From a young age we would grab a handful of grapes as a quick and tasty snack on our way out to play with friends. It’s such a refreshing snack and it gave us a fast energy boost, thanks to the carbohydrates. It wasn’t until we were older that we found out just how beneficial to our health that they actually are!
Three-quarters cup of grapes contain just 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, and virtually no sodium. Although our Mom typically used to buy green grapes the most frequently, all grapes, red, green, and black, contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Plus they have been shown to improve vessel function and blood flow, which can lower blood pressure. They are rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply grabbing a handful of grapes on-the-go, there are all sorts of unique ways to include grapes in your diet. A quick and easy trick to make grapes sweeter and a bit more creative, freeze them! Freezing grapes gives them a sorbet or popsicle-like taste, especially refreshing on a hot summer day. Or cut up your grapes and toss them in with your salad or with your yogurt and granola. Or try this classic grape salsa:
Classic Grape Salsa
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped California seedless grapes (use all 3 colors)
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ½ cup diced fresh chilies (or diced, canned Anaheim chilies)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and mix well
- Let stand at least one hour before serving.
- Drain off excess liquid before serving
Nutritional Info per serving: Calories: 38, protein: .6g, Carbohydrate: 9g, Fat: .3g, Fiber: .7g