One of the foods from childhood that I love are raisins. My mum used to put them on everything, peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, in salads and on breakfast cereal so I grew up loving them and they are still one of my favourite snacks now. I also love the fact that my kids really like them too and we often get small packs of Sunmaid raisins so they can put them in their lunchbox and take them to nursery or when we go out for the day.
A raisin is basically a dried grape and according to an article I read, "The word raisin dates back to Middle English and is a loanword from Old French; in French, raisin means "grape", while a dried grape is referred to as a raisin sec, or "dry grape". The Old French word in turn developed from the Latin word racemus, "a bunch of grapes".
Being half Californian I like to buy, "local" wherever I can and one way I can do this is by buying Sun Maid raisins. According to their website, "Sun-Maid Growers of California is an American cooperative of raisin growers headquartered in Kingsburg, California, which is the largest raisin and dried fruit processor in the world. As a cooperative, Sun-Maid is owned by family farmers who grow raisin grapes within 100 miles (200 km) of each other in the Central Valley of California, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sun-Maid also sources dried fruit beyond this geographical area."
Sun maid raisins come in a distinctive red box with a drawing of the Sun Maid lady on the front of it. I always just look for the red box in the supermarket and I like to buy the big tub with a resealable plastic lid which makes it handy when you want to keep the raisins fresh for snacking or cooking with.
I absolutely love these raisins. They are very dark in appearance and are extremely sweet and juicy. I also find the raisins a bit more shrivelled than other brands of raisin which i find makes them more fun to eat and obviously mean they've had more time in the sun to become raisins. I think you can really taste the difference between these and cheaper brands as these seem to be just that little bit more flavourful and wholesome.
As well as being extremely tasty, raisins are also very good for you. According to an article I read, "Raisins and dried fruits are completely natural foods, the perfect companions to healthier living. Raisins are a high-energy food, providing natural sugars, potassium, and the fiber and tartaric acid necessary to keep digestive systems healthy. Plus, they are the most concentrated, commonly available fruit source for baking, quick additions to other food items, and snacking."
Just ¼ cup of Sun-Maid raisins (1.5 oz) equals one complete fruit serving so its a great way to get one of your five a day!
If you have happened to read any of my other reviews, you might have noticed the trend for healthy eating and constant dieting. I am nearly always on a diet, particularly at the moment as I start the dreaded 6 month count down to being bridesmaid at my sisters wedding (yes I will be a seize zero by then......).
Well sun maid raisons are not anything new in the dieting or healthy eating world. Or even in the baking world to be honest. These have been a common addition to the food store at home for as long as I can remember, we were always using them for baking when I was a child.
I have re-discovered them more recently however as a great snack to eat at work which is healthy, tasty and filling. What more could you want really? (them smothered in chocolate of course but I must think of the bridesmaids dress!).
The raison is a pretty simple idea that everyone is familiar with. They are dried grapes. That's about all there is to say on that front. They don't taste like grapes, they taste more rasiony. Which is a taste I wont try and describe partly as I think we all know what they taste like and partly because, well its pretty hard to describe!
I do think thought that sunmaid have a superior raison taste to own brands. They seem to be juicer and more tasty than cheaper ones but to be honest I haven't tried any other brand for quite a while so I can't be sure.
The packaging is pretty much the same as it has always been, red and yellow with the sun maid on the front with her basket of grapes. It is pretty old fashioned but I happen to like it as it is so synonymous with sun maid and my childhood!
The best thing about sunmaid I find though is that they have different size packets for every need. They have a large tub that is great for baking or cooking where you need easy access to the raisons. They also do the smaller packets of 42.5g which I but in a pack of 6 which are great to take as a snack. They even do smaller packets of fun sized ones aimed at kids, so great for lunchboxes!
I don't eat that many raisins but my little sister loves them, she's 2 and mad for anything sweet so it's a good thing she likes these because we can give her these instead of sweets and she doesn't realise she's eating something healthy! lol
I brought her a 500g tub from Tesco last week and that cost £1.81, even though that's loads more expensive than the cheapo raisins they taste a lot fresher and are nicer to eat I think.
