Grapes are one of those fruits that most people only think of for snacking or serving as an appetizer with a plate of cheese and crackers.
But these crisp, juicy jewels have so much more potential! Grapes are a source of pectin, a type of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol. In addition, dark red, purple and black grapes are a good source of resveratrol- an antioxidant found to reduce the risk of colon cancer and improve memory. 1, 2 Below are 12 ways to enjoy the greatness of grapes!
- Add halved grapes to chicken or tuna salad. They add color, texture and delightful taste to your salads.
- Make fruit kabobs. Using wooden skewers, use a combination of strawberries, green or red grapes, pineapple or other fruit. Serve the kabobs with yogurt dip.
- Try mojito fruit salad. Combine 1 cup of cubed watermelon, 1 cup green grapes, 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup pineapple. Whisk together the juice of 2 limes, 1 Tbsp. honey, and ½ cup chopped fresh mint. Drizzle over fruit salad and toss before serving.
- Freeze grapes for a simple sweet treat. Wash and dry your favorite grapes. Place them in the freezer for 2 hours, then remove and enjoy.
- Use grapes in fruit salsa along with peaches, red onion, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Chop ½ cup grapes and add to a small bowl. Add 1 diced peach, ¼ diced red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice.
- Add halved moon grapes to spinach or arugula salad with chopped pecans, blue cheese crumbles, and balsamic vinaigrette. Delicious!
- Make a grape spread for crackers or pita chips. Combine ½ cup chopped red grapes with ½ cup light cream cheese and ¼ cup chopped almonds and a dash of cinnamon. Serve with your favorite whole-grain crackers.
- Try grape compote. Place 3 cups halved green grapes in a bowl with 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. Combine and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving over pork, fish or chicken.
- Make roasted grapes. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In an oven-safe dish, combine 1 lb. red, seedless grapes with ¾ cup chopped pecans, 2 Tbsp. melted butter and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Roast the grape mixture for 25 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl. Make a syrup from the liquid by adding 1 Tbsp. hone and simmering for 6 to 7 minutes. Add a tsp. of lemon juice and dash of pepper to the syrup, then pour over the grapes. Serve the grapes with brie or other soft cheese for dessert.
- Enjoy roasted grapes with Brussels sprouts. Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine 8 cups of cleaned, halved Brussels sprouts with 4 cups red grapes, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 2 Tbsp. dried thyme. Using a rimmed baking pan, roast for 20 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts and grapes are caramelized. While Brussels sprouts and grapes roast, toast ½ cup walnuts. Once sprouts are done, drizzle 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar over them and toss with ½ cup toasted walnuts or almonds. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add grapes to overnight oatmeal. Combine ½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla), ½ cup rolled oats, ¼ cup milk, ½ tsp. cinnamon and ½ cup red or black grapes, cut in half. Enjoy in the morning!
- Use chopped grapes in a quinoa salad. Add 1 cup chopped red or green grapes to 2 cups cooked quinoa. Add ½ small, sliced red onion, ¼ cup feta cheese, ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Whisk 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard and 1 tsp. anise seeds and combine with salad and toss.
- Resveratrol is a promising agent for colorectal cancer prevention and treatment: focus on molecular mechanisms. Mohadese Honari, Rana Shafabakhsh, Russel J. Reiter, Hamed Mirzaei& Zatollah Asemi Cancer Cell International volume 19, Article number: 180 (2019)
- Maheedhar Kodali, Vipan K. Parihar, Bharathi Hattiangady, Vikas Mishra, Bing Shuai, Ashok K. Shetty. Resveratrol Prevents Age-Related Memory and Mood Dysfunction with Increased Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Microvasculature, and Reduced Glial Activation. Scientific Reports, 2015; 5: 8075
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and owner of Sound Bites Nutrition in Cincinnati. She shares her clinical, culinary, and community nutrition knowledge through cooking demos, teaching, and freelance writing. Lisa is a regular contributor to Food and Health Communications and Today’s Dietitian and is the author of the Healing Gout Cookbook, Complete Thyroid Cookbook, and Heart Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Her line of food pun merchandise, Lettuce beet hunger, supports those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati. For more information, visit her website: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/