Fresh 'n Plump Grapes
Select grapes that are fresh and plump. Grapes should be uniform in color without brown spots. They should not fall off the stem, but yield after pulling slightly.
Wash grapes carefully in cool water before using. Grapes are ideal as a luncheon dessert, snack, wine and cheese complement, or garnish. They are also delicious when tossed into a salad, or mixed into yogurt and cereals.
To freeze grapes, wash and pat dry. Place a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid. Once frozen, pack in airtight freezer containers. These are a great snack!
Eat grapes right away or store grapes unwashed in a clear plastic bag separate from other fruit and vegetables in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. Wash with cool water and drain before serving. Grapes can be stored for up to one week.
Greatness of Grapes
- A cup of red or green grapes has only 100 calories; there's 60 in a cup of Concord grapes.
- Two recent reports suggest that substances called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which give Concord grape juice its rich color, may help slow the growth of breast-cancer tumors. (The same pigments may help prevent short-term memory loss, too).
- A new animal study finds antioxidants called polyphenols in grapes protect insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and may help to prevent type 1 diabetes.
- Compounds found in grapeseeds may offer protection against sun-related skin cancer.
Use of Grapes in Herbalism
- Herbalists report that grape leaves are anti-inflammatory and astringent and can be taken for diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding, and as a medicinal douche (Chevallier 2000).
- Grapes, when transformed into raisins, juice, or wine, have also found some medical value. The PDR of Herbal Medicines noted that grapes do have an anti-inflammatory effect and may have value for blood circulation disorders.
- Other researchers have found grapes to contain antioxidants and be of value to the circulatory system (Peirce 1999).
- Pick grape clusters that have plump berries and are firmly attached to the stem.
- An amber or honey colored tint on Thompson seedless green grapes means they were left on the vine longer and are really sweet.
- Stash unwashed grapes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week to keep them fresh.
- Store grapes far away from scallions and other pungent foods so they won't absorb the flavors.
- Rinse grapes thoroughly. Most conventionally grown grapes are sprayed with peseticides, so make sure to wash them extra well.
Homemade Grape Juice
Making your own juice is easy, inexpensive and much healthier for you. For example, wild grapevine grapes (depending where you are wild concord grapes also) are easily frozen and they make an incredible juice. Take a couple of handfuls of grapevine grapes and place them in a pot with about a liter of water. Bring to a boil and turn stove off. Let sit for an hour or two then squeeze the grapes as best as you can. Strain into a juice container and add another liter of water. Add sugar to taste. You can take fresh picked grapes and place them in a freezer bag - remove air - write the date on the bag and freeze until you need them!
Red sumac and Highbush cranberries also freezes well and makes a powerful vitamin C drink. You can follow the same procedure as the grapes for making juice and freezing. If these berries are not found in your area, research what edible berries grow where you live and use these.
- Saturated fat-free
Chocolate Grape Tartlets Recipe Card
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