Are you familiar with the Great Grape Escape? It’s a summertime favorite in my house. You simply wash, dry and freeze grapes, then eat them or if you are super hot, roll them around your temples and over the back of your neck. Of course, you can always pretend you are a child and stuff one into your belly button for an immediate cooling effect! Here are more cooling grape ideas:
- Make grape popsicles (great with smashed fresh grapes and grape juice)
- Use frozen grapes in place of ice cubes
- Make Salad with Red Grapes and Feta
- Add to summer fruit salads
- Make Shrimp and Grape Salad
- Add grapes to ice cream, frozen yogurt or non-dairy alternative
- Make Gelatin Fruit Dessert with sliced grapes
- Add fresh or frozen grapes to smoothies
Grapes grow in gorgeous clusters. Depending on their use, they are classified as either wine grapes (small, sweet and decorative-looking) or table grapes (what we are used to buying to eat out of hand). Within these two classes, there are several varieties and colors including red, green and purple grapes. My personal favorite is the Concord variety, a deep purple grape commonly used to make juice.
Purchase firm, fresh grapes without mold, brown or soft spots. Wash before eating and enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts. Check out these ideas:
- Use grapes as a garnish or side dish for fish, chops, tofu or tempeh. Roasted Salmon and Grapes is simply glorious with fresh fennel and extra virgin olive oil!
- Add grapes to green salads and grain salads.
- Serve Blue Cheese and Walnut Dusted Grapes as an appetizer for your next party, or take them along on a picnic.
- Speaking of picnics, why not try one “a la France” with grapes, wine, cheese and fresh crusty bread. Please invite me!
- Port-Glazed Stilton Grapes are perfect for a party. You simply skewer grapes and cheese, and then dip into this amazing reduced port wine sauce.
- Make grapes part of breakfast. Cook up some turkey sausage and serve with grapes, or add grapes to pancakes, muffins and waffles like these Fruity Flapjacks. Another great idea is Peanut Butter Toast with Grapes. If desired, replace peanut butter with any other nut or seed butter you prefer. You can also add chopped or whole grapes to hot or cold cereal. (Remember, grapes are simply raisins before they have been dried.)
- Enjoy grapes for lunch or dinner by making Quinoa Salad with Chicken, Grapes and Almonds, Sonoma Chicken Salad, or this grape-infused Quinoa Salad with Roasted Jalapenos.
- Add grapes to cakes and cupcakes. Try our Grape Harvest Cake for a delicious treat.
- Fancy Ants on a Log takes peanut butter and celery to a whole new level. It’s the almond butter, grapes, cranberries and pumpkin seeds that do the trick.
Got a great summer “grape escape” that helps you beat the heat? Let me know.