Crisp, juicy and sweet, grapes are a real crowd pleaser. Even better, all three colors of grapes—red, green and black—are good for your clients’ health.

Grapes are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Current research suggests that grapes might help maintain a healthy heart, and might also help to defend cells against a number of age-related illnesses. Scientists are also working to uncover more links between grapes and eye health, brain health, joint health and more. At just 90 calories per ¾-cup serving, grapes are a sensible, delicious snack with no fat or cholesterol.

People love to eat grapes as a refreshing snack, but grapes also add sweet, juicy crunch and color to salads, entrées and desserts. Here are five fun, flavorful ways to serve California grapes:

Layer: Grapes are juicy, nutritious and beautiful in breakfast parfaits.

Roast: Just like when you roast vegetables, grapes also caramelize, yielding a flavor that is wholly unique. You can top your dish with roasted grapes as is, or turn them into a luscious sauce.

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Grill: Oh yes! Thread them on a skewer with other fruits such as pineapple and mango, vegetables, fish, meat and poultry. Grapes can handle the heat, not only from the coals, but also from a spicy marinade or rub.

Clip: The best way to present grapes on a fruit platter or as a (truly edible) plate garnish is to clip them into smaller clusters. Besides their flavor, grapes provide height, coverage and color.

Dip: Rich chocolate (dark, milk, white, flavored) and grapes make a delightful pairing.

Keeping Hearts Healthy
According to research from the University of Connecticut, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, men with metabolic syndrome who consumed grapes lowered their key risk factors for heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together—high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat and increased blood triglycerides—significantly increasing the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Eating a variety of grapes might contribute to heart health by:
• Promoting healthy blood flow
• Reducing oxidative stress
• Improving blood lipids
• Decreasing inflammation

To learn more about grapes from California, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com or www.facebook.com/grapesfromcalifornia.

Grilled Antipasto Skewers
Yield: 12 skewers

24 shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined
¾ lb. red or black California seedless grapes
1 8-oz. jar cocktail onions
3 oz. prosciutto, each piece sliced into long ribbons

    Marinade

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T. balsamic vinegar
½ t. chopped fresh rosemary
¼ t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 T. olive oil

1. Soak long bamboo skewers in water for at least 5 minutes.
2. Thread skewers with 2 shrimp, 6 grapes and 2 onions, with a ribbon of prosciutto winding throughout. Place the finished skewers in shallow dish or plate.
3. To make the marinade, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper. Gradually add the oil. Evenly dab half of the marinade onto the skewers with a brush. Let the skewers marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
4. Brush the skewers with the remaining marinade. Grill on a hot fire for 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per skewer:
calories 92; protein 4 g.; carbohydrate 7.5 g.; fat 5 g. (saturated fat 0.8 g.); cholesterol 24 mg.; sodium 122 mg.; fiber 0.57 g.

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Caron Golden

About 

Founder of premier organization of personal chefs inspires students to follow their dreams of culinary entrepreneurship.

Candy Wallace, executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association (APPCA), today was recognized by Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies as its 33rd Distinguished Guest Chef.

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