A New Reason For Snacking On Raisins

Here's sweet news for anyone who loves raisins but is concerned about keeping teeth healthy.

Recent research has shown that compounds found in California raisins fight the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

"Raisins are perceived as sweet and sticky, and any food that contains sugar and is sticky is assumed to cause cavities," said Christine D. Wu, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry and lead researcher of the study. "But our study suggests the contrary. Phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health."

So enjoy delicious raisins added to cereals and salads, as a snack, and in entrees and baked goods. Try this quick and easy, mouth-watering, raisin-filled snack recipe.

California Raisin Banana Energy Bars

Perfect for on-the-go snacking!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 cup chopped nuts

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup California raisins

1 cup dried banana chips

1 cup honey-coated graham cereal squares

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In an 8- or 9-inch square pan, combine oats and nuts. Bake 20 minutes or until oats are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, combine butter, brown sugar and honey in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils.

Measure California raisins, banana chips and cereal squares into large bowl. Add toasted oats and nuts. Pour sugar mixture over all and toss to coat thoroughly. Generously butter same square pan. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom of pan. Cool. Cut into 2-inch square bars.

Yields: 16 bars

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories 270 (47% from fat); Total Fat 15g (sat 5g, mono 7g, poly 2g); Cholesterol 10mg; Protein 5g; Carbohydrates 32g; Fiber 4g; Iron 3mg; Sodium 45mg; Calcium 59mg.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For more recipes and tips to include raisins in your diet, visit www.calraisins.org.The California raisins in these raisin-filled energy bars may be good for your teeth. Phytochemicals found in California raisins inhibit the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities.