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