(NewsUSA) – Cinco de Mayo, the remembrance of the Battle of Puebla, is usually marked by fiesta-inspired gatherings and a sense of independence. But what’s a fiesta without some traditional Mexican cuisine?

From tacos and salsas to tortillas and other spicy eats (heartburn medicine at the ready – you could see here if you’re looking for some), California Raisins can offer a new twist on some old favorites this year. The addition of raisins to spicy, savory salsas and chutneys balances the heat with natural sweetness.

When slow-cooked with beef or other meats, raisins enhance the juicy quality and flavor of the dish while making it healthier to boot. So, if flavor isn’t enough to inspire you to take your Cinco de Mayo to the juicy side, raisins are a healthy addition to any part of the meal because they are both fat-free and cholesterol-free, high in antioxidants, contain fiber and are an excellent source of energy.

Here’s a recipe from California Raisins that will help you kick off your fiesta this Cinco de Mayo:

Cook time: 5-10 hours

Lightened-Up Pulled Pork With California Raisins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Lightened-Up Pulled Pork With California Raisins


  • 5 lbs. very lean, boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons each: oregano, cinnamon and salt
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 medium chopped onions, divided
  • 3 cloves minced garlic, divided
  • 1 cup California raisins
  • 5 dried ancho/pasilla peppers, stems and seeds removed, torn into strips


Trim fat from pork, and cut into 2-inch cubes. Stir together dry seasonings in a small bowl, and sprinkle over pork, turning to coat all sides. Place tomatoes, lime juice, one onion and one clove of garlic into a large slow cooker, and top with pork and raisins. Cover and cook on high for five hours or on low for ten hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker with a slotted spoon, and place in a large bowl to keep warm. Pour juices from slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Add the remaining onion, garlic and dried pepper to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor. Shred pork using two forks, and stir in half the sauce. Spoon into tortillas, if desired, and serve with avocado, cilantro and remaining sauce.

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For more recipe ideas, visit www.LoveYourRaisins.com.

More recipes inspired by Latino and Mexican food here.