Black Raisins (Shahaneh or Maviz Raisins) are a unique variety of raisins with limited production in the north Western Asian Countries. Northern Afghanistan produces one of the highest grades of Black Raisins due to its unique weather conditions. These raisins are naturally Sun-Dried which helps give the product its natural sweetness, taste and texture making it a great substitute for sugar. They make a great complement to breakfast cereals, Smoothies, on-the-go Snack, Mixed nuts and baked foods.
Raisins, like dried apricots, figs, and prunes, are dense sources of energy, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Additionally, they are packed with several health benefiting poly phenolic anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, and other phyto-nutrients.
Raisins are free of gluten toxin and can be consumed by people who do not tolerate gluten as an alternative healthy food. Raisins are dense sources of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium copper, fluoride, and zinc. In addition, they are rich in heart-healthy electrolyte, potassium. Furthermore, Raisins are also good source of some B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
When looking to purchase raisins always choose high-quality raisins, since substandard berries have thin flesh, and poor taste and flavor. Purchase raisins that are full-fleshed, and plump in appearance. It is perfectly fine to have wrinkles shown on raisins. Avoid old stocks as well as those with excess moisture, mold, or affected by sunburn, scars, insect injury, mechanical injury, which may seriously affect their appearance, edibility, and keeping quality.
Being a dry fruit, raisins have a long shelf life. They keep well when stored in airtight containers and placed away from moisture, humidity, sunlight and high temperature. They can also be stored inside the refrigerator. Prolonged cold storage may results in precipitation of their sugar contents. However, this should not offset their quality. It can be reversed by just soaking them in boiled water for few minutes in order to dissolve sugar crystals.
A few varieties of Raisins, especially golden variety, are treated with sulfur dioxide that may aggravate asthma and other allergic reactions in sulfur sensitive persons. Read carefully the labels which may instruct about sulfur treated products before use. However, natural sun dried products are considered to be safe for use by everyone, since no chemicals of additives have been added to them.