Matthew Kaplan is the Editor for FaveDiets.com, a free online resource featuring hundreds of free healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips and loads more. Be sure to check out FaveDiets on Facebook and on Twitter.
Is there any fruit as ubiquitous as grapes? From the ancient Greek gods to California farmers, I think everyone loves grapes. I mean, what’s not to love about those little round orbs of sweet goodness?
But are they healthy? Compared to other fruits like apples or bananas, grapes definitely do pack quite a sweet punch. However, grapes are actually incredibly healthy for you. A cup of grapes does have about 14 grams of sugar, but it also has about a gram of fiber. In total, a cup will only set you back about 60 calories without any fat.
On top of all that, grapes are a nutrient powerhouse. They are a great source of manganese, vitamin C and potassium. For additional health benefits, grapes are loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants. So are grapes healthy? In short, absolutely!
When it comes to grapes though, I’m especially picky about what I consume. If a grape isn’t perfectly sweet and plump with a slight tartness, then I have no interest in the fruit. The problem with grapes is that they go bad so quickly. My solution is to freeze grapes. Freezing seals in the fresh flavor, and transforms the grapes into little sorbet balls. For a healthy self-contained frozen dessert, try frozen grapes.
Outside of frozen grapes, my favorite way to enjoy grapes is as an out-of-hand snack. However, grapes do go a long way towards adding flavor to a variety of no-cook dishes. The classic way to include grapes is as part of a fruit salad. Here are three of my favorite grape salad recipes:
Want to mix things up even more? Try using grapes to make gazpacho. The sweetness and slight tartness of fresh grapes are perfect in chilled soups. This White Grape Gazpacho recipe is one of the best grape recipes out there:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 slices stale country bread, crusts removed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
- 2 cups white grape juice
- 2 cups ice water
- 3 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 24 seedless white grapes, halved
- Combine the almonds and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until the almonds are very finely ground, almost paste-like. Reserve in blender.
- Meanwhile, soak the bread in cold water 15 to 20 minutes. Then squeeze out excess water. Add to the almonds in the blender and process until smooth.
- With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream and then the vinegar, scraping down the sides often.
- Pour in the grape juice and iced water, one cup at a time, blending between additions, and season to taste with salt. Process briefly to combine.
- Chill at least 6 hours before serving. Serve in chilled soup bowls and garnish with the grapes.
Still looking for more ways to prepare this juicy in-season fruit for September? Try these recipes:
Your turn: What is your favorite way to enjoy grapes?
August 29th, 2011