Grapes are truly a wonder-food, which is why I am thrilled to be working with the California Table Grape Commission spreading the word about just how healthy and versatile they are. You probably already love snacking on grapes, but you might be surprised to learn the multitude of ways you can work them into dishes for extra excitement and sweet, juicy flavor. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Bake ‘em – Add to your favorite muffin and quick bread recipes. Just cut grapes into quarters and mix them into your batter for a sweet surprise in every bite. I especially love them in corn bread.
2. Go with the grain – Grapes pair perfectly with whole grains. Try them as a topping for your morning oatmeal or cold cereal, as well as in whole grain side dishes. One favorite is to mix grapes, feta cheese, chopped spinach and fresh mint into cooked bulgur wheat then toss with olive oil and lemon juice.
3. Skewer ‘em – Grilling grapes brings out their sweet juicy flavor so alternate grapes on a skewer with cubes of fish, chicken or meat, marinate as usual and grill. Or try skewering multicolored grapes and grill 2 minutes per side and serve alongside your main.
4. Sweeten your salsa – For a fresh twist on salsa, chop grapes, red onion, cilantro, and a small jalapeno pepper and sprinkle with lime juice. Serve with grilled fish or chicken or enjoy with whole grain tortilla chips.
5. Layer, parfait style – Shake up your breakfast or afternoon snack by layering yogurt with halved grapes and sliced almonds or granola. Alternate red and green in each layer for an eye catching presentation.
6. Freeze ‘em – Rinse and dry grapes well and freeze them in a single layer. Freeze for at least 2 hours and enjoy as a cool treat.
7. Refresh your sandwich – Add chopped grapes to your turkey or tuna sandwich or even your grilled cheese, for a fun, juicy twist.
For more grape ideas and info check out www.grapesfromcalifornia.com