Raisins are amazing snacks, aren’t they? If you’re looking for other fruits like raisins that you can snack on or add to your favorite dishes, read on! Here are 8 great raisin alternatives for you to sink your teeth into.
So, you know how raisins are dried purple grapes? Sultanas are dried white grapes, which have had an additional step during the drying process. Whereas regular raisin grapes are just dehydrated as is, sultanas are dipped into oil and citric acid beforehand. This maintains their pale golden hue, and also keeps them plumper than standard raisins.
Sultanas tend to be sweeter than regular raisins as well. As a result, if you’re baking with them or add them into your morning cereal, be more sparing with them. Otherwise you might find that the dish you’re preparing is too sugary to be palatable.
Additional Reading: 12 Fruits that Go with Almond Butter
While raisins and sultanas are made from dried grapes, currants are berries. In fact, you may have come across them quite often and didn’t realize that they weren’t actually raisins! They look very similar when dried, but currants are slightly smaller and rounder. In contrast, raisins tend to be oblong in shape.
Currants are slightly more tart than raisins, but are just as lovely in baked goods. Try adding them to hot cross buns or scones, or add a handful to your slow-cooker oatmeal.
If you’ve ever eaten a spinach salad at a restaurant, there’s an 80% chance you’ve already tried craisins. These dried cranberries have a sweet-tart flavor and chewy texture, and go amazingly well with leafy greens. They have a similar texture to raisins, but a sharper, brighter taste.
The reason they’re often paired with spinach (and other dark salad greens) is that their high vitamin C content helps people to absorb the greens’ iron. They’re also amazing added to muffins and homemade granola.
Related Article: 10 Fruits that Go Well with Granola
4. Dried Cherries
Dried cherries are some of the most luscious dried fruits you’ll ever come across. They’re slightly bigger than raisins, and flatten out when dried, but their flavor is mind blowing. Better still, not only do they taste delicious beyond imagining, they’re packed with health benefits too.
They have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory levels, which help to alleviate pain and insomnia. Additionally, while they’re helping your body fight the aging process, they’ll also lower your cholesterol levels. Try them in this chocolate cherry almond granola for a powerhouse breakfast every morning.
5. Goji Berries
These were the most popular “superfood” in the world a few years ago, and with good reason. They increase athletic performance, protect eyes against degeneration, and do wonders for your gut microbiome. Best of all? They taste amazing.
If you’re fond of dried fruits like raisins, definitely add goji berries to your shopping list. You can add them to your favorite trail mix, toss them into cereals and salads, or bake with them. Want some real decadence? Spread them out on parchment paper and drizzle them with melted vegan dark chocolate. Then use those in your favorite energy bar recipe.
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You can get dried mulberries at specialty produce stores, and they’re well worth trying. They come in either black or white varieties, and the dark ones are notably sweeter than the white ones. These delicious berries maintain most of their great health benefits when dried, and you can eat them as is, or re-hydrate them for various baking recipes.
7. Dry Blueberries
These dried fruits like raisins have less sugar than most of the others on this list. That said, just because they aren’t as sweet doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious! Dried blueberries taste amazing, and their health benefits are just as tasty as they are. They’re also ideal in baked goods instead of fresh berries, as they won’t explode and turn your muffins purple.
Remember how black, purple, and blue fruits have high antioxidant levels? The resveratrol, pterostilbene, hydroxybenzoic acids, and hydroxycinnamic acids help to remove free radicals from your blood, and help protect your cells against a ton of degenerative issues. In addition to boosting your cardio, nervous, and digestive systems, they may also help prevent certain cancers.
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If you’ve ever looked at prunes before, you may have thought that they looked like giant raisins. And well, they really do. These plums turn an alarming dark brown-purple bruise-y shade when dried. That said, they taste delicious, and can be used in countless different recipes.
Try adding them to your favorite date square recipe, or toss them into a vibrant Mediterranean salad. They work well for both savory dishes and desserts, depending on what you pair them with.
Dried fruits like raisins and the others on this list have numerous health benefits. Not only are they high in fiber, they’re full of nutrients such as iron potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and K.
Just note that they also tend to be quite high in sugar. While this is great for short energy bursts, it’s something to watch out for if you’re diabetic, or trying to cut down on your sugar intake in general. As with all foods, moderation is the key.