Healthy And Tasty Snacks; New Trends Make Back To School Season Easy

Perfect for Children's Lunchboxes and Dinner Parties Alike, Grape-Based Snack Recipes are Refreshing, Fun, and Easy to Carry to Class, Soccer Practice, the Office and More

Aug 28, 2012, 12:00 ET from California Table Grape Commission

FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Flavorful, nutritious, portable and fresh, grapes from California are now being touted as "The Original Super Snack," and in a nation of snackers (nearly 90 percent of U.S. consumers admit to snacking in between meals), the concept of healthy snacking couldn't come at a better time.

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The California Table Grape Commission and celebrity chef, best-selling author and TV host Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., have teamed up to share creative and easy ways of incorporating grapes from California into different snacking occasions. "Grapes are nature's perfect snacking gift – they are portable, delicious and fresh and loved by children and adults alike," said Karen Brux, vice president of marketing communications for the commission. "We hear a lot about super foods.  This is our way of highlighting the qualities of grapes from California that make them the perfect super snack."

A decade's worth of research suggests that grapes may offer numerous health benefits.  Grapes of every color contain a variety of antioxidants and other polyphenols, natural components in grapes that may contribute to a healthy heart.  The strong health story of grapes, combined with their portability and versatility, make grapes a smart choice for healthy snacking.

According to a recent study conducted by Univision Communications Inc in collaboration with SmartRevenue, preparing traditional family meals and recipes passed from one generation to the next is still extremely valuable for Hispanic households; however, with today's increasingly busy lifestyles, the need for convenient food is also increasing. Like everyone else, Hispanic consumers are pressed for time, and that can often lead to unhealthy choices, both for snacks and meals.  "Fortunately, there are numerous easy ideas for filling any eating occasion with nutrition and taste," states registered dietitian and author of the book Gordito Doesn't' Mean Healthy Claudia Gonzalez.  "Meal preparers can utilize grapes to add crunch and color to snacks, easily incorporating grapes into savory or sweet recipes. The most important thing to remember is that fruit, grapes included, contains the vitamins and antioxidants that our children need to grow up healthy."

A quick, easy way to add texture and flavor to our foods is by freezing fruits like grapes and bananas. An easy and very attractive recipe for the little ones is the frozen grape and banana skewers with chocolate drizzle. You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:

  • 2 firm ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ cup red California grapes (about 16)
  • ½ cup green California grapes (about 16)
  • 8 10-inch wooden skewers
  • 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Once the banana is cut into thick rounds, toss gently with the orange juice, and then skewer the fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana. After melting the chocolate in the microwave, drizzle the melted chocolate onto the fruit skewers and place in the freezer and leave for at least 2 hours. This recipe is ideal for snacks and special occasions.

Some other tasty, quick-and-easy recipes include:

  • Grape, Ricotta, and Honey Pita Pizza
  • Grapes in Port Wine Sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese, Jicama and Grape Skewers with Lime and Cilantro Yogurt Dip
  • Grapes in a Canoe (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with grapes)

Californians have been growing grapes for nearly 200 years and today, over 99 percent of grapes commercially grown in the United States come from California.  With approximately 500 growers, California grapes come in three colors – green, red and black – and are available May through January. Production is approaching 100 million boxes, which are shipped to more than 60 countries across the globe.

To learn more about Grapes from California including recipes in Spanish, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com/Spanish or contact Karen Brux at 559-447-8350.

About the California Table Grape Commission

The California Table Grape Commission was created by the California legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs.  Each year the fresh California grape season starts in May and runs through January of the following year.  More information can be found at www.grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Press Contact:
Karen Brux
California Table Grape Commission
559-447-8350
karenb@grapesfromcalifornia.com

SOURCE California Table Grape Commission