These Sun Maid raisins are plump and juicy, they have got a lovely sweet flavour that is proper nice even for someone like me who isn't mad keen on dried fruit. They are harder than I was expecting them to be but I reckon that's a good thing because it makes them chewier than other brands and they don't mush down to nothing in your mouth.
You can buy them in loads of different sizes, I got the tub because my sister gets through quite a lot of them and also because my mum needed some for some cakes she was making last week. They lasted well and didn't go hard or stick together like I thought they would once they'd been opened. You can also buy them in bags or little boxes but I don't buy the boxes because once my sister opens them she always spills them everywhere trying to get her fingers in for the last few.
If you think your child is eating too many sweets then you should buy them a bag of these raisins because they're so sweet that you can convince them they are still eating sweets when really they're just dried grapes! lol
Sun Maid Raisins are available in a wide variety of sizes ranging from the 500g resealable tub right down to the mini boxes which are ideal for carrying in handbags or lunchboxes for a healthy snack on the move.
Sun Maid Raisins are instantly recognisable to me on the shelf because of their distinctive red packaging which shows a picture of grapes and raisins (raisins are dried grapes).
The packet that I recently purchased is the plastic resealable bag which contains 250g of raisins (or dried grapes if you prefer!) and cost me £1.29 from my local Tesco.
Sun Maid pride themselves on their raisins being 100% natural with no oils or glazing agents used to give their raisins a better appearance and it takes 1.1kg of seedless grapes to make just 250g of Sun Maid raisins. They have a website (www.sunmaid.com) which you can visit for more information on the brand itself.
The packaging is quite simple really and looks quite old fashioned in an eye catching way. There is nutritional information, ingredients & company information available on the back of the packet and there are 304 calories per 100g of raisins and 5.8g of fibre so this is great if you are trying to bring more fibre in to your diet (as I am).
The raisins themselves are very sweet and juicy and make my mouth water as soon as I pop a small handful in. I can tell that these are high quality and this is my only reason for paying more money for these when compared to a supermarket brand version.
There are many different ways that I use these raisins and I usually just try to throw a small handful on to cereal or in yoghurt at lunchtimes. They're even great to use in baking but I do tend to use a cheaper brand for this as it feels like a bit of a waste of such delicious raisins.
I would highly recommend these raisins as they are a great snack for on the move and even my nieces & nephews will eat a box of these if left in their lunchbox. They have a delicious sweetness to them and a 14g serving (the matchbox sized boxes) will provide you with 1 of your 5 a day making it very reasonably priced for many days worth of fruit towards your daily recommend amount.
I am going to rate these raisins 5/5 and will continue to buy these.
Raisins are great. Sun maid are the best because they are made of all natural raisins with no preservatives. They taste wonderful and you can use them in anything you like ranging from cookies to breads and taste wonderful. They are great for the digestive tract because they help clean out your system. They come in all different sizes of boxes and the small snack boxes are great for kids. Eat a box of raisins a day and you will be on your way to a healthy digestive tract and feel much better. With sun maid all they put in is grapes and sunshine because thats all you need. Not only are grapes good for you and your body but can keep you at a healthy weight to. Bet you didnt know that you could lose weight on raisins. I am not going to get into how that works because it is quite disgusting so.
I have always eaten raisins. It is a quick and easy way of getting fruit into your diet. They are a fruit aren't they? It is always very easy to gloss over them though in the supermarket.
What are they:
Dried grapes, the Sunmaid raisins have no added oils or glazing agents and they are great as a quick snack or for drizzling over cereals or soups.
They come in varying sizes. I have bought a 500g tub. A plastic tub with a lid which you can take off and reseal to keep them fresh. The smart red design and picture of that beautiful woman with a bunch of grapes will always draw you towards the tub.
