South African raisins are a ‘Natural powerhouse’ and offer numerous benefits to both mum and baby during pregnancy.
Produced in the Orange and Olifants river regions, which are in the Northern and Western Cape respectively, South African raisins are 100% naturally sundried. The climate is dry and sunny, with an ample supply of water from the rivers, which makes ideal growing conditions to produce the highest quality raisins that have been ethically and sustainably farmed.
30g of raisins counts as 1 of your 5-a-day, compared to 80g of fresh fruit. Raisins are packed full of nutrients! Because most of the water is extracted, their nutrients are concentrated. Below are a few that are incredibly beneficial during pregnancy:
- Calcium and oleanolic acid – prevent tooth decay and are vital for the baby’s teeth and bone development
- Iron – increases blood flow and can help avoid anaemia
- Fibre – improves digestion, thereby reducing constipation, which is a common complaint during pregnancy. Fibre can also prevent acid reflux from occurring in the body.
- Natural glucose –providing instant energy, preventing fatigue
Many women can develop sugar cravings during their pregnancy and eating too many sweets or processed foods can lead to unnecessary weight gain, increase insulin and glucose levels, and nutrient deficiency. Raisins provide a delicious, natural alternative to unhealthy sugary snacks.
Bought granola can be surprisingly high in sugar and fat – so why not make your own healthier version? It’s so easy, and tastes SO good!
South African Raisin and Three-seed Granola Recipes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Enough granola for 15 servings
250g jumbo porridge oats
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g soft brown sugar
2tbsp groundnut oil
100g hazelnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
200g South African raisins
Fresh fruit, to serve
Natural yogurt or milk
Clear honey, to drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6.
- Mix together the porridge oats, seeds, sugar, groundnut oil and nuts. Spread out onto a large baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the mixture twice during the cooking time. Cool completely.
- Stir the South African raisins into the mixture, then transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 1 month.
- To serve, spoon some granola into a bowl and top with fresh fruit. Serve with natural yogurt and/or milk, and drizzle with a little clear honey.
Cook’s tip: The slow-burn carbs in this granola should keep you feeling satisfied throughout the morning, without the need for snacks.