When it comes to indulging in sweet treats, few can resist the irresistible combination of chocolate and raisins. Chocolate raisins are a healthy snack packed with nutrients. These small, sweet raisins are made from dried and coated grapes that have been dipped in a creamy milk chocolate or dark chocolate coating.
Since they’re a whole fruit rather than just a dried fruit, these snacks have a lot of hidden potential. In fact, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals that can contribute to your health in more ways than you might think.
While I wouldn’t necessarily call them a health food, when enjoyed in moderation, chocolate covered raisins can offer surprising health benefits alongside their delightful taste. Here are a few of the advantages of enjoying them as part of an otherwise healthy diet.
1. They’re a good source of antioxidants
Chocolate-covered raisins are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help keep your bowels regular and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Additionally, dark chocolate used to coat the raisins is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids. These antioxidants help combat free radicals in the body that are linked to aging, heart disease, and even certain types of cancers. This reduces oxidative stress and promoting overall health.
2. They have only 80 calories per serving
If you’re counting calories, chocolate raisins are a great snack to add to your daily diet. Each serving has only 80 calories.
This means you can enjoy a delicious sweet snack without going overboard on calories.
One caveat, though: Watch what the serving size actually is, as they may be high in added sugar! Too much sugar can contribute to weight gain, increased blood sugar levels, and other health issues, especially for individuals with diabetes or those monitoring their sugar intake.
3. They can help maintain healthy blood pressure
The fiber in chocolate raisins can help reduce your blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that people who ate more high-fiber foods had lower blood pressure than people who ate low-fiber foods.
The daily recommended intake of fiber is 25 grams, but most Americans only get around 15 grams a day. Raisins are a tasty and convenient way to boost your daily value of fiber intake.
4. Raisins are a great source of magnesium
Raisins are a great source of magnesium—they contain 84 percent of the recommended daily intake. Magnesium is an important mineral for a variety of bodily functions, including regulating your blood pressure and keeping your bones strong.
The daily recommended intake of magnesium for adults is 420 milligrams for men and 320 milligrams for women. Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in magnesium because it’s not found in many foods we eat today, such as refined sugar, processed foods, and conventional dairy products.
Chocolate raisins are a tasty way to get more magnesium in your diet and improve your health.
5. They’re also packed with iron
Raisins are also a great source of iron, which is important for growing children and women. The recommended daily iron intake is 18 milligrams of iron for males and females between the ages of 9 and 13, 18 milligrams for 14 to 18 year olds, and 8 milligrams for women over 51 and men over 70.
Chocolate raisins are a delicious way to get more iron in your diet and stay healthy. Keep in mind, though, that iron can be damaging if you have too much of it in your system.
You can counteract this by eating foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more efficiently.
6. Eating raisins regularly can help you lose weight
Raisins are low in fat and contain very few calories. Eating them on a regular basis can help you lose weight since you’ll be consuming fewer calories without feeling hungry or deprived.
These sweet snacks are also packed with fiber, which can help you feel full for longer and reduce your appetite. Raisins are a delicious sweet treat that are good for you, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
7. They may even protect your eyesight
Chocolate raisins may even protect your eyesight. Eating them regularly has been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness in older adults. The exact reason behind this is unknown, but it could be linked to the high amount of antioxidants in raisins.
8. Rich in Vitamin E
One of the most well-known benefits of eating chocolate raisins is their high vitamin E content. This particular vitamin is responsible for strengthening your immune system, promoting hair growth, and even lowering your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
While all other types of raisins have trace amounts of this powerful vitamin, chocolate raisins have more than most other foods. This means that you can easily get your daily dose of vitamin E by eating just a couple of these snacks.
9. Supports Brain Health and Vision
Chocolate raisins have been shown to have a positive effect on mental health in several ways. First, they are rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent the buildup of free radicals in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Additionally, chocolate raisins are also high in B vitamins, which are essential to keeping your brain healthy and functioning at its best. Finally, they also contain a significant amount of omega fatty acids, which have been shown to improve vision.
10. Strengthens Your Bones
While many people think of calcium when they think about strengthening their bones, it’s actually vitamin K that can make all the difference.
Raisins, and therefore chocolate raisins, contain a high amount of vitamin K, which is essential for the proper absorption of calcium by your body. When calcium is absorbed properly, it is then able to create strong bones, which can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases as you get older.
11. Heart Health Support
Dark chocolate has been linked to heart health benefits, including improved blood flow and lower blood pressure. When combined with raisins, which contain dietary fiber and potassium, chocolate covered raisins can contribute to a heart-friendly, delicious snack.