Compared to supermarket brands, I have always found these have the edge. A slightly sweet flavour, without tasting sickly and just the right level of chewiness to them. They don't get stuck in the teeth, yet leave you feeling refreshed and wanting a handful more. They don't really taste of grapes, but have a currant kind of taste, maybe with a hint of almond about them.
They keep for weeks, the tub can be resealed. A 500g tub lasts me about 3 weeks, if I dip in and out of it daily.
I rate these very highly, with no cholesterol they are are an ideal snack and are so easy to eat. A 500g tub will cost you about £1.60.
Jack does like to eat just like his mother and therefore I have tried to find healthier snacks that can be eaten on the go. These Sun-Maid Raisins are a brilliant snack for both the little man and myself.
The Raisins are available in lots of different ways, there is the large packet where all the raisins are held within one pack, a large tub with easy to seal lid, smaller boxes that are still of a good size and then the smallest boxes which hold just enough for Jack to have when out and about.
The Sun-Maid raisins are far better than other brands of raisins available in my opinion. This is because the Sun-Maid Raisins are far bigger and juicer than say shops own brand. You are less likely to get bits of twig like parts still attached to the raisins from Sun-Maid than shops own brand although on occasion I have found some twiggy bits in a Sun-Maid box.
I paid a mere 50 pence from Woolworth's for my last bag containing the smallest boxes and you get about 18 small boxes in the one bag. These seem to last for ages even with both of us snacking on them.
Raisins are pretty good for you as they count towards one of your five a day depending on the amount you eat. I also think raisins are wonderful on top of cereal in the morning or even a yoghurt in the evening. They are versatile, easy to take out and about because of the little boxes and I really picked up a bargain from Woolworth's in their clearance sale.
All in all I think raisins are brilliant for snacking and to eat with other foods. They are good for you and low in fat. Sun-Maid raisins are by far the best option as they are of a much higher quality than other cheaper brands.
A five star rating and a recommendation is well deserved by this product. I hope this has been of some help/interest to you. Thanks for taking the time to read.
I'm always weary as to what my daughters eat on a daily basis and i'm always checking the side's of packets to ensure that the products are healthy and don't contain to much fat, salt and sugar.
My daughters are not ones for eating 3 big meals during the day, so i have to accommodate that by giving them snacks every so often.
So trying to find snacks that they like can be hard, they both like raisins and would happily eat them all day long if they had the chance. I normally buy supermarket brand packs which cost me about 60p for a big bag then give them handfuls instead of paying out £1.30 odd for 8 little boxes which have about 5 raisins in them.
I was in woolworths a couple of weeks back and came across a big multi-pack of Sun-maid raisins for £1.00, i thought at first i was seeing things because a- i didn't know Woolworths had started selling food and b- there was 18 little boxes for £1.00. So i picked up a bag to try.
At home i put them to the test and tried some myself. Each box is red with the 'sun-maid logo' across the top and theres a picture of a women carrying a basket of grapes, opening the box the first thing i noticed was how large the raisins where compared to the usual ones a buy.
I put a few in my mouth and they tasted really sweet and juicy, probably the best ever tasting raisins I've tried, and soon the box was gone, and left me wanting more.
After further inspection i read the packet to discover that the reason why there so sweet and juicy is because they are 100% natural, and no oils, glazing agents or preservatives are added.
Being very sweet i did worry about the the fat content, which turned out to be a very little trace, and what sweetness i could taste was all natural.
Each box is 14g, so the whole bag total's about 250g. They raisins can help towards one of your five fruit and veg a day to.
My daughter's loved these, and i have to admit compared to other brands they where the best tasting, the plus side of buying them in box's is that there handy to eat anywhere, i always make sure i have a couple of boxes in my handbag if we go out for the girls, as you don't need to refrigerate them neither.
And a bargain for £1.00 a bag, i decided to go and stock up as quite a long use by date, im not sure how much they cost at other shops, but there defiantly worth the money.
