here’s a closer look at our final product.
Judging time. We explained that the ingredients for the cookies were pretty simple; flour, butter, raisins, oats and chocolate chips. There were no sugar added and the cookies makes a great quick energy booster once consumed.
Here are other team’s creations,
using California Raisins which reflected the attributes of Raya namely Love, Forgiveness, Honour, Gratitude, Blessing, Togethemess, Kindness and Respect.
While waiting for the panel of judges to decide on the winners for the California Raisins Raya Rasa Sayang cooking competition, the famous Chef lli Sulaiman treated us to the demo of two scrumptious creations using California Raisins-“California Raisins Chicken Biryani” and “Homemade California Raisins Masala Spice Sausage Rolls.
Chef Ili Sulaiman explained that these dishes are popular with Malaysians as their favours are appetizing and easily titililate the palates to serve at Raya gatherings as well as for family meals. Both Califonia Raisins Chicken Biryani and Homemade California Raisins Masala Spice Sausage Rolls can be prepared ahead of time using versatile and nutritional ingredients.
Anyway, my team did not win. Here’s the winners for the competition this year.
My teammates and I may not win the competition, but I’m glad that I participated nevertheless. The experience was priceless and I learned that California Raisins are not just great for post-workout snacks, but an ideal ingredient to prepare quick, energy-boosting and nutritious meals for any time of the day.