Sunday, April 28, 2019

California Raisin's Raya Rasa Sayang 2019 | Cooking Challenge

California Sun-Maid Raisins
For the past 4 years of my life, I have realized that there are so many different ways to work with raisins! And going back to my first ever cooking show with California Raisins in 2015, I have been so inspired to incorporate raisins into my dishes to replace the usage of sugar and any artificial flavoring.  This year being a brand new year for me to further explore the potential of raisins, I've formed a team with Miriam and Suki to participate a cooking challenge of preparing a dish that carries a special ingredient, "California Raisins".

Here attending the California Raisin Raya Rasa Sayang
Discussing with my team mates on some ways to work with Raisins
As we all know, raisins are considered a healthy snack that is loved by adults and kids as well. Even for me, I'll have a huge pack of raisins in my office, just because I rather snack on raisins instead of chips. The beauty of these California Raisins is that it has a naturally sweet taste that also contains tons of nutrients for the body. Even in my lifestyle, I consider it a great energy booster and a great on the go snack when youre feeling hungry.

Listening to an informative talk on California Raisins and where they came from
And finally, its time to get messy in the kitchen
So, going back to the 'Raya Rasa Sayang' cooking challenge, we were to create an appetizer or main dish that incorporates raisins to continue the beauty of raisins being a part of the festive season coming up. Raisins are not only a healthier choice but its also very appetizing to include it in your main dishes as well. And no, im not saying as a topic, but as a natural food enhancer. Hehe. Thus my team has decided to prepare 3 dishes, starting with 'Mango Salad with Raisin Vanaigrette', 'Raisin Sambal with Chicken' and 'Fried Cauliflower Rice' as our dish, presenting it as Ramadhan Blessings.

Here's mua fying the chicken with tumeric first before making the sauce
And Miriam preping her fried couliflower
And not to forget Suki who's busy prepping her Mango Salad in Raisin Vanaigrette
During the challenge, all 8 teams were given one hour to plan, prepare and cook a meal that would not take so much time to prove yourself worthy of the challenge. Most of us created unique dishes to incorporate raisins, and I must say that it was a tough call to really compete. Our team was under the theme of blessings, and all of us contributed in creating dishes that we would enjoy, which I m super thankful for as we managed to achieve our target to complete different sides to incorporate raisins in the dish.

And tadaa! We managed to pulled it off within 1 hour
The outcome of our dish
After roughly an hour of being busy in the kitchen, it has been proven that California Raisins are very easy to work with in preparing any dish that you would like to naturally sweeten. Moreover, I find it also a great way to promote a healthier lifestyle in preparing the festive food that we eat by reducing the sugar intake and replacing the sugar with California Raisins. So, think about it. If you have a family member that is suffering through diabetes, it's always best to provide them with a healthier alternative to replace sugar with raisins. Won't you agree?

During the judging session
And we were lucky to win the Grand Prize! 
Once our time was up, we were all instructed to present our dish to the judges, explaining both our concept and our theme to relate with the food that we have freshly prepared. Under the theme blessing, we explained our way by saying that we are blessing the people with the food prepared by raisins, and with raisins, we managed to create a variety of dishes to show that raisins are versatile to work with. No sugar was used in the dish, and it tasted pretty amazing too! And to our surprise, we were the grand prize winner, snagging away with RM800 cash to split within the team. Hehe.

A secret tip? Enjoy creating something new with new ingredients
Congrats to everyone else too for the fantastic work in the kitchen!
So the next time you look at your favorite box of raisins, think about what other things it can do for you other than maintaining a better lifestyle, but also creating dishes that you'd love too! I hope this post inspired you on the potential of raisins, and if you do need some guidance on where to start, you can always head over to for some recipes that you can try to prep for yourself. For more information, you can leave me a comment below or maybe share me your creations! Hehe. Well, that's all for now :)

California Raisins 

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