My four year old son takes a packed lunch with him to school each day, and one of the regular items he has is a small packet of raisins. Although there are plenty of cheaper versions of raisins available, I tend to go for a product with a respected name where my son is concerned, especially for his school lunch. Coming in at around the £2 mark is a pack of 6 small boxes of raisins, which does him for the week at school with one left over.
Raisins are considered to be a healthy fruit to have, as they are essentially dried grapes. They are substantial as a little snack for a kid, and make a good part of the lunchbox. He enjoys them, and it's nice knowing that I'm putting something in there I know will be gone when I check later on to see hat he's eaten. I wish I could say the same for the sandwiches or pittas that I lovingly make every single morning, but there's no accounting for taste!!!!
Each packet weighs around 14g, and you probably get 15-20 raisins in each. They do taste goo, and quite often I will have the sixth pack(!) if I fancy something small and quick to eat. The only thing is, there are cheaper versions out there, and the taste isn't really that much different.
Tesco's own brand, for example, are considerably less in price, and there's not that much difference in taste. I notice a bit of difference in the feel and look of the raisins themselves, and you can tell that Sunmaid are a better quality, so for the moment, I will continue with the better brand. Sunmaid is a name of quality and has been since the company was founded in California in 1915, and I give them a thumbs up for this product.
Five portions of fruit and veg a day. Everyone knows now that it's important, but it seems so hard to do! Bananas squash, apples bruise, fresh fruit is generally expensive and spoils fast and even orange juice can only be left open for three days.
Little packets of raisins are a nice easy little cheat to fill in at least one of them. They're easy to slip into a packed lunch box, worth one of your five a day each, and they taste so sweet that you can almost con yourself into thinking they're sweets rather than healthy.
Sun-maid sells 18 14g boxes for £1.69 (which works out to just under 9.5p per box). They're cute little boxes too - the younger sister has bagged several empty ones for use in her dolls house. The raisins are... well, they're raisins. Sweet little dried up grapes. I've never really been able to taste test one raisin from another.
While these are cute, healthy and handy I'm not sure this is the best price you can get for them. Asda sells five own-brand "great stuff" raisin boxes like these for 35p. Per box, that works out to 7p - nearly 2.5p less. Not much, but it builds up over time and I honestly can't tell the difference.
** Sun-maid Raisins **
Not exactly a high priority on the shopping list but after buying a mixed bag of fruit and nuts I found that boy would happily eat them. So always looking for more fruit and veg or anything vaguely healthy that I can get boy to actually eat I picked up a multi-pack of these little red boxes of raisins. Reason being it seemed a good thing to throw in his lunch for school and a lack of something to actually put raisins in...these being in there own serving size boxes are ideal.
Price and Packaging...
My muti-pack cost me around £2, not great value but still not that bad for the sake of convenience. For this I got 6 little boxes each containing enough for a single serving, enough for little boy anyway. The boxes are easy enough for a child to open alone and are a miniature version of the bigger boxes of 'sun-maid raisins available.
"Sun-maid" begin in 1915 in the California area, so they have been producing these things for some time. For those who may not already know a raisin is basically a dried up grape, generally to be found mixed with nuts and often present in healthy muesli style cereals - But alone probably not most peoples first thought when it comes to a snack.
They count as a healthy fruit but I think you'd have to eat a fair few for it to be one of your '5 a day' but every little helps. Some of the best things about raisins are: they're dried, they don't get bruised, don't need peeling (fussy child) don't need going in the fridge, they don't really 'go-off' and they have a long shelf-life - unlike other fruit you may buy.
Simply "store in a cool dark place" ....throw in the cupboard. For those who may be on a diet theses are 100& natural and have no fat content at all.
I like them, they're just good to grab and munch. They taste nice and sweet, not overly juicy but still moist and tasty nonetheless. Boy likes them because they're small and sweet...and not green and don't have 'skin' another reason I like them as I don't have to peel or chop up or anything.
For Packed Lunches...
