Even not peeled, grapes are a fruit royalty
Try the recipe for a unique take on grapes.
Small but mighty, grapes pack a nutritional punch. Available in a range of colors, grapes contain few calories yet offer multiple health benefits. Fresh grapes are a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and protects cells, and vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in blood clotting and bone health. Grapes are surprisingly versatile as well, capable of playing the starring role in a variety of recipes.
The color of grapes can be an indicator of quality and flavor potential. Green grapes typically have a medium sweetness. Look for green grapes with an even, slightly yellow tone. Red and purple grapes tend to be very sweet. Purple grapes are at their best with deep color and no sign of green. Buy firm, plump grapes attached to stems. Blue-black grapes are the least sweet variety.
Tips for Storage & Prep
Keep grapes, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Rinse grapes only when ready to eat or add to a recipe. Place grapes in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer grapes to paper towels to drain. To halve grapes, use a sharp paring knife.
Ways to Enjoy
Eaten out of hand, grapes are a smart snack. You can also add them to salads, smoothies and kabobs. For a cool treat, freeze grapes and drop into a glass of wine to chill your drink without diluting it. Grapes can also be roasted for recipes like the one featured below. Roasting grapes brings out a deep subtle flavor.
Roasted Grape Crostini
Serves 10 (2 each)
Nonstick cooking spray
20 (1/4-inch-thick) slices French baguette bread
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound red seedless grapes
15 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional leaves for garnish
Mediterranean sea salt
½ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
½ (4 ounces) package fresh goat cheese, softened
¾ teaspoon honey, plus additional for serving
Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Spray with nonstick spray; set aside.
Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush one side using 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Increase oven heat to 400. Remove stems from grapes. Place grapes and thyme sprigs in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil; toss until evenly coated. Arrange grapes in a single layer on prepared pan. Lightly sprinkle grapes with salt and pepper and place thyme sprigs on top. Roast 30 to 40 minutes or until skins begin to shrivel and grapes just begin to release juices. Transfer grapes to a paper towel-lined plate; cool to room temperature. Discard thyme sprigs.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta and goat cheese, ¾ teaspoon honey and dash salt in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Spread ricotta mixture on baguette slices. Arrange grapes on top. Drizzle with additional honey and, if desired, garnish with additional thyme leaves.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 200 calories, 11g fat, 3g saturated, 190mg sodium, 20g total carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 8g total sugars, 5g protein.
Recipe source: Hy-vee.com
Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.