12. Boost Mood and Energy
Raisins are a natural source of carbohydrates, providing a quick and easily digestible energy source. Combining them with the satisfying taste of chocolate can offer a delicious pick-me-up during a busy day.
Chocolate covered raisins also have the potential to contribute to a temporary mood boost. This can be attributed to the combination of chocolate and raisins, which contain certain compounds that may have mood-enhancing effects.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains compounds like phenylethylamine (PEA) and serotonin precursors. PEA is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of pleasure and well-being, while serotonin is known as the “feel-good” hormone.
However, it’s important to note that the mood-boosting effects of chocolate covered raisins are usually temporary and can vary from person to person. Factors such as individual sensitivity to certain compounds, overall diet, and lifestyle habits also play a role in mood regulation.
What are the Best Brands of Chocolate Covered Raisins?
There are several reputable brands known for their delicious chocolate covered raisins. Here are a few popular options:
Sun-Maid: Sun-Maid, a well-known brand for dried fruits, offers chocolate covered yogurt raisins made with high-quality chocolate and plump raisins. Sun-Maid yogurt raisins are available in milk chocolate and dark chocolate raisins, providing options for different taste preferences.
Nestlé Raisinets: Nestlé Raisinets is a widely recognized brand that specializes in chocolate covered raisins. They offer a classic combination of milk chocolate and juicy California raisins, providing a satisfying blend of flavors.
Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s, a popular grocery store chain, offers their own brand of chocolate covered raisins. They have options like milk chocolate covered raisins and dark chocolate covered raisins, often made with high-quality ingredients.
It’s worth noting that taste preferences can vary, so it’s a good idea to try different brands to find the one that suits your personal taste. Additionally, local chocolatiers and specialty stores may offer their own unique and high-quality chocolate covered raisins.
Simple Recipe for Homemade Chocolate Covered Raisins
You’ll be delighted to know that you can easily create these delectable treats right in your own kitchen! With just a handful of ingredients and a little bit of time, you can enjoy the satisfaction of making homemade chocolate covered raisins that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- 1 cup of raisins
- 8 ounces of dark or milk chocolate (chopped or chocolate chips)
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter
- 1 teaspoon of soy lecithin (optional)
- Optional toppings: chopped nuts, shredded coconut, sprinkles, etc.
- Start by lining a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. If desired, add soy lecithin to enhance the texture and help the chocolate coat the raisins evenly.
- Add the raisins to the bowl of melted chocolate, stirring gently until all the raisins are coated.
- Using a fork or a slotted spoon, remove the raisins from the chocolate mixture, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off. Place the coated raisins onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to separate them from each other.
- If you’d like to add toppings to your chocolate covered raisins, sprinkle them over the raisins while the chocolate is still wet.
- Once all the raisins are coated and topped (if desired), place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Once the chocolate is set, transfer the chocolate covered raisins to an airtight container or store them in a cool place. They can be enjoyed immediately or kept for up to two weeks.
Homemade chocolate covered raisins are a delightful treat that you can customize to your taste. Feel free to experiment with different types of chocolate, toppings, or even adding a pinch of salt for a sweet-salty combination. Enjoy!
Did You Know?
National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day is celebrated on March 24th each year. It’s a perfect opportunity to indulge in this sweet treat and share the joy with fellow chocolate and raisin enthusiasts.
Store-bought chocolate covered raisins may contain additional ingredients such as preservatives, artificial flavors, and hydrogenated oils. These additives can diminish the nutritional value of the chocolate snack and may pose health risks for some individuals, such as those with food allergies or sensitivities.
It’s also easy to overindulge in chocolate covered raisins due to their sweet and addictive taste. It’s important to practice portion control and enjoy them in small amounts to prevent excessive calorie intake.
Finally, chocolate covered raisins may contain allergens like milk, nuts, or soy, depending on the brand and type of chocolate used. Individuals with specific allergies should carefully read ingredient labels or consider making homemade versions to avoid potential allergens.
There are many health benefits of eating chocolate raisins as a snack or dessert, including getting a healthy dose of fiber, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants.
Raisins are also a good source of Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Manganese. These sweet treats are low in calories and a great option for those who are trying to lose weight. Finally, eating raisins may even protect your eyesight!
These mini chocolate treats are an excellent way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also boosting your health. Raisins are an excellent source of natural sweetness, and they can also be a healthy snack option when combined with chocolate.
As with any food, moderation is key. Enjoying chocolate covered raisins as an occasional treat within a balanced diet can help minimize any potential disadvantages while still savoring their delightful taste.
This tasty snack also contains a lot of essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that chocolate raisins are such a popular treat!