Alot of schools have picked up on this healthy eating business and don't allow chocolate and sweets and the like in your kids lunch box/bag. My boy's school while they have changed the school meals to include healthier foods, have no such rules in force. Basically you can give your child whatever you like.
Little Boy tried school dinners for a week and a half when he first started in September and would not eat anything...not a bite. So after a week of starvation at school I gave in and started sending him off with a packed lunch. Worth trying as these are a way to get something sweet into their lunch bag without breaking any rules your childs school may have.
My plan failed miserably at first. Impressionable little chap that he is my little boy was 'put-off' raisins by another little Monster...sorry child. Yep, the good old raisins look like dead flies remark. However after much reasoning I managed to convince him to eat them again - at home anyway, they tend to come back unopened in his lunch bag.... but he has eaten them on the way home before. Don't you love kids ?
Perhaps a little on the steep side price-wise but not ridiculously so, I think they're worth buying. A good snack to help you to your ' 5 a day ' everybody should eat more good stuff. Fat free for dieters - do have some calorie content though if you're counting. A good addition to children's packed lunches or a sweet treat anytime.
Quality is good and comparing to lesser/cheaper brands the taste is a little more favourable but not so much you'd notice BUT the bigger packs available have better packaging than cheaper own brands, like their 'canister' (tub) and resealable bags in a box..Recommend to all really as they're just a convenient snack to have around.
I'm going to try their Chocolate yoghurt covered raisins on the boy...see if chocolate coated dead flies are more tempting....
Here you can find the history of Sun-maid raisins and all the raisin products that they sell: Chocolate covered, Yoghurt covered, big ones, small ones. They do other things as well but mostly raisins. There's also some recipe ideas to be found here...and a GIFT SHOP selling "Americas favourite dried fruit" not sure if they ship out or just an American thing...personally I'd rather nip to asda but still..
Thanks for reading,
You can find me and my scribblings elsewhere.
I think the 24 oz. carton of Sun-Maid Raisins needs a better top in order to keep this product fresher.
I never really gave Sun-maid raisins a second look, I much preferred to buy the bigger shops own brand of raisins, I could not see the sense in buying little over priced boxes, especially as I would be using them for cooking. The cost would have been far too much, not even the cute red box could make me change my mind. However when in a supermarket I would often look at them and wonder exactly how these managed to survive when it is so much cheaper to buy a large packet of raisins.
Things changed when I started making packed lunches for when our children are going on a school trip. Most schools nowadays do not allow sweets, chocolate or fizzy pop in a packed lunch. In a lot of ways this is a good thing in the way of healthy living and a good diet, but it does mean it makes it harder to give children a treat in their pack up.
So to give my children a sweet treat, without breaking any of the schools policies I opted for buying some small boxes of Sun-maid raisins, when my children returned after their various days out I was pleasantly surprised by their reaction to these. Mum can we have them again, Mum are there any left were the common comments. I have to admit that I did try a box or two and found the flavour to be pleasantly sweet, in general I found these raisins to be slightly larger and fuller with more juice than the normal large packets that I buy.
I would imagine it has something to do with the Californian sun, which is where these raisins come from, or at least that is the way they come across to me. The company has been selling raisins for over 90 years, so they have got quite a lot of experience in their field.
The multi pack of mini boxes of Sun-maid raisins cost me about £1.70 and they are available from most supermarkets. They are available in larger boxes but the mini box I have found to be the ideal size, they contain about 14 raisins and fit into a pack up nicely.
Each box contains
They seedless raisins are 100% natural
These raisins should be stored in a cool dark place
They also go part way to the governments guidelines of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, although a box on its own is not classed as even a single portion. But as far as I am concerned that is better than none at all.
They have a website www.sunmaid.com where you can find out more about Sun-maid raisins and other products that they sell.
So although they are a more expensive way of buying raisins I think they are a worthwhile purchase, great as an addition to childrens packed lunches or as a treat at any time. I am more than happy to recommend these to any parents out there who are looking for something extra for their children.